Poems Selected for New Public Art Bus Shelters

The Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene & Marilyn Glick announced today the three poems that will be featured on each of the three new public art bus shelters located on the south side of Virginia Avenue near Lexington Street, McCarty Street and Woodlawn Avenue along IndyGo bus routes 12, 14 and 22.  The bus shelters and poems were commissioned as part of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail’s public art installation entitled “Moving Forward” by Indianapolis-based architect Donna Sink. 

The following poets and their poems were selected and each will receive $1,000 honorarium and placement on a bus shelter:

“Invisible Movements” by Karen Kovacik of Indianapolis
“The Painters” by Richard Pflum of Indianapolis
“The Bowl of Possible Peas” by John Sherman of Indianapolis

Sink and the Cultural Trail management team were so impressed with the submissions that they selected a fourth poem, “City Generation” by Elizabeth Weber, to display at “Poet’s Place,” located on Alabama Street near Marsh the Marketplace. “Poet’s Place” is dedicated to Jim Shackelford, a retired civil engineer and planner with the City’s Department of Public Works and early Cultural Trail leader and champion.  “Poet’s Place” name comes from Shackelford’s designation as the Cultural Trail’s unofficial poet.  He referred to the trail as “the canvas on which the community can contribute its character and creativity.”

The Writers’ Center of Indiana managed the selection process that began with a call for poets who either live in Indiana or have ties to Indiana and who have been previously published.  Submitted poems had to have a thematic connection to the Indianapolis Cultural Trail and the “Moving Forward” public art project. 

From 120 applications received from around the state and beyond, approximately 30 semi-finalists were sent to three national judges:  Allison Joseph of Carbondale, Illinois, Barry Silesky of Chicago, Illinois, and Ingrid Wendt of Eugene, Oregon.   The judges selected 14 poems to be considered for the final three selections, which were ultimately chosen by Donna Sink and the Cultural Trail management team.  

The artists are thrilled to have their work appreciated in such a permanent public forum.

"It is very gratifying to have one’s work seen and felt, out in the open world,” said Richard Pflum. “It helps the artist justify, to himself at least, all of the effort he has put himself through during the years. It suggests that perhaps it has all been worth while."

 "I'm thrilled to have my poem selected for the Cultural Trail, which has already enlivened the downtown landscape and brought people together,” said Karen Kovacik.  “The contest was challenging, yet inspiring. I hope my poem challenges and inspires its readers to become more active in the life of the city."

“I am so pleased that poetry is being included as a permanent feature of the Cultural Trail,” said John Sherman. “Personally, I am flattered and delighted to have one of my favorite poems featured!”

“Indiana is blessed with a remarkable number of talented contemporary writers,” said Barbara Shoup, executive director of the Writers’ Center of Indiana.  “I applaud the Cultural Trail team’s decision to recognize their role in Indianapolis’s lively arts scene by making poetry a part of the daily lives of people in Indianapolis.  This is great news for everyone who loves the written word.

Each shelter will be comprised of ecoresin panels, which are made using 40 percent post-industrial re-grind content, mounted in a stainless steel frame.  The shelters will be installed on TX Active photocatalytic cement pads. These pads will be self-cleaning and will help reduce many pollutants deemed harmful to human health and the environment.  In addition to displaying the full poem inside the shelter, Donna Sink will select words or phrases from the poem to embed in the resin that will be reflected onto the ultra-white cement pad.

The shelters will be installed during construction of the Southeast Corridor of the Cultural Trail, from Pennsylvania and Washington streets to Shelby and Prospect streets on Virginia Ave.  Construction is scheduled to begin this fall and be completed in late 2011.  

To read the poems and for more information visit www.IndyCulturalTrail.org/Moving_Forward or call 317.713.3333.


© Indiana Writers Center 2012