I’d been waiting patiently for a break in the foot traffic for several minutes before the good-natured heckling from the group of men a few doors down reached its peak. “What are you doing standing around here?” “Do you need some help crossing the street?” “Girl, that wall hasn’t changed for a while.”Sensing a lull in the crowd, I ignoring them and snapped a quick picture of the massive mural across the street before dashing off with a brief wave to the peanut gallery.
Anything for my fans.
All of this street art snapping was even before I’d planned this post, so suffice it to say I’m willing to put up with a lot of crap just to get a decent shot of my favorite public art pieces. (But seriously, why are so many people weird when you stop to photograph/enjoy a piece of street art? That’s why it exists!)
Anyway, I figured why waste a good idea by not sharing it, right? So here’s my top five favorite murals in downtown Indy, organized to create an ideal Indianapolis street art walk for tourists and locals alike as the weather begins to lean more towards spring. This post is by no means exhaustive (nor does it cover all the downtown areas like Mass Ave or the Canal Walk – keep your eyes peeled for that), but I think it’s a great primer for those looking to get to know a bit more about Circle City.
Downtown Indianapolis Street Art WalkUntitled (Urban Wall) | I love this mural but sadly it’s in a great state of disrepair after years of neglect; ironic as it was the first urban mural to be sponsored by the city itself. The geometric, brightly-colored mural used to take up two walls but its faded legacy is now tucked behind other buildings with just one wall remaining. (1973)
Nearby points of interest: Marion County City Building observatory, Indianapolis City Market.
The Runners | This is just an incredibly weird mural that I well and truly love, particularly because it – along with Untitled – were created long before public murals were as widely lauded as they are today. What’s not to love about these giant marshmallow-y runners? (1975-76)
Nearby points of interest: the Indianapolis Culture Trail, Circle Center Mall, Monument Circle, too many restaurants to count.
Indy’s Always on a Roll | Imagined as one of the 46 murals commissioned by the Arts Council of Indianapolis for the 46 for XLVI murals project (the XLVI Super Bowl, for fellow non-fans), the artist has created an almost 3D mural of a single man wallpapering a facade onto the building. (2011)
Nearby points of interest: the Indianapolis Culture Trail, Square Donuts, Scotty’s Brewhouse
Simple Pleasures | Hidden underneath an Amtrak overpass, Simple Pleasures is made up of nineteen different types of simple pleasures such as a birthday or a day at the beach. (2011)
Nearby points of interest: Indianapolis Convention Center, Amtrak station, Lucas Oil Stadium.
Indiana Avenue Jazz Masters | This mural – fittingly, on the side of a music shop – honors Indiana’s rich jazz history with lifelike reproductions of historical photos of Indiana’s greatest jazz musicians. From left to right: David Young, Jimmy Coe, David Baker, JJ Johnson, Slide Hampton, Freddie Hubbard, Larry Ridley, and Wes Montgomery. (2011)
Nearby points of interest: Indiana State Capitol, Indiana State Library, Canal Walk.
I looooove street art, obviously – are you a fan, or at least willing to let me drag you around on this Indianapolis street art walk? If you’re feeling especially adventurous this week, give this street art challenge a try!