Beautification Along the Monon Trail Continues with the Department of Public Words
Writer & Photographer / Kara Reibel
The Department of Public Words is at it again, this time teaming up with mandala artist Jamie Locke to create gigantic mandalas along the Monon Trail just north of 49th Street, creating the Harmony Mural.
Holly and Dave Combs, Megan Jefferson, Locke and other volunteers have created another visual point of interest, bringing the bright, bold and colorful mandalas to life along with positive messaging.
The team took a resourceful approach, utilizing supplies they already had and utilized continuity from the Love Train Mural. Dave Combs converted Locke’s mandala file into a vector file, which enabled him to laser cut the stencil of the mandala.
“This is truly a team effort,” says Holly. “Each of us worked together on this project and acknowledged from inception that a project of this scale couldn’t be done without all of us working together.”
Artists Locke, Jefferson and the Combs make the implementation of this project look easy. The project involved not just the DPW team with Locke, but the entire SoBro neighborhood was able to weigh in on the wording to be used on the Harmony mural.
Jefferson, a painter and colorist, and SoBro resident wanted input from neighbors as to which words best describe the SoBro area. These words grace each panel of the mural along the Monon.
“Harmony, beauty, love, vibrant, diversity, peace and respect were all chosen by the residents of the neighborhood to represent the essence of SoBro,” shares Jefferson.
The Meridian Kessler Neighborhood Association provided the seed money for the project. Keep Indianapolis Beautiful donated some paint and are replacing the bushes along the wall with 10 native shade trees and finding a new home for the bushes.
Indy Parks are placing a picnic area across from the mural. The Penrod Society supported the efforts in honor of Penrod artists Megan Jefferson and Jamie Locke. Private donations were generously contributed by Sara Jean Cross and
“I am proud to live here, and I am happy to beautify it,” says Jefferson. “Everything about SoBro and this mural makes me happy.”
For more information and to donate to the amazing projects by the Department of Public Words, please visit dpwords.org.