Come be awesome with us. First Friday, August 1st from 6-9pm at our brand-new studio in the Murphy Arts Center.
Department of Public Words is happy to announce that we have a new studio space at the Murphy Arts Center in Fountain Square. We can’t wait to see how we will grow in our new space.
Our executive director, Holly Combs, is in the running to talk at TEDxIndianapolis this year. Her “What’s Your Label?” talk is number 25. Click here to vote.
On Sunday afternoon we loaded up and headed out to Winamac, Indiana by way of Logansport to install this YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL mural consisting of more than six hundred self portraits drawn by the students and faculty of Eastern Pulaski Elementary School.
For the first two hours, we didn’t know how this was going to go. With every new installation or mural comes new challenges and learning opportunities. This time around, we learned how to install the letters using an old school, one man lift and new school, industrial strength double-sided tape to hold the letters in place for drilling. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Matthew Hoffman, who originally created the You Are Beautiful project (You-Are-Beautiful.com) came down from Chicago to help us with the install and to speak to the students.
Holly Combs spoke to the students as well, and led them in a 1… 2… 3… YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!
After the convocation, Matthew handed out silver foil YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL stickers to every student and teacher. What a beautiful way to end the school year!
Today we worked with Irvington artist, Rita Spalding, to add the finishing touch to our restored traffic signal box. A few months ago, the box we had painted in partnership with Foundation East was vandalized. In an apparent act of meanness, someone splashed a goldish-brown splatter of house paint on the happy little yellow car box.
In an effort to prove that positivity is stronger than any vandal’s destructive impulses, we thoughtfully restored the box leaving whispers of the destruction and even incorporating them into the finished design. There is a small splash of paint on the windshield representing the idea that people don’t always see clearly. Also at the foundation are streaks that remain from the splasher’s drips which became the inspiration for growing something beautiful out of that which was meant for harm.
Any public art is a conversation with the public, including those who may not like the positive vibes we send out with our work. In that knowledge we are aware that further damage to the work is always a possibility. As long as we have the ability to do so, we will take those sour lemons, and make sweet, sweet lemonade.
Department of Public Words worked with students at Warren Central High School through Arts for Learning to produce this 10′ x 18′ installation. In the words of a student who participated in the project:
“To me, this mural is a chance to prove to students that they can be heard. Having a part in this project has made me more certain that I want to be an artist. I want to be able to leave my mark, my legacy somewhere. With this mural, I have accomplished that goal. Seeing the mural will be the highlight of my high school career. To work with the artists, Holly and Dave, was an incredible experience in learning how this type of art works. If I could do anything again, it would be this. Helping to create this work of art has been the best moment of my young life.” – Hannah Reed (WCHS Student)
We are truly BETTER TOGETHER. This graphic was created for Indy Metro to illustrate the goal to improve member care and to build better community.
Today we painted this mural at the Wheeler Mission Center for Women and Children with the wonderful people at The Indianapolis Art Center. We painted with volunteers from several area high schools and had a great time working together.
This is the new mural design coming soon to Wheeler Mission Ministries Center for Women and Children in partnership with the Indianapolis Art Center’s Beyond Perceptions program.
So excited and honored for the Department of Public Words to be a part of this awesome project!