First permanent art installation along Indianapolis Cultural Trail is illuminated

First permanent art installation along Indianapolis Cultural Trail is illuminated


Jan. 22, 2008

“Ann Dancing” by internationally renowned artist Julian Opie a legacy of the popular 2007 public art exhibition

INDIANAPOLIS – From now on, there will always be dancing in the streets in Indianapolis. Or at least dancing at the intersection of Mass Ave, Alabama Street and Vermont Street.  

A new animated artwork by internationally renowned artist Julian Opie, titled “Ann Dancing,” now has a permanent home in the Mass Ave Cultural District. The four-sided light emitting display (LED) is installed outside the Old Point Tavern.

“Just one month ago, we illuminated the Indianapolis Cultural Trail’s East Corridor, the Trail’s first segment,” said Brian Payne, president of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, at the dedication ceremony. “Today we’re here to continue a new tradition in our public art exhibition legacy, and I’m happy to say that it’s the first permanent art installation along the Indianapolis Cultural Trail:  A Legacy of Gene & Marilyn Glick.”

Last fall three bronze sculptures from the city’s first public art exhibition, Tom Otterness in Indianapolis, were installed permanently outside the Indiana Convention Center. More than $550,000 was raised from generous private donors to underwrite the costs.

Managed by the Arts Council of Indianapolis, Julian Opie:  Signs was the city’s second major public art exhibition. The exhibition featured 11 art installations, including three LED sculptures – one of a man walking, one of a woman walking and one of a woman dancing – throughout downtown and an electrically lit image of musician Bryan Adams in White River State Park.

Mindy Taylor Ross, director of public art for the Arts Council of Indianapolis, explained that the animated artwork “Ann Dancing” is new, but the hardware and concept were used during the year-long Opie exhibition. “‘Sara Dancing’ was located on the northwest corner of Illinois and Maryland across from Palomino,” Ross said. “‘Ann Dancing’ is a new animation – different model, different clothes, different dance – that will be unique to Indianapolis.”

The total cost for the project – the display and new animated artwork along with the permanent base and installation expense – is approximately $150,000.  It is being funded by the Indianapolis Cultural Trail and the Indianapolis Cultural Development Commission.  The Indianapolis Cultural Trail is mostly funded by private individuals, foundations and corporations. Lilly Endowment provides funding for the Indianapolis Cultural Development Commission.

The artist, Julian Opie, explains that he’s always been drawn to the idea of statues. “Just as the 19th century city builders used stone and bronze for their bridges and buildings, I use the fabric of modern cities – signs, aluminum, electronics, LEDs, concrete and glass – to create my people,” he said. 

“I am really happy that ‘Ann Dancing’ will be in Indianapolis and become part of the street fabric. As I sit in my studio in London I think of her endlessly dancing for the passing traffic.”

“Ann” will seldom dance alone. In recent years, pedestrian traffic has increased considerably at the intersection where she is taking up residency. A mix of old and new retail businesses, offices, residential offerings, restaurants and other attractions have made the Mass Ave Cultural District a favored destination. Linking up with the Cultural Trail will only make it more popular.

Patti Perrin, who owns the Old Point Tavern with her husband, Chic, said, “We were delighted when this world-class amenity was sweeping by our door, and now we’re thrilled the plaza will be home to a permanent art installation easily in view for all of our customers and employees.” She and her husband Chic have owned Old Point Tavern for 17 years.

The Arts Council’s Public Art Indianapolis program now is finalizing plans for a third public art exhibition. It will feature nine large sculptures by Chakaia Booker, a New York City-based artist who makes expressive woven sculptures from recycled tires. The exhibition is scheduled to open in July 2008 and run through April 1, 2009.

The Indianapolis Cultural Trail:  A Legacy of Gene and Marilyn Glick is a 7.5-mile trail that will be a world-class urban bike and pedestrian path connecting all six Indianapolis cultural districts, entertainment amenities and serve as the downtown hub for the entire central Indiana greenway system.    Public Art Indianapolis is managed by the Arts Council of Indianapolis and funded in part by the Indianapolis Cultural Development Commission. It began in 2004 after the development of a public art master plan.