This mural, located on the building housing the restaurant Bluebeard and Amelia’s Bakery, features a portrait of country music star Dolly Parton sporting prison-style tattoos referring to two of her most iconic works: the 1980 movie and song 9 to 5 and the 1973 song Jolene. There is also a teardrop tattoo under her right eye; this tattoo can have many meanings including mourning loss, but is frequently seen on prison inmates; the artist may have included it to make Parton look tough. The mural was created during an informal artist’s residency in Indianapolis 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.
Fletcher Place Gateway
This obelisk-shaped structure welcomes drivers and pedestrians to the historic Fletcher Place neighborhood. Working closely with the neighborhood association, the designer/artist, Barbara Zech, hand-created and custom-colored all the ceramic tiles that cover the sculpture’s concrete core. The artwork features rich colors and reproduces visual elements found on homes within the neighborhood, including ornamental corbels and scrollwork, and was created in collaboration with the Arts Council of Indianapolis and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful as part of an IPL Project Greenspace pocket park.
Barbara Zech is a contemporary ceramic artist whose studio is located in Indianapolis, Indiana. She was awarded the Indiana Arts Commission Individual Artist Grant in 2008; and the Arts Council of Indianapolis’ Creative Renewal grant in 2004 to travel to Japan for research in ceramics and papermaking. She earned a BFA from Herron School of Art in 1995, and has been an art educator for several years, providing creative therapeutic experiences for people with disabilities. Zech’s original ceramic wall pieces and handcrafted custom tile can be found in residential and public spaces, including Community North Hospital and Simon Cancer Center. Her community tile installations can be seen at various area schools, such as the Indiana Deaf School’s Monon sculpture made up of American Sign Language tiles.
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. believes in connecting people to nature, creating vibrant places rooted in community and building lasting value by working together. Committed to creating vibrant places and communities, IPL Project GreenSpace is a grassroots effort that transforms vacant lots and underused spaces into natural, beautiful, and functional pocket parks and greenspaces for neighborhoods. KIB also partners with Arts Council of Indianapolis to commission an artist to create unique pieces that reflect the community’s vision and culture.
The “live and let live” sentiment endemic to life in Fletcher Place and Fountain Square is exemplified by this linear mural by graphic design team Flatland Kitchen. “Love Whoever is Around to be Loved” is taken from a quote by Indianapolis-born author Kurt Vonnegut Jr., in his second novel Sirens of Titan (1959): “It took us that long to realize that a purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.” The design of the mural is reminiscent of Vonnegut’s own art, with unusual perspectives, spiky lines, and limited color. The artists painted it on the alley wall of the building containing Amelia’s Bakery, a company for which they created the store design and branding identity.
Flatland Kitchen is an Indianapolis-based two-person team of designers specializing in restaurant identity design, environmental graphics, and culture branding. Rebekah and Eric Nolan also design public art, album covers, and flyers and other ephemera.
Merrill Street Platform
The planting of this greenspace along the Cultural Trail in the Fletcher Place neighborhood was completed by Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc., on November 16th, 2013, with the artwork installed in spring 2014.
The site provides a green backdrop for the Cultural Trail with trees for shade, sound insulation and seasonal interest. The greenspace enhances the Virginia streetscape for visitors, merchants and residents. The Merrill Street Platform serves as a seating element for the park, as well as a piece of sculpture. Its reclaimed cedar planks are oriented perpendicular to the trail, while reclaimed limestone curbs jut out vertically from the sloped deck at varying heights. The interesting form reflects the surrounding triangular park and provides a comfortable place to lie or sit on, play, and interact with.
Luur Design, based in Carmel, Indiana, operates under the direction of designer Chris Stuart. It is a multidisciplinary studio practicing in the areas of architecture, furniture design, product design, graphic design, and art. More information is available at http://www.luurdesign.com/work/
Moving Forward, by Indianapolis-based architect Donna Sink, is a series of seven eco-friendly transit shelters that showcase original, site-sensitive poetry by published authors who have ties to Indiana. Each shelter is composed of 3-Form Eco-Resin panels, which are made of 40% post-industrial re-grind content, mounted in a stainless steel frame. The shelters are installed on TX Active concrete pads, which help reduce many pollutants deemed harmful to human health and the environment through a photocatalytic process.
Each shelter was conceived as a method for allowing poets to participate in the public art program of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, A Legacy of Gene and Marilyn Glick. A call for poetry was released and entries adjudicated by a panel of professionals selected by the Writers’ Center of Indiana. Each shelter has part of the poem embedded in the resin panels, while the entire poem is legible on one of the shelter side panels.
The designer explains, “The design intent is that the sun will illuminate the colored graphic and cast the shadow of the words on the sidewalk. This temporal, immaterial rendering references the poem’s existence as idea, not object. It also relates the work to the seasonal changing of the sun’s angle in relation to the human body on the sidewalk.”
Selected poems and their respective shelter locations are:
“Invisible Movements,” by Karen Kovacik: Virginia Ave. near McCarty St.
“The Painters,” by Richard Pflum: Virginia Ave. near Woodlawn Ave.
“The Bowl of Possible Peas,” by John Sherman: Virginia Ave. near Lexington Ave.
“Circle, Chorus,” by Mitchell Douglas: Washington St. west of Illinois St.
“Settlement,” by Micah Ling: Washington St. outside the Eiteljorg & Indiana State museums
“Art with a Heart,” by Vienna Wagner: Massachusetts Ave. at Walnut and Park
“Our Street in Endless Circles,” by Jenny Browne: Massachusetts Ave. east of College Ave.
Donna Sink is an Indianapolis-based architect who is interested in innovative and sustainable design solutions. In addition to designing residential and commercial spaces, Sink has extensive experience in exhibition design. Sink received her Bachelors of Architecture from the University of Arizona and her Masters of Architecture from Cranbook Academy of Art. She has worked at architecture firms throughout the country and in Europe, and was formerly a partner at MW Harris Architecture and Design in Indianapolis, IN.
The Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene & Marilyn Glick is an 8-mile, world-class urban bike and pedestrian path in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. The Indianapolis Cultural Trail seamlessly connects neighborhoods, cultural districts and entertainment amenities while serving as the downtown hub for central Indiana’s vast greenway system.
Read more about the Moving Forward project here.
The Idle, the brainchild of local property developer and entrepreneur Tom Battista, is a peaceful spot from which visitors can view the traffic on the I-65 and I-70 split and be thankful they are not trying to drive through it. The program of the mini-park includes homages to adjacent neighborhoods, quotes from Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. and John Lennon, interesting architectural features such as reclaimed Bush Stadium seating and gabion boxes filled with reclaimed brick as shelter counterweights, and a small mural by local design team Flatland Kitchen. The project is located on the border between Fletcher Place and Fountain Square, and was largely crowdfunded to match support from the state of Indiana. Although the project was initially mocked, it has become a popular respite due to its accessibility to the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.
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