The city has launched the #MaskUpIndy initiative to encourage residents to wear face coverings in public and promote the City’s free face covering program for Marion County residents. Partnering with the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the city commissioned six local artists to create public artwork to be utilized as a public service announcement illustrating the importance of wearing face coverings. Commissioned pieces will be showcased as public art installations within Indianapolis’ cultural districts and posters will be available for businesses, organizations and residents to display.
The $20,000 engagement was made possible through Federal CARES Act funding, which was approved by the Indianapolis City-County Council on June 8.
“We’re proud to collaborate with the Arts Council to promote this important public health message with the help of local artists,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “It is vital that residents continue to wear face coverings in public, for the protection of themselves and for the protection of our neighbors.”
“Art can be a powerful vehicle for social change, as we’ve seen throughout the past several months,” said Arts Council of Indianapolis President & CEO Julie Goodman. “We hope that this PSA campaign will inspire residents to prioritize public health and find creative ways of their own to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Posters will be printed and distributed to merchants associations, community centers, and businesses to help remind residents to wear their face coverings. Organizations and businesses wanting to request a poster can reach out to their Mayor’s Neighborhood Advocate. Contact information can be found at indy.gov/MNA. Residents can also obtain a free poster during regular business hours from the following locations: Indianapolis Artsgarden (110 W Washington), City-County Building (200 E Washington), Indianapolis City Market (222 E Market St), or the Original Farmers Market (every Wednesday at Monument Circle).
Marion County adult residents interested in acquiring a free face covering can submit a request at indy.gov/masks. The city has partnered with numerous local organizations to further distribute face coverings at community events.
Images of the commissioned pieces are attached and bios for the selected artists are below. More information can be found at the #MaskUpIndy website.
* Tasha Beckwith, Joy, 2020, digital illustration Beckwith is a multidisciplinary artist born and raised in Indianapolis and holds a BFA from Herron School of Art & Design. She describes her work as oscillating between expressionistic realism, with innovative incursion into surrealism. She was also one of the featured artists for the Count Me INdy! Campaign. View more of Beckwith’s work at etsy.com/shop/TashaBeckwithFineArt.
* Mirvia Sol Eckert, In This Together, 2020, freestyle digital illustration Eckert is an Indianapolis artist born in Puerto Rico. Common themes of her work are her Puerto Rican heritage, love of family and friends, spirituality, and a fascination with nature. She received a 2020 Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship grant from ACI. View more of Eckert’s work at mirvia.net.
* Shaunt’e Lewis, Sisters in the City, 2020, digital illustration Lewis is an Indiana-based artist, wife, and mother of four. Her work has been featured in many galleries, cafés, and venues throughout Indianapolis and the surrounding area. Her work explores the relationship between feminism and the arts. View more of Lewis’s work at shauntelewis.com/about.
* William Denton Ray, Masqueraders, 2020, Adobe Illustrator Ray is a lifelong Indianapolis resident and artist. He attended the Columbus College of Art and Design and has been involved in the local art community for over 15 years, including several group and solo exhibitions, public murals, and as the in-house artist at Sun King Brewery where he leads can design, merchandise, and more. View more of Ray’s work at whimsicalfunk.com.
*Aaron Scamihorn, Sanitary Solidarity, 2020, digital illustration Scamihorn is an artist, designer, and illustrator in Indianapolis. He leads design for Indiana City Brewing, and his work has been featured by touring musicians and international industry leaders. He was also one of the featured artists for the Count Me INdy! Campaign. View more of Scamihorn’s work at RONLEWHORN.com
* Israel Solomon, Canal Roses, 2020, acrylic on canvas Solomon is a visual artist and art educator in the Indianapolis area. He currently teaches middle school art and has created a curriculum for students, as well as a living mural at his school building. Solomon has been featured at the Indianapolis Artsgarden, the Garfield Park Arts Center, and the Indiana Black Expo. View more of Solomon’s work at israelsolomonart.com/art.
Indianapolis residents impacted by COVID-19 should visit the city of Indianapolis resource guide, which can be viewed at www.indy.gov/covid. Spanish speaking residents can view the Resource Guide here. Individuals who are unable to navigate the city’s website can call 317-327-4MAC between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to talk to a customer service representative. Residents can request a free face covering at indy.gov/masks.
ILLUSTRATION ABOVE: Promotional material for the #MaskUpIndy project, featuring artwork by Tasha Beckwith.