Large vinyl replicas of 28 Murals for Racial Justice are on display at the Central Library through Jan. 20, and additionally are available for checkout from the Indianapolis Public Library. Local artists of color were commissioned to create the murals in June, originally creating the artwork on the wood that was used to cover downtown windows amid protests of the police-involved killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Dreasjon Reed.
The Indianapolis Public Library’s Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library partnered with artist, equity practitioner and design researcher Danicia Monét and the Arts Council of Indianapolis to ensure that the murals are archived as a part of Indianapolis history. The murals were replicated on 3-by-5-foot vinyl banners and as high resolution images in the online collection Digital Indy: Murals for Justice, which includes information about the contributing artists. The murals will be available in the Library’s online catalog indefinitely. This community-engagement initiative was funded through the generosity of Glick Philanthropies.
“Local artists poured their hearts into these murals. As the buildings start to open again, we want to preserve these paintings that capture what we, as a community, were experiencing during these challenging and transformative times,” said Nichelle M. Hayes, special collections librarian and founding leader of the Center for Black Literature & Culture. “By displaying the artwork at the library and offering these murals to the local community for public and private events, we hope to archive a moment in history while highlighting this call to end systemic racism.”
Patrons can request and pick up the murals from any library branch for display at homes, businesses, and events. A maximum of eight murals per patron may be checked out at once. The murals have a 42-day checkout duration and cannot be renewed. They are “late fine free” items, which means they are exempt from “per day” late fees that accrue when materials are overdue.
Digital images of the murals can be found on digitalindy.org in the category “Murals for Justice.” To place a hold on a mural for checkout, patrons can search “racial justice murals” in the indypl.org catalog and request them for pickup at any of Library’s 23 locations.
The Murals for Racial Justice project was initially organized by the Arts Council, Indianapolis Cultural Trail Inc., Pattern, St’ArtUp 317, and cultural entrepreneur Malina Simone Jeffers. The Arts Council is hosting a free workshop series in partnership with the artists involved in the Murals for Racial Justice project. Learn more at indyarts.org/artists.
PHOTO ABOVE: Photos of 28 examples from the Murals for Racial Justice project are no display at the Central Library.