The Arts Council of Indianapolis is pleased to announce a new mural being created at the I-65 underpass at Central Avenue and 12th Street as part of the Vibrant Corridors mural art program. The artist Tom Torluemke developed the artwork, and the Arts Council of Indianapolis, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc., and volunteers from Angie’s List’s philanthropic group, the Handy Helpers, TCC, Verizon’s Largest Premium Wireless Retailer, and Workplace Safety & Health Co., Inc. are providing support on July 16 and 17 to help paint the mural.
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc., the Arts Council of Indianapolis, and Downtown Indy, along with the City of Indianapolis, launched Vibrant Corridors in the fall of 2014 with eight murals created by eight artists and with the help of over 200 volunteers during Lilly Global Day of Service and Indy Do Day. The most recent Vibrant Corridors mural was completed in May of 2015 at 907 North Pennsylvania Street. The civic-led, neighborhood mural initiative beautifies many of the city’s key gateways and thoroughfares. Vibrant Corridors, made possible in part by The Glick Fund, a fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation, links artists with mural locations throughout the city—including bridge underpasses and building walls—to create vibrant public works of art that encompasses the spirit of each neighborhood and enhances connectivity between neighborhoods. Vibrant Corridors was first identified as part of the Velocity plan, a comprehensive, community-driven five-year action plan led by Downtown Indy to prioritize development of central Indianapolis.
The mural at Central Avenue will beautify and connect downtown Indianapolis and the Chatham Arch neighborhood to The Old Northside’s residents and nearby organizations such as Indiana Landmarks and the Morris-Butler House.
Inspiration for Tom Torluemke’s Pillars Of Society comes from the columns holding up I-65. The artist considered the important role that the columns serve in helping people get to where they want to go. After Torluemke held meetings with the adjacent neighborhood associations, the importance of people who hold up their community began to take artistic form.
“There are elements in Greek and Roman architecture called the Caryatid (female) and the Atlas (male) where human bodies serve as columns holding up a structure. I thought about the people we met at the meetings and the words they used to talk about important community values: fortitude, patience, modern day living, culture, respecting the past, and embracing the future. What makes these things happen in real life? People do. People metaphorically hold up their communities and work together to create a place they want to live their lives,” said Tom Torluemke.
Although the people in the mural are fictional, Torluemke hopes they will remind viewers of people they know and will serve to provide that sense of a united community as they travel from one end of the underpass to the other. “You will be in the company of the idea of your community, all the people connecting the neighborhood together and holding it up,” said Torluemke.
“These painted features really do help to create community,” said Julia Muney Moore, Director of Public Art for the Arts Council. “A beautiful neighborhood is a healthy neighborhood. And people who simply drive past them love them just as much as the neighborhoods do.”
About the Arts Council of Indianapolis:
The Arts Council of Indianapolis fosters meaningful engagement in the arts by nurturing a culture where artists and arts organizations thrive. The Arts Council is an organization that advocates for the need and importance of broad community funding and support for a thriving arts scene; innovates by constantly pursuing and promoting innovative ideas and programs that better serve the area, its artists, and arts organizations; and connects artists, audiences, businesses, foundations, and arts and cultural organizations with opportunities to explore and expand central Indiana’s creative vitality.
The Arts Council owns and operates two performance and exhibition spaces, the Indianapolis Artsgarden (attached to Circle Centre Mall) and Gallery 924 (at 924 N. Pennsylvania Street). Two of its online initiatives are resources for arts patrons and audiences. power2give provides an online cultural marketplace where donors can find arts projects and provide support through online contributions. The Indy Arts Guide provides a comprehensive arts calendar featuring thousands of events, performances, and exhibitions throughout central Indiana. For more information on the Arts Council, call (317) 631-3301 or visit online at indyarts.org.
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