Great places to find public art in Indy
What does Public Art encourage you to consider? Should it be confrontational? What if an art piece is one-sided or hurtful, racist or problematic? Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975) painted the 10-panel mural A Social History of the State of Indiana, which was commissioned by the state ten years after the peak of the Indiana Klan, to depict Indiana's social and cultural legacy. Viewing the work has the potential to challenge an audience to consider past practices and beliefs within the history of this state and the types of harmful behaviors still enabled in today's Indiana.
The essay, The Potential of Public Art, written by Artist Sean Starowitz (2019) explores the impact this type of work can have and how we might confront our cultural challenges now and in the future. Starowitz is the assistant director of the arts for the city of Bloomington and teaches at Indiana University. Image below courtesy of Indiana University Archives.