Visual Arts » 2D

Indy Inside Out



Downtown commuters may begin to notice a local art installation outside of the Central Library beginning Nov. 1st. The Indianapolis version of the international Inside Out Project will be hung there, as well as at Big Car and R-Bistro on Massachusetts Avenue for the duration of November.

The Inside Out Project, a global art plan with "the potential to change the world" was started by an anonymous street artist who goes by the moniker JR.


JR's art focuses on large portraits, which he displays, often illegally, in cities throughout the world.  He was awarded the TED prize at the 2011 TED conference in Long Beach, California, and afterward created the Inside Out Project.

Its goal is to give everyone the chance to make a statement by sharing their portraits and making personal identities a work of art.

Each variation of the project is documented and shared online. So far, more than 100,000 people in more than 100 countries have participated.

Our city's version of the project highlights our public transportation bus drivers, to highlight their dedication to making sure that the Indy has reliable public transportation.

"The installation consists of over two dozen 24''x36'' black and white portraits of Indianapolis public transit bus drivers that will be posted publically as a collection," says Jon Ford, husband of one of the project's original artists and acting public relations manager.

By using this unique medium, the Indy Inside Out Project hopes to encourage conversation about the state of public transportation in our state.


"It will create community support and appreciation for a segment of the city's public servants," Ford says. "It will provide public art for the city and will bring an international art project to the city."

"This project has its roots in an idea from Katie Basbagill and a couple of other Harrison Center for the Arts artists looking to make a public art project a reality," Ford continues. "My wife is one of those artists and it's a fun community that we've been a part of for years now. We wanted to show some appreciation to some public servants in our city. We wanted to contribute to the greater public transit conversation with a unique, artistic perspective."

While Ford is grateful for the hard work that those who work in public transportation do for the city, he has a few ideas about improving public transportation.

"As a bus rider, I can personally say that real-time mapping of the buses would be a nice thing to have so that I know where buses are, either on my phone or electronically displayed at stops," he suggests. "I'd also want to get more buses assigned to routes. Regarding rapid transit buses - I get it, we don't want to spend a lot of money on rail and we're a car centric culture, but this city really needs to figure out some light rail options to connect the metro area together."

Volunteers hanging the first posters at the Central Library.
  • Volunteers hanging the first posters at the Central Library.

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