News & Events.
Indianapolis Cultural Trail hosts construction kick-off for Northeast Corridor
Public art projects, significant donations announced
April 14, 2009 – This afternoon, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene & Marilyn Glick hosted a construction kick-off event to celebrate the Northeast Corridor, which travels through the Mass Ave Cultural District. The event celebrates not only the beginning of construction for the corridor, but also the trail’s contributions to making Indianapolis a greener, more sustainable city.
Event speakers included Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, trail founder and Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) President Brian Payne, Arts Council of Indianapolis Public Art Director Mindy Taylor Ross, and Best Chocolate in Town founder and Mass Ave business owner Elizabeth Garber.
Once complete, part of the Cultural Trail will be renamed the “Efroymson Family Corridor.” The alley behind Chatham Tap and Scholars Inn Restaurant & Lounge, where the kick-off event was held, will be named “The Efroymson Alley on the Cultural Trail.” Lori Efroymson Aguilera and her husband Sergio Aguilera were in attendance. The Efroymson (E-frum-sin) Fund, a CICF Fund, has given $2 million to the Cultural Trail project.
Today’s announcement came during Green Week, a series of events highlighting the city’s sustainability initiatives and celebrating the public-private partnerships working to make Indianapolis a greener city. “The Cultural Trail is a terrific example of how public-private partnerships can transform the landscape of the city and help make Indianapolis a more connected, sustainable community,” said Mayor Ballard.
Payne announced two significant gifts to the project - $250,000 from the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation and $100,000 from the Indiana Pacers. Christel DeHaan Family Foundation President Melynne Klaus was on hand for the announcements. Payne said, “I’m happy to announce that public and private support for the Cultural Trail is still going strong. While we still have money to raise to complete this $55 million project, gifts like these move us closer to our goal of connecting our city’s great Cultural Districts and making the trail a reality.”
Ross unveiled three public art projects that will be located on the trail’s Northeast Corridor. They include:
- “Prairie Modules 4 & 5” by M12
- “Chatham Passage” by Sean Derry
- “Care/Don’t Care” by Jamie Pawlus
"After years of reviewing artists’ visions for art along the Cultural Trail, I’m thrilled to unveil these commissioned public art projects,” Ross said. “While all very different, they will capture the attention and imaginations of trail users and challenge them to reflect on our city’s history, heritage and attitudes.”
The public art projects, their location on the trail and the participating artists include:
“Prairie Modules 4 & 5” consists of two architectural sculptures, tall grass, solar panels, black reflective pavers and dynamic LED lighting. This combination of references to our agricultural and urban environment is designed to invite spatial interaction and experiential awareness. Through a partnership with Indianapolis Power & Light, “Prairie Modules 4 & 5” will be the first public art installation in Indianapolis to return solar power to the electrical grid. The project will be located on the north side of North Street between New Jersey and Alabama streets.
M12 is a collective of artists and designers who view contemporary art as a vehicle for exploring community identity and as a powerful tool for the enhancement of civic life. Operating as a non-profit, the multi-faceted and interdisciplinary firm develops and implements site-based projects, public art commissions, exhibitions and research projects that have socially progressive themes. The name M12 refers to a groundbreaking model of electrical amplifier, which when introduced in 1933, made possible the technological fusion of the numerous existing genres of music and the birth of rock-and-roll.
“Chatham Passage” is a multisensory artwork comprised of a sunken concrete scent vault with an ornate steel grate and LED lighting. Located in the alley adjacent to Metro Bar, the scent vault will release a faint floral aroma recalling a scent historically associated with luxury. Both the luxurious scent and the ornate latticework of the vault cover reference the work of the former Real Silk Hosiery Mill. The vault form also references the historic coal vaults in the area. The ethereal qualities of the vault, grate, light and scent are intended to create an emotional environment that allows trail users to form unique relationships with the Indianapolis cityscape of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
About Sean Derry
Sean Derry is a conceptual artist whose public projects seek to connect a site’s history with its current context and use. Derry earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in studio art from the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and his Masters of Fine Art in studio art from The Ohio State University, where he studied with internationally renowned artist Ann Hamilton. Derry completed a successful site-specific public art project in Indianapolis in 2005 as a finalist in the Great Ideas Competition managed by the Arts Council of Indianapolis. His project “Charting Pogue’s Run” received national recognition at the annual conference of the Americans for the Arts when it was selected by the artist Mary Miss and Robert Rindler, artist and president of the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, to be featured in the Public Art Year in Review as one of the most innovative and exciting public art projects to happen in the country that year. A former resident of Bloomington, Ind., he now lives in Pittsburgh.
The “Care/Don’t Care” project resembles a pedestrian signal and functions like the typical “Walk/Don’t Walk” signals. In an increasingly fast-paced world, this project quietly invites users to pause and find joy in a moment of comic relief. The message “Don’t Care” will be programmed to change to “Care” automatically and at random intervals; it can also be changed manually if trail users push the button. The “Care/Don’t Care” signal will be placed for use by those continuing along the trail, as opposed to a tradition pedestrian crossing sign that is located near intersections. It will be located on the east end of Massachusetts Avenue, just north of the intersection of St. Clair Street and College Avenue.
About Jamie Pawlus
Jamie Pawlus' work involves the creation of conceptually based site-specific installations. Much of her work repurposes materials commonly found in the public realm, including her frequent use of commercial or transportation signage. The messages found in her art are usually based on anecdotal expressions of personal experiences. Pawlus is a graduate of the Herron School of Art and Design and received her Master’s of Fine Art from the University of Kansas. She is currently a visiting assistant professor at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.
This is the second of seven construction phases, or corridors, of the Cultural Trail. The half-mile East Corridor was completed in June 2008. The contract to construct the one-mile Northeast Corridor was awarded to Sunesis Construction Company in October 2008 for $6.1 million. Construction recently began, restricting traffic in the following areas:
- New Jersey Street between Walnut and North streets is one-way northbound. Parking is still available in the east curb lane.
- Walnut Street from New Jersey Street to Park Avenue is one-way eastbound with parking on the south curb lane.
Also, another traffic restriction will begin the end of April:
- Mass Ave between College Avenue and 10th Street will be one-way southbound. Parking will still be available at the meters on the west side of Mass Ave.
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The Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene & Marilyn Glick is a world-class urban bike and pedestrian path that connects neighborhoods, Cultural Districts and entertainment amenities, and serves as the downtown hub for the entire central Indiana greenway system.