Cottages of the Near Eastside / A Crossing Through...
The two sides of this simply-painted underpass mural highlight two of Indianapolis’ oldest Eastside residential areas. These neighborhoods were once home to the thousands of immigrants that flooded into Indianapolis during the late 19th and early 20th centuries in search of a fresh start.
Cottages of the Near Eastside, on the east wall of the underpass, showcases the facades of homes in the Holy Cross, Cottage Home and Windsor Park neighborhoods as well as in Fountain Square and irish Hill on the Southeast side. if you are familiar with the area, you can pick out the individual houses represented.
A Crossing through Irish Hill, on the west wall, depicts the history of the rail industry in Indianapolis since service first began in the mid-1800s. The Irish Hill neighborhood developed concurrently with the railway, and was historically considered one of the Midwest’s strongest Irish-American communities.
The artist, Jarryd Foreman, is an Indianapolis-based graphic and advertising designer. At the time of the mural’s commissioning, he worked for Angie’s List, headquartered adjacent to Irish Hill.
The design of this mural is inspired by the geometric shapes of farming barns, barn quilts, and the prairie-scapes that the artist grew up seeing around the Indiana countryside. According to the artist, farming is an essential element of what makes midwestern life what it is today and he wanted to honor it in this commissioned work for a very large wall. The inclusion of “317” and “Indianapolis” locates the landscape more specifically, and the text is what gives a street-art edge to the mural. The title of the piece refers to an early 20th century art movement championed by Russian artist Kazimir Malevich, that uses simple, flat geometric shapes and a limited color palette as a metaphor for spiritual purity.
Nick Smith is a multidisciplinary artist based in Indianapolis, specializing in abstracts and post-graffiti stylings. He also produces graffiti work under the name Sean Savant, in homage to his autistic brother.
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