Monon Love Train
Nearly eight months in the making, the recently completed Monon Love Train mural is a powerful expression of the great things that can happen when friends, neighbors, and organizations come together with a common goal: to beautify and uplift.
Megan Jefferson of The Department of Public Words (www.DPWords.org), a longtime resident of the neighborhood, noticed that many of the fifteen-year-old existing murals along the 600 foot stretch of the Monon Trail were very badly weathered, peeling, and chipping. When Holly Combs, also of DPWords, saw the expanse of decaying murals, she declared, “This wall wants us!”. Within several weeks of deciding to take on the wall, Megan had raised funding from three different organizations. Herman and Kittle Properties, Inc., The Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood Association, and SmallBox all donated funds to make the project possible. Amy Dentlaw-Rose photographically captured the existing murals before Terra Pro, LLC pressure washed the wall to get it ready for the new mural. Keep Indianapolis Beautiful moved the trees that were blocking the view of the wall. Sherwin-Williams chipped in with paint and supplies.
The DPWords team brought in the leading stencil artist in the Midwest, Peat Wollaeger (www.stenSOUL.com) to design the numerous four foot by eight foot stencils of train cars and positive message logos that would be used to paint the nearly 5,000 square foot surface. Over the course of several months the team worked with more than 200 volunteers from many organizations including The Girl Scouts, CFI, and the Indianapolis Art Center’s Teen Art Council to complete the mural. “The purpose of The Love Train is to bring positive messages to people in a beautiful way”, says Dave Combs of DPWords. The Love Train carries messages such as, “Smile”, “You are beautiful”, “Do great things”, and “Eye believe you can”. It’s like a 600 foot wide motivational poster… only better.
Love Train Video by Kevin Loiselle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICdBwp7L0U4