Artist Lauren Zoll

Come experience Shelton Heights Community Park’s new art installation Bending Light by Studio Lauren Zoll. At the art opening, pick up your free copy of You Are an Artist, a creative guide written by Indy curator and art educator Sarah Urist Green. On Saturday, June 26, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., artist Lauren Zoll will be at Shelton Heights Park (3844 Rockville Avenue), with remarks at 12 p.m. noon. The public is invited to come by and meet her.

Zoll and Urist Green have teamed up to donate 70 books to community members. Individuals must sign up in advance to receive a book at the opening of Bending Light. One book per household will be distributed to the first 70  who sign up. Not sure about art? This book and popular Youtube series show how artists think, giving you the tools to see YOU are an artist too!

According to Zoll, “Light is something we all—humans, plants, animals—need and consume. Yet light can feel abstract and intangible. The artworks in Bending Light make light more “visible” by demonstrating how light bends, using transparent and translucent acrylic rods. Artistically combining this material with the surrounding natural environment also demonstrates the physics principle known as refraction.  The installation serves as an oculus, which par-goers can look through, magnifying the environment around them. Engaging sunlight as it travels across the park from east to west, the art also acts as an abstracted sundial for regular visitors. Finally, this artwork changes the speed at which we actually see light.  Slowing down to look at light helps us witness the importance of light in our lives:  photosynthesis in plants, our own ability to see, and even the human need to synthesize light into vitamin D that keeps our bodies working.”

Studio Lauren Zoll designed the project in the spring of 2020. During the pandemic she pivoted from a prior design to readily available materials and materials she had in her studio from experimenting 10 years prior. While researching, Zoll came across a sketch by modernist architect Alvar Alto which helped synthesize Zoll’s ideas. The sketch illustrated sunlight using sunburst imagery reaching a person who was lying ill in bed and was the architect’s response to a tuberculosis outbreak. The outbreak radically influenced architecture to embrace the outdoors and the healing power of sunlight; feeling akin to this prior era, Zoll used sunburst imagery to experiment with light refraction and healing in a public park.

Since March 2015, Indy Gateway has been engaging west side and city leaders to improve community and economic development that will make the west side of Indianapolis the best place to work, live and play. Indy Gateway secured the land for the park in 2016 and worked with the Shelton Heights Park Board to secure funding to build the community park. According to Lisa Bentley, Indy Gateway Executive Director, “Shelton Heights Park has been a true community effort and it has been built and continues to be maintained through donations. We are fortunate to have the best partners such as Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, AES, Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership, Eli Lilly and Company, Holladay Properties, Shiel Sexton, Aaron’s Rental, Indianapolis International Airport and The Skillman Corporation, to name a few. Now bringing the Indianapolis Arts Council together with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, along with such a talented artist, to enhance our park in a way to experience public art further enhances life for our residents.”

Indy Art & Seek is a self-guided public art tour featuring more than 100 engaging and accessible mini-installations, performances, literary pieces, individual artworks along urban streets, as well as six large-scale installations in KIB GreenSpaces throughout Indianapolis. Learn more and stay up-to-date on the project by following @indyartandseek and #artIND seek on social media! The map is available at https://www.kibi.org/indy-art-and-seek.

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