Client: Groundwork Indy
Location: Indianapolis, IN, United States
Completion date: 2021
Marguerite de Messieres
Riverside Park in Indianapolis reclaimed a vast area which was once golf course for the public – five temporary art installations throughout were part of a community outreach to spark discussion about future use of the space, which has extensive flood plains and wetlands, and to invite the public to come in and explore. Crooked Creek winds largely hidden, but near, for many of the park’s paths. Vapor Line echoes the creek up into the trees and wind for passerby to see. A silvery ribbon of kinetic color and light, the thousands of aluminum tiles swivel on individual deep-sea fishing ties, sometimes nearly disappearing and then revealing bright waves of color. Translucent, the sculpture changes with the colors and textures of the seasons.
aluminum, paint, mesh, steel
4 x 40 x 6
Original site: Riverside Park, Indianapolis, Indiana
Currently reconfigured and located in Symphony Woods, Merriweather Post Park, Maryland
Riverside Park is central to Indianapolis, but residents were largely unaware that the park was now converted from golf course to accessible public space. Indiana Parks and Recreation was developing concepts for how best to shape the park. Goals of the art installation project were tied to a larger project to bring attention to the space, make residents feel welcome, invite introspection and share ideas for desired use of the park (including future permanent public art), and highlight the flood plains and other natural features of the park.
After initial research and general proposal acceptance, we worked with the community development group Groundwork Indy and with Indiana Parks and Recreation to identify suitable sites for the sculpture. Key considerations were public access, ease of maintenance, aesthetic impact, and selecting appropriate trees to avoid bark damage. Installation was coordinated with other artists and Groundwork Indy to coincide with a neighborhood outdoor festival to mark the opening of the park and to collect online and in-person feedback in response to the sculptures. Originally intended as a three-month exhibit, Indianapolis requested an extension of the installation into 2021. The exhibit was popular with the public, and they have voted to include future permanent public art in the park.
In 2021, we restored and reconfigured Vapor Line for a one-year exhibition in the Symphony Woods of Merriweather Post Park, MD. The goals and process of the installation were similar, with Vapor Line functioning as an invitation for residents to explore an underutilized area of Symphony Woods, and as an engaging and reflective point of interaction with the natural beauty of the park.