INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The three blocks of Georgia Street between the Indiana Convention Center and Bankers Life Fieldhouse became an original hit as an exciting Super Bowl Village. Today, they provide a pedestrian-friendly, European-inspired promenade and unique outdoor event space that is home to concerts, street performers, and pre-game festivities for Indiana Colts and Indiana Pacers games.
Prominent along Georgia Street are 10 seven-foot memorial pillars recognizing Hoosier Legacy Award honorees, which include portraits drawn by Indiana portrait artist James Kelly. According to Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, “It is our intention that residents and visitors explore Georgia Street and learn about the contributions that these Hoosiers made to our shared history.”
The memorial pillars could grow to 30 in the years to come, but the initial 10 honorees include U.S. presidents Benjamin Harrison, a Civil War General who became Indiana’s only president, and Abraham Lincoln, who spent his childhood years in Indiana. There are three writers including Ernie Pyle, a Pulitzer Prize-winning World War II correspondent; Booth Tarkington, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist; and Lew Wallace, a Civil War General and author of “Ben-Hur.” J.L. “Wes” Montgomery was a Grammy winning, legendary jazz guitarist.
May Wright Sewall was a leader of the women’s suffrage movement. Tecumseh was a Shawnee Indian chief, orator, and diplomat. Madame C.J. Walker was the first self-made female American millionaire who became famous for her Indianapolis-based cosmetics for black women. Also memorialized were founding family members of the Eli Lilly Company, including Col. Eli Lilly.
James Kelly was selected out of 20 candidates to develop these Hoosier portraits by the Arts Council of Indianapolis and the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee. To complete the artwork by the deadline established by city officials, James worked non-stop for 10 days leading up to the installation, grand opening, and unveiling.
James’ interest in portraiture has been a life-long passion as he states, “I strive to reflect human energy in my portraits, dealing with light and color that create form to illuminate the individual personality." James works on individual commissions from clients and participates in various art shows and gallery exhibitions throughout Indiana. He finds that Indianapolis continues to grow as a supportive, progressive arts-oriented city.
To view the Legacy Award illustrations and contact James Kelly, please visit www.madlabstudio.net/catalog.html.