City Gallery

Harrison Center for the Arts

Funding Received: 2013
Indianapolis, IN
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
February 21, 2014

Indianapolis has a brand new professional soccer team whose opening season begins in Spring 2014. In February, we were able to partner with Indy Eleven, named after the Civil War 11th Indiana Regiment, to ignite a neighborhood-wide artistic celebration of soccer. We commissioned a fresh painting for our billboard that tells the story of the crazy intersection of soccer and Civil War history in King Park. One gallery featured soccer-themed work by eleven Indy artists, another had several artists’ interpretations of the iconic Civil War Soldiers and Sailors monument (prominent in the Indy Eleven logo), and a third featured round art, inspired by the shape of a soccer ball. The City Gallery featured plein air paintings of the neighborhood, including the former brownfield turned soccer field where neighborhood kids play. We also hosted a soccer clinic for youth. “Cross-pollinating audiences” allowed us to introduce art to sports fans, Civil War buffs, architecture enthusiasts,, and plein air devotees. This initiative brought new support for both the Indy Eleven soccer team and our King Park neighborhood.

We’ve had snow for longer than ever here in Indianapolis this season. In King Park, our residential streets haven’t been plowed all winter. People are tired and sad. What was once viewed as beautiful white snow, now feels oppressive. We decided not to wait for spring to bring our neighborhood color and commissioned local artist Quincy Owens to paint our snow. Inspired by a recent trip to India and its Festival of Colors, Quincy led neighborhood youth as they threw handfuls of brightly colored tempera powder on the snow, immediately enlivening our landscape. In India, this festival commemorates “the triumph over divisiveness and negativity” and is the theme of our March show by the same artist. This week color definitely triumphed!

2-2014 snowpainting

Our high school interns continue to have unique creative placemaking experiences. We hosted the Northeast Quality of Life Committee meeting. While school day events limit youth involvement, we were able to get permission from the neighborhood high school for one of our key interns to participate. Later, when a bust of former congresswoman Julia Carson was unveiled at our Statehouse, two of our high school singer-songwriter interns were invited to perform their original Neighborhood Ballad in her honor for the occasion.

2-2014 tuckerbrandonjulia

Recent Wins
-- Twelve of our artists are being profiled as part of a new children’s art public television program being produced here in Indianapolis “focusing on artists around Indy who are truly inspiring to others.”

-- Our partner community development organization received a fair housing grant of $74,000 for home repair for resident homeowners with health issues. They also received a $15,000 per home match from Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership and have a number of other grants being considered. We received $50,000 in new funds from the Indianapolis Foundation for creative placemaking.

-- Our newest neighborhood school, The Indianapolis Academy of Excellence, held an open house for prospective families on January 30th, unveiling both their unique program and their new building, a reclaimed abandoned National Electric Cars factory in the heart of our neighborhood. New schools mean that this neighborhood is being seen as a better place for families to live.

-- A representative from the office of Senator Joe Donnelly spent an afternoon here learning about our center and our creative placemaking work in our neighborhood.

Unique collaborations help cross-pollinate audiences, improving the reach and influence of both. What other interesting partnerships might we pursue?