Convergence comprises two pieces. The street-level piece is a tall, vertical art work placed on the south side of the Indiana Avenue and Michigan Street bridge over the Downtown Canal. The canal-level art work is a rendition of an old canal lock and includes historical information, a water fountain, and a bench for Canal visitors to enjoy. This gateway serves as a highly visible, artistic place-marker, attracting residents and visitors from street down to the Canal. The artist team of Bernie Carreno, Luis Morales, and David Thomas designed, fabricated, and implemented this artistic gateway. Their proposal was chosen after a competitive process that involved public input on the top three proposals.
Indiana Avenue Jazz Masters
Indianapolis-associated jazz legends of the 1950s and 1960s–(l to r) David Young, Jimmy Coe, David Baker, JJ Johnson, Slide Hampton, Freddie Hubbard, Larry Ridley, and Wes Montgomery–adorn the side of Musicians Repair & Sales, which was established in 1946 and supplied instruments to several of the artists pictured. Duncan Scheidt, a well-known Indianapolis-based jazz documentarian, shot the classic images that served as inspiration for the mural; the artist, Pamela Bliss, included his portrait on the far left as well.
This tribute to Indiana’s rich jazz heritage is a fitting gateway to nearby Indiana Avenue, where many of these artists got their start. Bliss, based in Indianapolis and a jazz fan herself, consulted people in the jazz community for ideas on whom she should include.
The mural was one of 46 murals commissioned by the Arts Council of Indianapolis as part of its nationally renowned 46 for XLVI murals initiative.
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
Looking Through Windows
Indiana University’s Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis has partnered with the Indianapolis Cultural Trail to provide a professional practice opportunity for advanced undergraduate and graduate level students in fine art. Through a grant from Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) and a gift of land from the Indianapolis Urban League, students will participate in a competitive request for proposals for temporary public art projects for the site. The winning installation will be displayed for two years.
The first project, “Looking Through Windows” by Michael Kuschnir, was installed April 25, 2012.
From the Artist’s proposal
“My artwork begins with an architectural element that I manipulate through repetition… I took an assortment of existing windows on Indiana Ave and combined them with generic window forms to create a gestural sculpture. The inspiration for this piece came from listening to people of the community talk about this site. Some people reminisced about the past while others talked about the future of this location. I collected these viewpoints as if they are windows into each of us. Now I give the opportunity for everyone to see this neighborhood in these warm embracing colors; an opportunity to look at this community through each other’s lenses.”
Quoted from: http://www.indyculturaltrail.org/HerronProject.html
Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Survivors Park
Consisting of approximately .98 acres and established in 1995, Bloch Cancer Survivors Park was located at 985 Indiana Ave until December 2017, when the sculptural elements were removed and placed in storage. The move had been anticipated for the previous five years, when it was determined that the cost to repair the deteriorating site would exceed the cost to move and reinstall it. It is anticipated that the park will be reconstructed on Indianapolis’ north side.
At the time of the original dedication it was one of the first parks established by Richard and Annette Bloch; Richard Bloch was a 24-year cancer survivor and the pair donated millions of dollars through the R. A. Bloch Cancer Foundation (now the Richard and Annette Bloch Family Foundation) to cities so they could build 25 similar parks in the U.S. and Canada. The goal in constructing the parks was to communicate that cancer is survivable, that fighting cancer is possible, and that a cancer diagnosis should not inspire fear. The parks were constructed by the Bloch Foundation until 2012. The Bloch Family Foundation continues to provide assistance to help people coping with cancer.
There are three identical elements in each of the Cancer Survivors Parks: a ‘positive mental attitude walk’ with 14 bronze plaques; a sculpture of eight life-size bronze figures passing through a maze representing cancer treatment; and a “Road to Recovery” path consisting of seven plaques explaining what cancer is and basic actions to successfully overcome the disease. Beyond these elements, every Cancer Survivors Park is different and conforms to the nature of the site and the community in which it is located.
The figurative sculptures in the Cancer Survivors Park were designed by the Mexican artist Victor Salmones in 1989 and are collectively entitled Cancer… There’s Hope. They represent the last commissioned works by the artist, who died of cancer shortly after completing the original models. The sculptures are cast bronze.
The Indianapolis park, which was the fifth to be built, received two 1996 Monumental Awards: a merit award for community development, and an achievement award for downtown development. The park is owned by the Indianapolis Parks Foundation.
Untitled (Jazz Musicians)
Untitled (Jazz Musicians) is an outdoor sculpture by American artist John Spaulding. It is located on the border of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus, near downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, at the corner intersection of Indiana Avenue and West Street. The sculpture faces the historic Madame Walker Theatre Center, which is located across the street.
Untitled (Jazz Musicians) is a quintet of linear jazz musicians formed in bronze. Each figure represents a jazz musician who was influential to the artist. Spaulding’s father, James, is playing guitar; his older brother, James Spaulding Jr., is playing saxophone; the bass-player figure represents Larry Ridley; Freddie Hubbard is on trumpet; and "Killer" Ray Appleton is on the drums. Each bronze linear figure has a circular bronze base welded at its feet that is then situated upon a riser of concrete block. The dimensions of the sculpture as a whole are 8’5" x 19′ x 19′ (3 x 6 x 6 m). Each sculpture base is circular, approximately 1’6" (46 cm) in diameter and 1" (25 mm) in height. Each figure, not including its base, has a height of 8’5" (2.6 m). The exception is the seated drummer figure, which is approximately 4’6" (1.4 m) in height. Each figure has different width as follows: The saxophone player is 1’5" (43 cm) wide, the bass player is 3’1" (94 cm) wide, the drummer is 3’11" (119 cm) wide, the trumpet player figure is 2’8" (81 cm) wide, and the guitarist is 2’3" (69 cm) wide.
Untitled (Jazz Musicians) was fabricated in 1995 and was commissioned by the Sexton Companies.
The sculpture stands at the corner of West Street and Indiana Avenue, across from the Madame Walter Theatre Center. The outdoor sculpture is displayed in an area in front of the Gardens of Canal Court apartments. It is a tribute to the rich Jazz heritage that was a part of the Indiana Avenue area. The location of Untitled (Jazz Musicians) reflects the spirit of this sculpture. Facing West Street, Indiana Avenue, and the Madame Walker Theatre Center, it reminds all those who pass the of the rich cultural heritage that was and is part of this area near the IUPUI campus. In addition, this sculpture stands near another of Spaulding’s sculptures, Jammin’ on the Avenue, which is installed at the entrance to historic Lockefield Gardens apartments, where the artist was born. Lockefield Gardens was the city’s first major public housing project, which was racially segregated at first, in the heart of Indianapolis’s African American community. New construction and renovation of Lockefield Gardens’ seven remaining historic buildings are home to IUPUI students, staff, faculty, and anyone wishing to live in this cultural area, known as the Indiana Avenue Cultural District.
In May 2011, the figure representing a saxophone player was broken off at the knees and stolen. The sculpture also suffered several other cuts. A local newspaper reported on June 13, 2011, that police recovered the piece after it was discovered in a trash bin and brought to a scrap yard for sale.
Quoted from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Untitled_(Jazz_Musicians)
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