Local Artist Completes First Traffic Box Project
Bursting with brightly colored dahlias, Zionsville’s painted traffic box at the corner of 106th Street and Zionsville Road pays homage to the town’s past. The cheerful piece of urban art is the work of Cynthia Young, but an artist as well. It was initiated by the Zionsville Cultural District (ZCD) as part of its Public Arts Initiative and is one in a series of planned painted traffic boxes. ZCD requested that the first box pay tribute to dahlias.
“ZCD requested that the one at 106th Street and Zionsville Road be related to the dahlia since we used to be known as the Dahlia City and it is close to the street, just east of the box, that bears the dahlia name,” Young says. “I selected yellow dahlias because there was once a lemon-colored award-winning dahlia from Zionsville called ‘Zions’s Pride’.”
Bringing public art to Zionsville is a goal of the ZCD and the Town of Zionsville. Possible Artists were identified and invited to submit designs that the Public Arts Committee reviewed. Young was selected and her design was approved by the committee.
“I have always admired botanicals and chinoiserie and used them quite often in the interiors I designed whether in fabrics, wallpaper or art,” Young says. “I like the combination of line drawings of plants and flowers combined with rendered ones. I thought the combination would be a beautiful way to handle the dahlia box and give it interest.”
Young has been involved with the local arts in Zionsville for several years. She and her husband, Monty, have lived in Zionsville since 2000 and their son Alex graduated from Zionsville High School before earning a degree in music from Indiana University in 2011. Her first public art mission for Zionsville was heading up a mural project in the Pleasant View Elementary School cafeteria when her son was a student there. For the last 12 years, she has been involved with SullivanMunce Cultural Center and became executive director in 2013. Recently, she also painted the Walking Man sculpture at Town Hall.
“I have always been involved in art one way or another. I feel like it is a part of life,” Young says. “Although lately I have been involved in a number of public art projects, I normally work in ink, acrylic, drawing media, gouache, and pastel, on paper, canvas, and board. My subject is usually the human form, but I also work with other subjects including nature, animals, and abstracts. I rekindled my love of the human form after taking a portrait and figure drawing class at the SullivanMunce Cultural Center in 2013.”
Young simply hopes people enjoy her artwork.
“I hope people are inspired when they view my work,” she says. “I think everyone is creative in one way or another. I hope it makes people happy and puts a smile on their face. Creating reduces stress and is a form of meditation. Art makes people happier whether they are creating or viewing it. Simply, I hope people enjoy it!”