Zionsville Cultural District Creates Pop-Up Art for the Community
The Zionsville Cultural District (ZCD) Board of Directors is pleased to debut its latest contribution to public art in the community. The “Pop-Up Art” was made possible thanks to a Zionsville Community Enrichment Grant and was designed by local artist Karen Stanley. The movable art’s purpose is to provide a “selfie” station or promotional background art at any Zionsville business, organization, school, or community-related events. The piece is dubbed “Elm Street Park Sunshine” and features one of Zionsville’s beautiful outdoor treasures.
About the Artist
Karen Stanley is a Zionsville resident and an impressionist painter focusing on landscapes, still life, and animals. Working in oils and watercolors, she strives for a loose, painterly style. Stanley is a member of IPAPA (Indiana Plein Air Painters Association) and through it has found a wonderful community of plein air painters in Indiana who are fun to paint with and generous with their experience and insights. Although she loves the Midwest, she loves to travel and has also been inspired by the beauty and scenery found in many other regions of the U.S. and the world.
Additional information about the artist and her work may be found at: www.KarenStanley.com
ZCD At a Glance
ZCD is a non-profit organization that was established in 2013. Its mission is to “enrich the lives of residents and visitors by promoting and celebrating our arts, history and culture.” And its vision is to “make art, history and culture accessible and obvious through support, promotion and coordination.”
It is ZCD’s desire to make Zionsville vibrant, welcoming and elevated, where art in all its forms can be appreciated. ZCD is responsible for the Lincoln Mural — the town’s first commissioned work of art, located across from the Lincoln Park to commemorate the 1861 Whistle Stop tour where Lincoln’s train stopped and spoke from the park on his inaugural trip to Washington and the return trip when his body was brought home to Illinois.
ZCD has also gifted the community with the “Step on Me” Sidewalk Poetry Contest — open to all adults in Indiana and Zionsville students to offer original poetry to be stamped into sidewalks in Zionsville.
And last but certainly not least, ZCD offers a free concert event, Concerts in Lions Park, every Wednesday evening in June and July.
Public Art for All
Zionsville resident Steve Mundy is the ZCD Vice President and Chairman of Public Art. Mundy shared the board’s intentions on expanding ZCD’s presence and initiatives to reach all of the residents who make up the beautiful tapestry that is present-day Zionsville.
“Candace Ulmer and I are two of the original members of ZCD, and we came together because we have a common interest in the arts, culture and the history of our community,” Mundy shared. “We have spent the last nine years trying to expand and share [our mission] with the rest of the community and our visitors. We [ZCD] have done a number of things, some of which weren’t very obvious and others more so. We’ve had some poetry [created by local residents] stamped into sidewalks and a few murals [painted] in town that people can enjoy as they walk or drive by.”
Mundy continued, “This [piece] represents a movable piece of art that we can share with the community, and we hope that this piece finds its way into all sorts of sites for individuals to see and enjoy just as we have.”
When asked about how public art impacts a growing community such as Zionsville, Mundy replied, “We are a pretty diverse community. We have a number of languages that are first languages in our school system, and those parents live here too. So, we need to be able to touch that diversity with art and find [art] that represents every walk of life in our community. Art crosses all boundaries.”
The free ZCD Concerts in Lions Park is a prime example of ZCD’s commitment to bringing diverse programing and artforms to Zionsville.
“The concert series brings in diverse acts and a little bit of something for everybody,” Mundy said. “There’s everything from jazz, rock, bluegrass, and fusions of different genres of music. I think the concert series appeals to many different interests in music which is certainly an art form.”
Celebrating Art and Culture in Zionsville
The ZCD Concerts in Lions Park, murals and other public art initiatives would not be possible without the volunteerism and generosity of Zionsville community members.
“We rely primarily on sponsors and contributors,” Mundy explained. “We have gotten assistance from the Town of Zionsville, who have also assisted with the Sidewalk Poetry [project], and the Community Enrichment Grant is part of what the local municipal government founded. So, a partnership with the community is essential, and the partnership with the local municipality makes [our mission] much more doable.”
The ZCD Board allows a maximum of 15 members, and it is currently seeking interested and dedicated residents to serve on its board.
Mundy concluded, “We are always looking for individuals within the community who have an interest in the arts and a willingness to give some of their time and expertise in being able to bring public art to the community. We would encourage you to go to our website and let us know if you are interested in joining our board or one of our committees. We are, after all, a volunteer organization, and we need volunteers to make it work.”