Friday, March 22, 2013


Public Statements of Art

Posted By on Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Imagine: it's Thursday. The week's end and all the deadlines that come with it is approaching, you've been working tirelessly all week on an idea, and you've still got, nothing.

Searching around the office space, you scan intently for some point of inspiration, some trigger that would release you from the grip of this creative block. You decide it's time to get some fresh air.

Taking a walk down the block outside, you pass several random art sculptures you'd ordinarily pay no mind. But wait, this one here, there's something to it. Reading the small plaque at its base, you discover the connection of the piece and the artist to the street and community where your offices are located. And inspiration hits you like lightning, as you dash back to complete a stellar, inspired project. All in time for a celebratory, Friday post-work happy hour.

Wouldn't that be great? Fixtures of public art abounding, inspiring us all in ways we never would have imagined. Such is one of the many benefits of public art. And Indianapolis is fortunate enough to have an entire Cultural Trail featuring numerous commissioned public art installations, threading through the cultural districts of downtown.

To inspire, spark conversation, encourage new ideas while enriching the visual landscape of any given space is the intended impact for many of such projects, placing the creative works of these artists on the streets for the people to indulge, signaling 'there is something beautiful & moving here' to all passersby. And there is a movement of community pride that comes with this, akin to the impact and notoriety of Indiana Avenue during the dawn of the jazz era.

Hosting a long list of clubs, bars, indoor and outdoor jam sessions, jazz legends and amateurs far and wide knew of Indiana's jazz scene not just because of some of our notable musicians (see: Wes Montgomery), but because of the experience the community enjoyed, and shared with residents and visitors alike. The creative energy inspired many to bring their talents, and encouraged many city residents from beyond the areas of Indiana Avenue to come down and experience for themselves.

In similar vein, public art in Indianapolis along the Cultural Trail as well as the installations that were commissioned for 2012's Super Bowl have all given the downtown community a source of pride, extending to all residents. The importance and impact of public art are the conversations & ideas that these works inspire, which has been attracting numerous new opportunities, & creating a wonderfully new way of viewing the city of Indianapolis not just for visitors, but for residents as well. And it is only just beginning.

So when you hear about such projects being proposed in your area, learn about them. Find out how you can get involved to help it succeed. Because everyone wants to be a part of something they can be proud of, to then share with the rest of the world.

And that, dear reader, is art.

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About The Author

The Gentleman Alphonse

The Gentleman Alphonse

Gentleman Alphonse (Alpha) is a well traveled Indiana native, creative consultant, writer, influencer and performing artist. His various clients & services have varied his base between Los Angeles, Chicago & New York. He has been featured in and contributed to NUVO and The Indianapolis Star, and was a Superbowl... more

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