Local artists needed for Zionsville Cultural District project


Editor’s note: Dates and guidelines have been officially announced for the project. Submissions will be accepted until March 15, 2022 and will need to reflect the town’s culture and history. Work will commence in April 2022 and be completed by May 15, 2022.

The artwork on the traffic control box that was subject to last year’s controversy is to be refreshed yet again in the early spring.

The Zionsville Cultural District is calling for local artists to submit design ideas to the organization’s artist review panel for adjudication.

Carla Howie, the board president for the ZCD, said the organization’s decision to change the design was not made because of public outcry, but rather because the social justice artwork was always intended to be a temporary fixture.

“It was never designed to be a permanent installation,” Howie said. “Zionsville will be redoing that whole front area with the gateway project, and the traffic control box is being refreshed along with it.”

The social justice-inspired piece, which depicts a closed white fist being held up by children painted in different colors, was met with concern by some in the community, while others applauded it. The art project was organized by an eighth-grade Zionsville Middle School student, with collaboration from three other Zionsville Community Schools students. The controversial closed fist section of the box was painted by a high school student.

“It’s been there since 2020 and it was time for a change,” Howie said. “It promoted a lot of comments and provoked people’s thoughts, which is what art is supposed to do. It served its mission, which was to acknowledge the social movement that was happening at the time.”

The traffic control box, located at Sycamore and Main Street, is to be redesigned by a local artist, and this time, the ZDC is hopeful it will be without controversy.

“I’m sure it will be Zionsville related, so hopefully this time it will be free from controversy. There will be no religious or political messaging or anything of that nature,” Howie said. “It’s just a refresh. It’s an opportunity for another artist to display their art in the town.”

To submit renderings, visit zvillecd.org.