Mural Project Connects Travelers to Walker’s Impact on Indy Bicentennial History

(INDIANAPOLIS) – The Indianapolis Bicentennial Commission has recognized the Indianapolis Airport Authority’s “Madam Walker Legacy Mural” as an Official Bicentennial Community Project.

The mural, a project in partnership with the Arts Council of Indianapolis and the Madam Walker Legacy Center, will be prominently displayed at the Indianapolis International Airport (IND) for up to two years and will portray Madam Walker’s lasting impact on the physical, social, cultural, and economic legacy of Indiana Avenue and the city of Indianapolis.

“Commemorating Madam Walker is an important step in helping travelers associate Indianapolis with a strong inclusive culture and continuing values of entrepreneurship, community service, and civic pride,” said IAA Executive Director Mario Rodriguez. “The airport mural will set the stage to inspire travelers with Madam Walker’s historic importance as they experience the city and see traces of her impact that have carried through the past and into the present.”

Rodriguez said the IAA supports a climate where art and culture thrive, and it is apparent throughout the fabric of the airport terminal. Many of the pieces in the airport’s art collection were created by artists or poets who live in Indiana or have ties to the Hoosier state.

The Indianapolis Bicentennial Commission endorsed the Madam Walker mural project specifically because it connects to Indianapolis’ bicentennial history, will be readily open and accessible to the public and will be fully funded by the IAA. The mural will also display the official Indianapolis Bicentennial logo.

“We are excited to collaborate with the Indianapolis Airport Authority and the Arts Council of Indianapolis on this mural to showcase the legacy of Madam Walker and her legacy’s significant impact on our city,” said Joyce Q. Rogers, Madam Walker Legacy Center Board Chairperson. “Through this partnership, people traveling near and far will have the opportunity to enjoy this display at one our most prominent community assets, the Indy Airport.”

Hoosier artists have the opportunity to be part of this historical project. The airport, in partnership with the Arts Council is currently conducting an open search for a digital artist to create the mural design. The search launched in August 2020 and will conclude on Oct. 18, 2020. The Arts Council is seeking individuals or teams of professional artists over age 18, with preference given to Black artists living in the Indiana counties of Marion, Hamilton, Hendricks, Hancock, Shelby, or Johnson at the time of application submission. No designs are requested at this time; artists are asked to send in examples of their past work.

The mural will be designed digitally and printed on adhesive vinyl and will be displayed prominently pre-security in Civic Plaza inside the Indianapolis International Airport terminal. The mural is anticipated to be on display beginning Feb. 2021.

“We’re looking forward to selecting an artist who can bring a fine art approach to the project,” says Julia Moore, Director of Public Art with the Arts Council. “Hopefully the artist can use their own knowledge and experiences to find Madam’s influence throughout the city, and interpret it so the public can find it as well.”

For more information about the public call for artist applications, visit the Indy Arts Guide.