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Indy firefighter forges lasting legacy in central Indiana

Posted at 7:16 PM, Feb 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-28 19:16:48-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Ryan Feeney has a lot of irons in the fire. The full-time Indianapolis firefighter spends his free time as a metal worker at Indy Art Forge, the metal working company he’s owned for 20 years.

“Like all firefighters, you’ve got to have something to do on the side,” Feeney said.

That side job stems from a lifelong interest in art.

“I think I did my first oil painting when I was 8,” Feeney said.

While in college, Feeney began exploring metalworking. In addition to residential jobs like fences and furniture, Feeney’s pieces can be found throughout central Indiana.

Feeney’s Peace Dove statue can be found at the Indianapolis Central Library. The 750-pound statue is made from weapons seized from the streets of Indianapolis. It was unveiled in 2014.

2014: Peace Dove unveiled

After three interviews, the Indianapolis Colts hired Feeney to craft the Peyton Manning statue outside Lucas Oil Stadium. Feeney said the project was, “like a dream.”

2017: Ryan Feeney lands Petyon Manning statue

Feeney also made the bald eagle perched on top of a beam from The World Trade Center at the Indiana 9/11 Memorial.

2011: Indiana 9/11 Memorial

“Indiana has been wonderful to me,” Feeney said.

One of Feeney’s current projects is a 7-foot tall, bronzed red-tailed hawk boasting an 8-foot wingspan that will be placed inside the roundabout at 106th Street and College Avenue.

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