Jammin' on the Avenue
This sculpture, set in a fountain pool, is a columnar assemblage representing musical instruments, primarily tubas, saxophones, trumpets, trombones and sousaphones. Each element is cast in bronze and they are welded together.
The sculpture was commissioned by the Sexton Companies, a residential property developer and management company in Indianapolis. Sexton manages Lockefield Gardens, the apartment community immediately adjacent to the sculpture. The current Lockefield Gardens development incorporates the remaining structures of the first public housing project in Indianapolis, built in 1938. Originally racially segregated, the low-scale project was unique among public housing at the time for its attention to “quality of life” amenities within the development such as a community center, a central open space, playgrounds, a shopping strip, and building designs that maximized light and fresh air. Its location along Indiana Avenue, known as “Black Main Street,” ensured complete integration into the daily life of the neighborhood, including its many jazz clubs, shopping, personal services, and the imposing Madame Walker building. No doubt it is this history that Sexton wished to honor and celebrate.
The sculpture’s artist, John Spaulding (1942-2004), was born in Lockefield Gardens. He was a self-taught welder and sculptor who became internationally renowned for his works that focused on the Black experience in America. Jazz music was a favored subject, not only because he grew up on Indiana Avenue with its wealth of jazz clubs, but also because his brother, James Spaulding Jr., was a professional jazz musician.
For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jammin%27_on_the_Avenue