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Fall Creek Canvas
Fall Creek Canvas is artist Will Watson’s interpretation of the beauty of Fall Creek, which flows just behind the building on which the artwork is placed. A blue heron, iconic to anyone who adores the city’s many waterways, preens in the sun, flanked by water plants and leaping fish. The piece is derived from an original painting by Watson, which was scanned at high resolution and turned into a series of adhesive vinyl sheets. The vinyl was attached to a set of custom-made metal panels, which were placed across the building at varying levels to add depth and interest.
The artwork is sited on The Overlook at the Fairgrounds, an affordable-housing, mixed-use apartment building. Originally built in 1939 as the Homer J Williamson Candy Factory, the iconic brick-glazed building was in operation until the 1950s. After the factory closed the building hosted ITT Tech and Ivy Tech classrooms before being vacated, and fell victim to vandalism and illegal activities. The developer succeeded in turning a dangerous eyesore into an urban amenity. In its current configuration, a portion of the original glazed brick and glass-block windows were restored, as well as several of the “lollipop” columns on the interior. The artwork element was partially funded by a grant from Reconnecting To Our Waterways, a collective impact project intended to spur economic and social development in five of Indianapolis’ historic watersheds.
Will Watson is an Indianapolis native currently based in the Washington, DC area. He specializes in painting and drawing. A graduate of Lawrence North High School and IUPUI, Watson was active in IUPUI’s Black Student Union, Student African American Brotherhood, and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. His portrait and figurative works consist of highly stylized two-dimensional backgrounds that are infused with rhythmic shapes and patterns accompanied by unique urban hieroglyphs and African-influenced symbols. The juxtaposition of these symbols suggest unconscious and conscious thoughts, while representing various emotions, strength, faith, power, life influences, and life itself. Read more about the artist and his work at http://willwatsonart.com/ .
A plaque near the sculpture reads:
“This Statue in Honor of A. John Bosio for Distinguished Service to Youth
Scout Executive of the Crossroads of America Council
Boy Scouts of America 1983-1993”
Millersville Marker dramatically enhances the Millersville section of the Fall Creek Trail, which the Millersville at Fall Creek Valley neighborhood adopted and improved since 2013. Millersville representatives expressed the desire to create a community space along the Fall Creek Trail where residents and visitors could relax and enjoy a natural setting in the heart of Indianapolis.
After their discussions with the Millersville neighborhood, artists Amy Brier and Sharon Fullingim found that residents frequently conveyed the importance of the incorporation of a mill wheel element: a nod to the area’s history. Limestone was selected as the material because it is the artists’ specialty. The artwork design recalls this history with the inclusion of partial mill wheel forms at the top of each of three adjacent upright pillars. A life-sized, three-dimensional, red-tailed hawk in cast bronze adorns the tallest upright to refer to the wildlife seen near the site. Each pillar also has one carved side and one side with the natural limestone face. The carved sides have detailed motifs featuring symbols of the area: birds, wheat, and the flowing water of Fall Creek. Each upright is “pierced” with shaped openings to allow light to flow through them.
Amy Brier lives in Bloomington, Indiana. She is a professional sculptor, trained in traditional carving techniques in Italy and with experience working on St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York City. She has executed many public sculptural projects in Indiana. Learn more about Brier at http://www.amybrier.com
Sharon Fullingim lives most of the year in Socorro, New Mexico, and is both a stone carver and bronze caster. She is a Signature Member of the Society of Animal Artists, and is the Director and lead carver for the Indiana Limestone Symposium held each summer in Ellettsville, IN. Learn more about Fullingim at http://www.fullingimstudio.net/
You can find out more about the Millersville at Fall Creek Preserve project here.
Our Waterways is a tribute to nearby Fall Creek and the rich and varied life that it sustains. Blue herons, banded water snakes, and dragonflies are combined with abstracted wave and sun patterns and a kayak-and-paddle motif to create appreciation in viewers of the valuable asset that runs literally through their backyards. The waterway is an important part of the ecosystem we all share, and a reminder that in this part of Indiana, we are all in a watershed.
Christina Hollering is an Indianapolis-based artist, inspired in equal measure by science fiction and the natural world. In her work she offers the viewer fantastical abstracted landscapes based on semi-recognizable objects and images, in homage to the transcendental moments in life when the ordinary suddenly becomes something more. Although most of her work is elaborately cut paper, this was her first painted mural.
Our Waterways was created through a partnership between Jiffy Lube of Indiana and the Arts Council of Indianapolis. The partnership is an opportunity to showcase local artists, beautify commercial corridors with original public art murals, and encourage viewers through positive images while expressing the goals of Jiffy Lube’s programming: Growing People Through Work.
StreamLines: Wild City
Mary Miss/City as Living Laboratory created five installations for StreamLines including one at Fall Creek in Indianapolis. The theme for the site at Fall Creek was “Wild City” and explored waterways as a habitat corridor. Topics at the site included temperature, combined sewer, recreation, biodiversity, recreation, riparian, contamination and runoff.
Fall Creek, like many waterways around Indianapolis, is a haven for plants and animals. Aquatic mammals, birds, fish, turtles, insects, and other animals inhabit its waters and banks. The rich vegetation growing alongside the creek provides additional habitat for numerous creatures, as well as parkland for people to enjoy its natural beauty. The creek also acts as a wildlife highway that allows animals to move through the river or along its banks from one area to another. Over 30 species of fish and 90 species of birds can be found at Fall Creek!
StreamLines was an interactive, place-based project that merged the sciences and the arts to advance the community’s understanding and appreciation of Indianapolis’ waterways. This work was made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation and was modeled on the City as Living Laboratory/FRAMEWORK. StreamLines featured a collection of installations along Indianapolis’ waterways and adjacent greenspaces inviting the community to learn, explore and experience the science of local water systems through visual art, poetry, dance and music. StreamLines was administered by the Center for Urban Ecology at Butler University. For more information, visit StreamLines.org or on social media as @StreamLinesIndy.
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