Permanent Opie piece coming to downtown

Jennifer Whitson
January 18, 2008
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Good news for fans of Julian Opie's pop-art-inspired exhibit that ended a year-long run on city streets in September-Indianapolis is getting a permanent piece by the London artist to add to its growing public art collection.

The work created for Indianapolis is called "Ann Dancing." It's reminiscent of the four-sided LCD display dubbed "Sara Dancing" that made its home at the northwest corner of Illinois and Maryland streets. But this female stick figure has a bit more juice in her jive than Sara did with her sedate sway.

The Indianapolis Cultural Development Commission and the Indianapolis Cultural Trail are splitting the $150,000 tab to buy and install the piece. Sara's display case will be reused, but the new piece will make its home in front of the Old Point Tavern on Massachusetts Avenue.

"This is a vibrant part of downtown with a lot of nightlife," said commission Director Jenny Guimont. "Ann" is scheduled to begin dancing Jan. 22.

Now local businesses are finding ways to get involved in the city's burgeoning public arts scene-something that could continue to pay off as new exhibits arrive.
Sign Craft Industries Inc. helped rehab and install Sara's display case, while construction-management firm RW Armstrong uploaded the animation program that keeps her moving. The two companies were paid $1,750 for their work.

Public art costs vary greatly depending on the medium, said Mindy Taylor Ross, director of public art at the Arts Council of Indianapolis, which manages the city's public art exhibits and will handle acquisitions for the Cultural Trail. The trail's $50 million budget includes $2 million for art.

Opie was paid $125,000 for the temporary exhibit of 11 pieces that dotted Indianapolis through September; another $125,000 paid for setting up, publicizing and maintaining the work.

That money used to go mainly to out-of-town firms because local companies didn't do the work, Ross said. But that's changing as local firms go after the contracts.

"While this may be a small overall part of what they do as a business, it's a new niche [more companies] are getting into," she said.

That's true for Sign Craft, whose work on the Opie exhibit was its first foray into the public art arena.

"A lot of his work was pretty close to signage," said owner Greg Beyerl. The Opie fee was a "drop in the bucket" in the company's overall revenue-which he declined to disclose-but he said it helped "get our guys doing something a little different."

Employees saw themselves on TV news programs or other media installing the pieces and took some extra satisfaction away from the job.

"Our guys are very proud to be a part of it," he said.

RW Armstrong, also the program manager for the Cultural Trail, already has parlayed its Opie gig into a $15,000 contract to work on the upcoming Chakaia Booker public art exhibit. Booker will be creating sculptures by cutting and shaping used tires, and the firm will evaluate their structural integrity.

In its day-to-day business, RW Armstrong's engineers do safety reviews on buildings, airports and road projects. They double-check how much weight a building's foundation can bear and what wind load construction materials can withstand.

The firm does the same kind of review for public art-making sure a Booker tire creation won't tumble down on a viewer, for example. But since the computer models often aren't set up to deal with art, programmers must figure out ways to tackle the evaluation.

"[Employees] are competing to be on the team to work on public art pieces," said Senior Project Manager Melody Park. "It unleashes a creative side that they don't get to work on a lot.

"We hope to be doing more of this in the future," Park added. "When you're hiring a lot of creative talent and want to attract more talent, you need to show that your company is not stagnant. The younger generation really wants to work on these unique pieces."

Comment on this story at Lou Harry's A&E blog.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Good Day I am Mr (Victoria Wright) from United state of America, i stayed in NEW YORK, and i have a broke up business, until i found this company email who help me to gain a loan for business,, and now i want to used this short medium to congratulate the below company for the fast and safe money they loan to me without any form of collateral, i loan 500,000USD from the company to save my business and lots more, i saw their mail on the internet, everyone always give testimony for what they did, so i quickly contacted them and they all did everything for me without stress and my money was sent to my account just 3 days later, i was surprise and i feel so glad, now i have a standard business control agent who help me, now i will advice those who need urgent loan to contact him at the bellow email:zenithfirm12@gmail.com

  2. NOTICE:This is to inform the general public that Vampires are real. My name is James Franklyn.,am an agent of vampire,am here to introduce our new world trend to you,a world of vampire where life get easier,we have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich,you will be assured long life and prosperity,you shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness,stronger and also very fast,you will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk.In case you are wildly oppressed by some unscrupulous persons we can still help you fight them.Your protection is assured immediately you join.Just contact the bellow email if you are interested we are here to attend to you anytime you want us. Contact the bellow email for more details. Email:vampirescreed@hotmail.com Sincerely: James Franklyn.

  3. Bravo! Someone else that is willing to speak the truth! Bravo!_____NBCSN is available in almost 2 MILLION more homes than just a few years ago, but Indycar STILL gets less total viewers than it did just a few years ago when NBC took over Versus. Attendance and ratings cratered with the end of season races (just when the title battle got "interesting" HAH!__________And now...new race in Basilia, where Miles celebrated the "rich history" of Indycar racing there. Rich history? What, 7 events in the 100 years of AOW? Yep, some history. Well, at least its an oval. It's not??? Are you kidding me??? Gosh darn road racin furriners.

  4. PURITY RAY LOAN OFFER........ Have you been denied by your banks,or are you in need of of an urgent loan to pay of your bills we are capable of giving loans @ cheaper rate to interested individuals, student, companies and members of the public in need of finance to settle bills, we do offer considerable loans which you can count on. For more information on our various types of loan,then you will have to contact PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM, to help you achieve your desire LOAN APPLICATION FORM TO BE FILLED BORROWERS INFORMATION * Full name:………………………. * SEX * ……………………………. * Country………………………….. * State:……………………………. * Land:…………………………….. * Occupation:…………………….. * phone number:…………………. * Telephone: ………………………….. * Age:………………………………. * Amount needed as loan:……… * Loan Duration:………………….. * Propose of Loan:……………….. * Annual revenue:………………… * Monthly Income:……………….. * Guarantee:………………………. * Payment: monthly or annually Email.....purityrayloanfirm@gmail.com Thank you and God bless Mr Purity Ray PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM we tend to serve you better

  5. Problem: most of the people responding to this article don't know about this service AT ALL! Why? Lack of awareness. This isn't IndyGo. This is CIRTA: might as well be the mattress company because they are asleep at the wheel - something like 3 directors over the last year? Playing with federal grant money is great! This "region" wants commuter rail service, has spent MILLIONS on Transportation studies yet can't even support a commuter bus line? This is largely for suburban riders to get to downtown - not for "service people to work in our hotels and restaurants" ! Get your head out of your backside!! These are professionals, students etc. that don't want to fight traffic, save some money on parking, gas, stress.... if CIRTA would put their federal money into widely promoting the sevive to Greenwood, Fishers & Carmel instead of finding directors and studies - this would be a successful service. Our family uses(d) it daily for the last several years - but the recent uncertainty & now unreliability due to cuts from Carmel has been a problem. Now, costs us an additional $350/month for gas & parking ( $4200/year) plus vehicle wear, service, environmental impact ... YES - this REGION needs this this type of service in order to keep growing and getting the people it needs to fill skilled positions in downtown Indianapolis. Think outside of your own car !!!