New public art pieces are coming to Fishers’ Nickel Plate District, infusing new vibrancy into the downtown community.
In August, the Fishers Arts & Culture Commission announced seven new art projects around the city, including two Signature Projects and five Quick Action Projects. A community survey completed in 2019 as part of the Fishers Arts & Culture Commission’s Master Plan identified permanent art installations a top priority among residents. Earlier this summer, the Commission received $450,000 from the City of Fishers to fund art and culture projects around the community. The City acquired these funds through the sale of the Meyer Najem building located at 11787 Lantern Road and received proceeds of this sale due to the Economic Development Agreement negotiated between the City and Meyer Najem in 2012.
The first Quick Action Project—Indiana Black History Temporary Art—featured the Wes Montgomery mural, which was on display in front of Fishers City Hall throughout October. The traveling mural, which was fully funded by the Commission, was the first work in Koda Witsken and Israel Solomon’s series, A Celebration of the Cultural Contributions of Black Hoosiers: A Traveling Mural Program. The piece is currently traveling throughout Hamilton County until next summer where it will find a permanent home in Fishers.
The next Quick Action Project is slated to make its debut in early 2021 includes a series of eight, large scale banners on The Edge Parking Garage (8890 E 116th Street, Fishers). The 24-foot tall by 10-foot wide banners will feature the work of Indianapolis-based artist Tasha Beckwith. The vibrant series will highlight the diversity of the Fishers community and will be on display for approximately 12 to 18 months.
The third Quick Action Project funded by the Commission will be a mural on the Fishers Police Department Parking Garage (4 Municipal Drive, Fishers) from Terre Haute-based artist Becky Hochhalter. Set to debut next summer, the colorful, 1,000-square-foot mural will showcase Fishers community life and will serve as a key activation point along Fishers’ Nickel Plate Trail.
Proposals were open to artists and artist teams nationwide and were submitted through a RFQ process. Project artists were then selected by the Fishers Arts & Culture Commission’s Nickel Plate District Cultural Designation Subcommittee, which includes representatives from local non-profit arts organizations, Nickel Plate District business owners, residents, Commission members, and City of Fishers staff.
The two Signature Projects planned by the Commission will open in late 2021. The Subcommittee is currently reviewing proposals for the 116th Street and I-69 Gateway Feature project, slated for install next fall. The gateway feature will serve as an iconic entrance point for the Nickel Plate Cultural District and welcome commuters to Fishers. An RFQ is currently open for a large-scale interactive art piece to be located at the Hamilton East Public Library in Fishers (5 Municipal Drive, Fishers) along the Nickel Plate Trail. The piece will be incorporated into the Library’s new entrance and outdoor plaza, which will be located along the Nickel Plate Trail and set to open next fall.
“Art is a vital component of community life and an integral part of establishing a vibrant community and lifelong learning,” said David Decker, Chair of the Fishers Arts & Culture Commission. “During our master planning process, we received feedback from residents desiring more permanent art installations. Thanks to the economic development work of the Mayor, Fishers City Council, and others the Fishers Art and Culture Commission was granted the funding to provide these opportunities for our residents. Our Commission felt that these projects set the tone and foundation for many future projects to come and we are excited to contribute to the city’s vibrancy.”
Learn more about the projects and cost breakdowns.