Meyer Najem advocates for public art

Rendering of Meyer Najem building at the corner of Maple Street and Lantern Road in downtown Fishers. (Submitted rendering)

Rendering of Meyer Najem building at the corner of Maple Street and Lantern Road in downtown Fishers. (Submitted rendering)

By Beth Clark

Work on the new headquarters for Fishers-based construction firm Meyer Najem is nearing completion. The 40,000-square-foot building on the corner of Maple Street and Lantern Road in downtown Fishers will soon be home to one of the Midwest’s leading construction companies.

A few finishing touches remain before the firm transitions to its new space; little details like light fixtures, landscaping and commissioning a large-scale, one-of-a-kind, exterior sculpture. The budget for the sculpture alone will be upward of $25,000.

Meyer Najem is set to lead the charge among Fishers corporations as a proponent of public art. After initial plans were drafted for the new building, firm co-founders Anthony Najem and Karl Meyer approached the Fishers Arts Council and Hamilton County’s arts organization Nickel Plate Arts for suggestions on how best to incorporate public artwork into their building design. The solution, applauded by Town of Fishers officials, is the installation of the sculpture on the grounds and dedicated space inside for art exhibitions.

“I can tell you that we were very excited that Meyer Najem reached out to us,” said Aili McGill, director of Nickel Plate Arts. “I strongly believe that this project sets a wonderful precedent in Fishers. The fact that a very prominent business is investing so much in public art in downtown Fishers is a testament to how important art will be in growing, shaping and communicating the community’s identity and values in the coming years.”

Meyer Najem has embraced the idea of public art. According to CEO Najem, the visual arts are a natural extension of a company dedicated to giving shape to architectural designs. Support for public art projects also complements the company’s vision of sharing its success within the communities it serves. “Art supplies a positive statement for a community. It adds a vital creative depth and dimension to what otherwise might be a generic, task-oriented, day-to-day business existence,” he said.

The prominent corner location of the new headquarters provides high visibility not only of the building’s unique design, but of the artwork placed outside. Artwork in this location is also a nice accompaniment to nearby arts attractions like the Nickel Plate District Amphitheatre. “Fishers has the ability to become one of the top arts communities in Central Indiana,” Najem added.

Meyer Najem, in partnership with Nickel Plate Arts, has posted a call to artists on the Nickel Plate Arts website,  The scale of the sculpture is pre-determined by the intended location, but the theme for the artwork is general, allowing for creative expression. The sculpture is to be an eye-catching statement piece that fits the broad theme of “past meets present” and can incorporate multiple building materials.

The request for proposals is open to artists across the country, although special consideration will be given to artists with a close tie to Fishers and Hamilton County. Proposals are due Nov. 3.

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