Construction begins on the Indianapolis Cultural Trail
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2007
Contact: Justin Ohlemiller, 317.327.3690 email@example.com
CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON THE INDIANAPOLIS CULTURAL TRAIL
Officials announce groundbreaking, two new donors and renderings of the first public art project
INDIANAPOLIS - Construction signs, barricades and jackhammers now flank the Alabama Street corridor, as construction began today on the 7.5-mile Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene and Marilyn Glick. The Cultural Trail will be a world-class urban bike and pedestrian path that will connect all six Indianapolis cultural districts and bring users to the front door of nearly every arts, cultural, heritage, sports and entertainment venue downtown.
Breaking ground today for the Indianapolis Cultural Trail was the project team, led by Mayor Bart Peterson and Central Indiana Community Foundation President Brian Payne, as well as the Cultural Trail�s community partners and major donors.
Mayor Peterson said, "Indianapolis continues to grow its reputation as a nationally renowned destination city for arts, culture and thriving quality of life. The Cultural Trail will take this effort to an entirely new level."
"This is a much-anticipated day for our city," Payne added. "After working on this project for six years, it's a dream come true for CICF to turn dirt and make the trail a reality that can be enjoyed by the residents of central Indiana and visitors from around the world."
Schutt-Lookabill Co. of Indianapolis was awarded the contract in March to construct the first segment along Alabama Street between North and Market streets. "Hardscape," or the physical components of this corridor, will be complete by November 2007, with landscaping to be added in the spring.
The entire project will be constructed in six corridor stages over three years, and is projected to be complete in late 2009.
In addition to Gene and Marilyn Glick's $15 million donation announced in October 2006, the Cultural Trail is funded through federal and local transportation grants and private funds from many generous individuals and foundations.
New donations announced at today's groundbreaking include a $2 million endowment from the Margot L. and Robert S. Eccles Charitable Fund, a CICF Fund; and a $1 million donation from the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation. Rob Smith, President of the Lilly Foundation, said, "Like many organizations in our community, Eli Lilly and Company is deeply interested in Indianapolis continuing to be a great place to live and work. The Lilly Foundation is pleased to lend financial support to this project, which will advance our city in so many ways."
The estimated cost for the trail is $50 million and to date, $37 million, or two-thirds of the total budget, has been raised. In addition to the $1 million gift from the Lilly Foundation, Eli Lilly and Company has volunteered to build an extension from the Cultural Trail at Virginia Avenue to its main campus. "Eli Lilly and Company believes that the Cultural Trail will be a great asset for Indianapolis," John Lechleiter, president and chief operating officer of Eli Lilly and Company, said. "By investing in a link between our corporate campus and the trail, we will be providing a service to our employees and underscoring our commitment to this important project and our community as a whole."
The first artist to be contracted to create a formal public art proposal for the Cultural Trail is Emily W. Kennerk. Kennerk is an Indianapolis native who currently splits her time between her Broad Ripple studio and a studio in Chicago. She earned undergraduate degrees in painting and sculpture from the Herron School of Art & Design in Indianapolis and a Masters of Fine Art from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield, Mich. Kennerk was a recipient of a 2006 Efroymson Contemporary Art Fellowship, has served as an assistant professor for both DePauw University and the Herron School of Art & Design, and is currently an assistant professor of sculpture at Trinity Christian College in Chicago.
Mindy Taylor Ross, Director of Public Art for the Arts Council of Indianapolis and the coordinator of the Cultural Trail�s public art programming, said, "We kick off the first leg of the Cultural Trail and its public art programming with a proposal from a smart and resourceful artist who hails from our city. Emily's proposed sculpture installation will serve as a new landmark and a monument to the fun and eclectic nature of the growing Mass Ave cultural district."
Kennerk's proposed installation is tentatively titled "Marbles." Exploring what Kennerk believes to be the three most critical elements in creating successful public art -- those of site, scale and surface -- she is proposing to create a monumental marble game comprised of 4-foot and 7.9-foot marbles and one 11.6-foot "shooter" marble. The installation is proposed for the east corridor, with a primary focus on the intersection of Mass Ave, Alabama and Vermont streets. Exact placement and color palate of the marbles has not been determined.
Kennerk is opening a major exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art on July 13. Emily Kennerk: Suburban Nation will feature four sculptures made from mass-produced materials such as vinyl siding, decking and other home building products.
The Curatorial Advisory Committee is considering several other artists for installations along the Cultural Trail. Announcements about additional commissioned artists are anticipated in the next few months.
More information about the Indianapolis Cultural Trail is available at www.indyculturaltrail.org.