Seeds of Light
Seeds of Light is located in Speedway Trailhead Park along the P&E Trail and honors the history, traditions and values of the Town of Speedway as well as its relationships with its two Sister Cities, the motorsports towns of Motegi, Japan and Varano de’ Melegari, Italy. The trailhead is an iconic space welcoming both students from its Sister Cities exchanges and all international visitors to the town.
From a distance, Seeds of Light appears as a tall, single-stemmed, flower-like structure approximately 18 feet high. Its form was inspired by heracleum maximum; a native plant known variously as cow parsnip, Indian celery, or Indian rhubarb and which appears in the trailhead’s landscaping. Each lit “floret” symbolizes the exchange experience of Speedway’s Sister Cities students, their connections with their hosts, and their potential as global citizens. The floret’s interconnected, three-part form also references the students’ growth in terms of head, heart, and hands, and the three connected Sister City communities of Speedway, Motegi, and Varano.
In addition to the Sister Cities symbolism, Seeds of Light also honors Speedway’s industrial heritage, with its embedded LED lights and reflective dichroic glass symbolizing its commitment to new technology and its forward-facing attitude. At the same time, the overall shape of the piece refers to the quiet, natural beauty of a common Indiana flower.
The artist, Arlon Bayliss, is based in Anderson, Indiana. Originally trained as a studio glass artist and the former founding director of the glass program at Anderson University, since 2014 he has moved his practice to architectural-scale projects in metal, glass, and light.
Seeds of Light was commissioned by the Town of Speedway as part of its participation in Keep Indianapolis Beautiful’s 2016 IPL Project GreenSpace, which created Speedway Trailhead Park. The Arts Council of Indianapolis provided funding and project supervision.