Flight was installed in summer 2016 outside the newly-built Kroger store on US 31 in Franklin, IN. It was purchased directly from the artist. According to the artist, Flight was conceived while he was watching birds in flight, and is an expression of the patterns of swooping and diving that makes each bird’s airborne journey unique. Viewers have commented that the sculpture gives them a sense of hope and grace.
The artist, Bernard (Bernie) Carreño, is an Indianapolis-based sculptor. He was born in New York City and studied at the Pratt Institute in New York before serving in the Vietnam War and, upon his return, received both his B.F.A. and M.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin/Milwaukee. After working for many years as a sculptor and an industrial designer, Carreño retired from GM/Delco in Indianapolis and turned full-time to his own artwork. He has exhibited widely in his long career, received numerous grants and awards, and his work is held in many public and private collections including locally the Indianapolis Art Center—where he served as the head of the Sculpture department from 2001 to 2011—the University of Indianapolis, and Community North Hospital. Read more about Carreño and his work at http://www.berniecarreno.net/
The Kroger Co. is honored to use the talents of local artists to create an uplifting experience in their stores. The company aspires to create a safe store environment that conveys a sense of connectedness to the communities within which they operate. The objective of Kroger’s commissioned art program is to create a space that encourages community gathering and celebrates the spirit of the neighborhood. As a company, Kroger values honesty, diversity, inclusion, integrity, respect and safety. These values are expressed by the artwork commissioned for each store.
Kroger worked with the Arts Council of Indianapolis to identify the sculpture to purchase.
Franklin Art Garden
This charming respite and cultural oasis is owned by Meg Jones and Richard Goss, who also own the adjacent Richard’s Brick Oven Pizza. Jones, who has a background in horticulture and landscape design, developed the garden with a grant from the City of Franklin and her own funds. It is open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week, free of charge, and available for anyone to come and experience peace and beauty.
The Baltic Wheel Labyrinth in the garden was inspired by a hedge maze in New Harmony, Indiana. The purpose of the labyrinth is to meditate as you walk the path, and reach the kinetic sculpture in the center.
The origami crane sculpture is by Franklin artist Gordon Strain.
In 2018, Franklin received another installment of public art as part of its “Color the County” program. The program was begun in 2016 to celebrate the Johnson County Community Foundation’s 25th anniversary. Each year, at least two murals are designed and created by local artists for towns in Johnson County. There is usually a community paint day for each mural where locals are invited to participate using a “paint by number” system that the artist(s) have created for them.
A bridge underpass on the Franklin Greenway Trail and Young’s Creek was selected on South Main Street for this mural. Artist Erin Davis, a Franklin resident and owner of Crystal Graphics in Whiteland, was selected to design and create the mural. The mural consists of brightly colored triangles stacked into rows that stretch across the expanse. The ends of the wall that flare out from the underpass each have a light purple silhouette of a bird in flight. The street-art vibe and updated quilt patterning (Davis also teaches quilting) are simultaneously down-home and fresh.
From the Franklin News (Oct 7, 2016, Abrahm Hurt):
During the planning and construction, Berg wanted to create a structure that conveyed the ideas of freedom and shelter.
“I want [viewers] to think and feel about the human condition,” he said. “I want them to ponder: ‘Why would somebody build a structure like this?’ There is sort of a weirdness to making things in the world that aren’t tied to function. So obviously, my motivation was to use aesthetics, to use form and to use the relationship of those two forms to convey a kind of unity and a kind of freedom—and also, at the same time, a kind of humanness.”
John Terrell Vawter (born January 15, 1830) was a businessman-banker from Franklin, Johnson County, Indiana. He donated the Civil War memorial monument, known as the Vawter Memorial, which features a sculpture by Rudolph Schwarz. The monument is located on the north lawn of the Johnson County Courthouse square in Franklin, Indiana.
The memorial features a sculpture of a standing male Union soldier, high atop a pedestal. He holds a rifle in his proper right hand and his proper left hand is shading his eyes as he looks into the distance. Weaponry includes a revolver on the proper right hip, a sword on the proper left hip, and a cartridge box on the belt. On the front of the pedestal in relief is a bronze eagle and a portrait of John T. Vawter, and on the rear is a flag. All four sides have bronze lions’ heads, which issue water into a semi-circular fountain basin.
Rudolf Schwarz (June 1866 – 14 April 1912) was an Austrian-born American sculptor. Schwarz emigrated to Indianapolis in December of 1897 to help complete the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, which was designed by German architect Bruno Schmitz. He lived a simple life, almost secluded, and was not well known by the public. For the last seven years of his life, however, Schwarz created and directed a class in sculpture at the John Herron Art School, now Herron School of Art and Design. Schwarz is known from at least 30 sculptural works throughout the state of Indiana, many of which are war memorials.
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