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This installation is part of Indy Art & Seek, a project by the Arts Council of Indianapolis and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful to pair artists and communities to create site-specific art that encourages neighborhood residents to see their surroundings in new ways.
The mural was inspired by the calming view from the neighborhood side of an abandoned laundromat into a field of wildflowers and grasses. The artists combined their individual signature artistic practices to create a calming composition. Visitors can become part of the artwork as they access the healing power of meditation and spiritual connectedness. The color of the seating platform blends into the background, so in a photograph anyone seated seems to be floating.
Megan Jefferson is an Indianapolis-based painter originally from Ohio. She creates pieces with a focus on color-based abstraction, often derived from observation of natural landscapes.
Jamie Locke hand-carves intricate mandalas on wood, metal, glass, and leather. A self-taught artist, Locke hopes that her works inspire, encourage, and uplift those who view them.
Artist Tosca Carranza was commissioned by Near East Area Renewal to paint five traffic signal control boxes along Rural Street, in a series called “I Love My Neighborhood.” The design for this box represents happiness: the bluebird’s bright color and energetic behavior have been associated with happiness since ancient times in cultures around the globe, popularized in this country in a 1934 song called the ‘Bluebird of Happiness.’
Tosca Carranza is a painter and art educator who lives on Indianapolis’ Near Eastside.
Englewood Community Mural
Englewood Village is a corner of urban activity located near the intersection of E. Washington St. and N. Rural St. on the Near Eastside. The mural was designed based on conversations with the community local to the site, and expresses a philosophy that many, both in and outside of the neighborhood, might find comforting in times of stress.
The Droops are a collective of six Indianapolis-based artists who met and formed in 2013, while attending the Herron School of Art & Design. All six members hail from rural Indiana towns and have developed a certain style that pulls from each person’s individual background. The artists composing The Droops are Adam Wollenberg, Ash Windbigler, Brock Forrer, Ally Alsup, Emily Gable, & Paul Pelsue. View more of their work at http://www.thedroops.com/
This combination mural and sculpture graphically and abstractly represents landmarks in the Englewood neighborhood on Indianapolis’ Near Eastside. It was commissioned by Englewood CDC in partnership with the neighborhood business Gilpin Glass Services, which owns the building that hosts the artwork.
The artwork was designed by artist Quincy Owens in collaboration with Brent Aldrich, an artist and resident of Englewood. Other artists involved in various phases of the project were Aaron Dodd, Amira Malcom, Chase Cannon, Mechi Shakur, and Donald Smith.
The classic hard rock band KISS (1973- ) is honored in this mural that substitutes adorable kittens for the theatrical and somewhat startling costumed characters that make up the group. The kittens’ markings replicate the band members’ trademark makeup, and one kitten’s tongue is hanging out in homage to the band’s leader Gene Simmons, who often made the same gesture. The mural was painted during an informal artist’s residency in the summer of 2019.
Jules Muck, aka MuckRock, is a street artist from England who learned her craft in the 1990s from Lady Pink and many other legends of graffiti and hip-hop culture. After working extensively in New York, she moved to Venice, California in 2008. She currently works nationally and internationally, with major works in various locations including Miami’s famous Wynwood district, produced with Art Basel Miami. MuckRock’s street works are both invited and unsanctioned, and she has created work for gallery exhibitions.
LAB 2313/Kaiser Klean
In 2018, artists Sean Savant and Ziloe painted this mural in a single day for LAB 2313, a youth collective working to connect with the music industry. The mural also references Kaiser Klean, a mobile automotive cleaning and detailing service, whose offices also occupy the building. The company wanted to have a colorful, science-themed mural that would make the building stand out from its mundane surroundings and draw attention from passersby. Imagery includes a stoppered test tube, a bottle of chemicals, and a robot “scientist.”
Sean Savant is the working name of an Indianapolis-based muralist and street artist who specializes in graffiti lettering and abstraction. His artist name references his younger brother, who has autism–all of the artworks created by “Sean Savant” are dedicated to him. Ziloe lives in Indianapolis.
Seven Flowers Mural
The “seven flowers” in this mural stand as a memorial to the Valdez and Covarrubias families, who lived on nearby Hamilton Avenue and suffered the loss of seven family members in a brutal 2006 massacre. In Mexican culture, marigolds represent the fragility of life and are used as a guide for the spirits to find their way back to visit the living (particularly during the Day of the Dead holiday).
The mural is part of a series by the artist called the “Many Flowers Murals,” created to memorialize traumatic events in the Near Eastside and provide space for the community to come together, grieve, and heal. Huge, painted flowers are used as a visual metaphor for lives cut short by gun violence, and the murals allow the victims to be remembered as beautiful and special. The process of creating and inaugurating the murals is important to community togetherness, reconciliation, and rebirth.
Tosca Carranza is a painter, art educator, and Near Eastside resident.
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