Carmel, Indiana is a suburban city immediately north of Indianapolis. Known as the roundabout capital of the U.S. with 140 of those wild traffic routes, the city is also known for its many pieces of public art. Fifteen of these works of art are by Seward Johnson, an American artist known for trompe-l’œil painted bronze statues. Other artists also have public art displayed.
“Ambassador of the Street” by Seward Johnson, placed 2012, cost $78,000
“Spring Eternal” by Jerry Joslin, placed 2010, cost $49,975
“Things To Do” by Seward Johnson, placed 2008, cost $80,000
“Who’s In Charge” by Seward Johnson, placed 2008, cost $88,000
Even bike racks have become “art” in Carmel
The day we were in Carmel the weather was not conducive to enjoying street art. We’ll return on a day without cold rain and see more of the many other public art displays. There is some controversy about the people street statues, as not all taxpayers feel that they are worth the price.
Aurora, Indiana is a quaint and historic Ohio River town about 34 miles downriver from Cincinnati, Ohio. Go back to February, 1885 and see the city spend $3000 for a horse drawn steam pumper suitably christened Aurora. This beautiful horse drawn firewagon served the city well. In 1962 it was loaned to the Cincinnati Fire Museum in trade for professional restoration and the right to display. There Aurora remains.
In 2017 Mr. Don Andrew, a local resident and businessman, commissioned the Christian Dallas Art company to paint a mural on the side of his building depicting the Aurora in her stable with the team of horses being hitched up. Andrew paid $11,000 towards the total cost of $16,000. The rest was paid from the City of Aurora’s 2017 Facade Improvement Grant funded through riverboat gaming. This mural will really catch your attention when you first come into town on the Ohio River Scenic Highway.
Shelbyville, Indiana is a small Hoosier town southeast of Indianapolis. Recently it has developed the Blue River Trail, a hiking and bike trail that runs from one end of town to the other. As part of the celebration of the trail, the city commissioned a large public art piece on the north end of town.
Blue River-Wind, Rain and Water
The title Blue River – Wind, Rain and Water is inspired by the river basins of the Big and Little Blue rivers, which run through Shelby County. The two come together within about 100 yards of this artwork placement. According to the informational plaque, the sculpture is inspired by the rivers’ courses and the wind and rainstorms that keep the water flowing.
This statue was the winner of a contest that was held where many artists proposed a piece at this location. An artist from Shelbyville, Michael Helbing, was chosen for the project. The 40 foot tall stainless steel sculpture is the result. It was erected in 2018.
Columbus, Indiana is noted for its architecture and public art displays. One of the most impressive art pieces is a huge bronze creation titled Large Arch. It was installed in 1971, and was a gift from the J. Irwin Miller family to the library. It is located on the plaza outside of the Cleo Rogers Memorial Library. (J. Irwin Miller founded the Cummins Corporation.)
Library is the brick building in the left background
The following description is from a Wikipedia article: “Large Arch is an abstract bronze sculpture of an arch created by Henry Moore, an English artist. The shape of the sculpture suggests human hip and leg bones, while the negative space on the interior of the arch suggests an abstracted human torso with head. It is 19 feet 6 inches tall. The width of the sculpture at its base is 12 feet 3 inches wide, but is 13 feet 9 inches at its widest at the top. While the sculpture is hollow, it weighs approximately 11,000 lb (5,000 kg).”
This massive sculpture will certainly catch your eye. In the warmer weather people do enjoy the plaza next to the library.