The Journal Gazette
Friday, April 03, 2020 1:00 am

City is a canvas: A dose of public art at home

COREY MCMAKEN | The Journal Gazette

During this time of isolation, many of us are only able to see those slivers of the world framed by the windows of our homes. How many of us would have thought six months ago that a trip to the grocery store could be considered an exciting change of scenery?

But let's remember that there is still beauty in the world. The birds are singing and flowers are blooming. Local arts organizations are working on a new season of music, dance and theater. And the city's public art installations are waiting for us when we are free to explore again.

In fact, more is on the way.

Art This Way's next alley mural project is planned for the Shindigz corporate headquarters at Wayne and Harrison streets. An artist announcement is expected soon, according to program manager Alexandra Hall. Applications will also be sought for a number of other alley activation projects this year.

Though downtown is a hot spot, public art can be found all over the city. There are murals on the sides of businesses such as the Friendly Fox (4001 S. Wayne Ave.), Firefly Coffee House (3523 N. Anthony Blvd.), Hop River Brewing Co. (1515 N. Harrison St.) and the Brass Rail (1121 Broadway).

Public art doesn't just mean murals. Sculptures and statues can be found in the city's parks, as well as places such as the entrance to downtown at East Columbia Street and St. Joseph Boulevard and even in the roundabout at Ewing and Superior streets. There are a number of sculptural bike racks in the city that were part of the Sculptures with Purpose project in 2014.

Printable and interactive public art maps can be found at

While you wait to get out and about, here is some trivia filled with fun facts about public art in the city.

1. Artist Shawn Dunwoody of Rochester, New York, created the “Hello, Fort Wayne” mural last year in the alley next to Caliente Cuban Cafe, 120 W. Wayne St. The piece includes flowers that appear when what happens?

A. The sun is out

B. The wall gets wet

C. The temperature rises above 65 degrees

D. Pedestrians walk down the alley

2. Artist Matt Plett is responsible for the “Breathe” mural in the Midtowne Alley near 112 W. Wayne St. Other local mural projects Plett has created or collaborated on include which of these messages?

A. “Better Together”

B. “I Can. You Can. We Can.”

C. “Don't Give Up”

D. All of the above

3. The 19-foot-tall sculpture at the entrance to Promenade Park at Harrison and Superior streets is 28 feet in diameter and weighs about 2,400 pounds. What is the name of artist Linda Howard's piece?

A. “Convergence”

B. “Heartbeat of Three Rivers”

C. “Crossroads”

D. “Wings of St. Marys”

4. The Jerrod Tobias mural on the railroad elevation along East Columbia Street is how many feet long?

A. 150

B. 200

C. 300

D. 350

5. Included in the title of the city's public art master plan is what?

A. Painting the Rivers

B. Murals and More

C. Art for All

D. Sculptures and Statues and Murals, Oh My!

6. Philadelphia artist Yis Goodwin has created two murals on the side of 816 Pint & Slice, one in 2014 and one in 2016. What name does Goodwin work under?

A. Phillie Phanatic

B. NoseGO

C. Palpatine

D. Banksy

7. The recently announced Make It Your Own Mural Fest slated for Sept. 8 to 18 is organized by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne. How many murals will be created for the project?

A. 11

B. 12

C. 13

D. 14

8. The Art This Way alley activation program is focused on the two blocks bounded by Harrison, South Calhoun and Berry streets and Washington Boulevard. Artist 1010 (pronounced ten-ten) created an optical-illusion mural on the north wall of 918 S. Calhoun St. last year. What country is the internationally known artist based in?

A. Ireland

B. Japan

C. South Africa

D. Germany

9. Tim Parsley installed the Walt Whitman mural on the north wall of 128 W. Wayne St. with the help of students from the University of Saint Francis. Which of these lines from Whitman poems is the title of the mural?

A. “Arouse! for you must justify me”

B. “The expression of the face balks account”

C. “A vast similitude interlocks all”

D. “With many a pointed blossom rising delicate”

10. “The Fort Wayne Story” on the side of Hyde Brothers Books, 1428 Wells St., was created by which artist in 2009?

A. Phresh Laundry (Theoplis Smith III)

B. Jerrod Tobias

C. Julia Meek

D. Diane Allen Groenert

Answers: 1, B; 2, D; 3, A; 4, C; 5, C; 6, B; 7; A; 8, D; 9, A; 10, C

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