Birds of Indiana
This mural showcases, in grand scale, three common birds native to Indiana: the blue jay, the goldfinch, and Indiana’s state bird, the cardinal. The birds are set in a lush landscape of native Indiana flowering trees. The mural was commissioned by Buckingham Companies, the owner of the building, and was installed in summer and fall 2019.
French by birth, Mantra (Youri Cansell) is an international street/graffiti artist who began painting in 2008. His work frequently features insects, animals, and birds in tribute to the natural surroundings that he grew up with, and is characterized by hyper-realistic detail and deep color. His nickname comes from the repetition of his style, which he and others see as a spiritual connection to the unique universe he has created. Mantra also works under the names Youri Mantra and Mantra Voz.
This mural is a fun take on ClusterTruck’s business, which is to provide a central preparation and to-your-door meal delivery service on behalf of its food truck partners.
The mural was designed by Phanomen Design, an Indianapolis-based interior design, architecture and marketing creative team with the mission to make environments more attractive and profitable. It was painted by Pamela Bliss, an Indianapolis-based muralist and sign painter. Learn more about the painter and her other work at https://www.facebook.com/PamelaBlissArt/
As part of its ongoing rotation of public art for its Pennsylvania Street window facade, the Arts Council of Indianapolis identified artist Tam Hildreth for the digital reproduction of her artwork as a temporary, large-scale mural
Hildreth’s paintings in her Junonia series are inspired by the distinctive markings on butterflies of the Junonii genus, commonly known as “buckeye” or “pansy” butterflies. The markings resemble eyes and and function to discourage predators, who think they are seeing a larger, more threatening animal. Hildreth isolates and magnifies the eyespots, and renders each iridescent “cell” as a round dot of color similar to the Pointillist technique. Out of context, and at the mural scale, the paintings approach purely non-objective arrangements of form and color.
Learn more about the artist at http://www.tammiehildreth.com
Library Square Sidewalk Poetry
In 2016, the Buckingham Companies began to brand their collection of properties between 9th and 10th Streets and between Meridian and Pennsylvania Streets as “Library Square,” in honor of the nearby Central branch of the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library. To reinforce this connection to the library, Buckingham staged a literary competition with the Arts Council of Indianapolis and the Indiana Writers’ Center for short poems that could fit into a standard sidewalk panel. Poets were instructed to limit their submitted poetry to no more than 10 lines long and no more than 40 characters per line, and no more than 255 characters total.
The poems are inscribed onto steel panels and set into indentations in the concrete sidewalks around Buckingham’s development called The Congress at Library Square. The first four poems were installed in early 2019: “Reading for Pleasure” by Chris Forhan; “Mathematics” by Helen Frost; “Night Kayak” by former Indiana Poet Laureate Karen Kovacik; and “Portrait of a Poet” by Vienna Bottomley. More poems are scheduled to be added in 2019 and 2020.
This two-part sculpture was created by internationally-recognized artist Peter Shelton, in response to a commission offer from the private Indianapolis-Marion County Library Foundation. Shelton was selected by a curatorial team who combed through lists of artists and invited several to interview with them. Although he had never made bronze sculptures in his life, Shelton partnered with a foundry and engineering consultants to design and fabricate the piece.
Both artworks are made of cast bronze reinforced with stainless steel. thinman is on the west side of the south face of Central Library’s Cret Building, and is in the form of a 40-ft-tall, very thin, headless human figure. littlebird is on the east side of the south face of the Cret Building, and is a plump torus resembling an inflated inner tube with a life-sized sparrow perched on its outer edge. Both figures seem to defy gravity, and their surfaces are rich and textured. According to the artist, the figures have no agenda, no narrative and no symbolism: they are simply forms that the artist liked.
The sculpture’s design was controversial: members of the public expressed anger that the neoclassical-style facade of the Cret Building, previously constructed with empty sculpture plinths that were never filled until thinmanlittlebird was commissioned, did not receive artwork that was more traditional-looking. Nevertheless, thinmanlittlebird won a prestigious mention in the Public Art Network’s national Year in Review compilation, in 2010.
Read more about the artist and the artwork at http://www.lalouver.com/resource/shelton_indianapolis/nuvo-thinmanlittlebird.pdf and http://www.lalouver.com/resource/shelton_indianapolis/shelton_hoppe.pdf
Scattered across the south face of the building are five larger-than-life jacks that evoke nostalgic imagery of a favorite childhood pastime. Schlough painted the jacks on metal and then bolted each structure to the wall to give the jacks a more life-like shine and texture. This mural is one of the few in Indianapolis to incorporate a sculptural element.
The mural was one of 46 murals commissioned by the Arts Council of Indianapolis as part of its nationally renowned 46 for XLVI mural initiative. The artwork was removed in June 2016 to accommodate new construction on the site. The mural is currently awaiting relocation to a new site.
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