CARMEL — What started as a solution to the problem of graffiti on a building is now an award-winning initiative giving local artists a chance to show off their artwork.
Just off of Michigan Road in Carmel, a fairly busy road, drivers are beginning to slow down to take in the beauty of Jiffy Lube.
That’s right — Jiffy Lube. Because they are hiring muralist across the state to bring art to you.
“I think art is one of the most positive and easiest ways to bring people together to tell stories without language to help people understand different perspectives,” said Koda Whitsken, a professional muralist.
“The appetite for outdoor accessible high-end public art has absolutely skyrocketed,” said Whitsken.
She’s working on the latest mural for Jiffy Lube in Carmel.
“I've been incredibly blessed to work with people like Jiffy Lube to bring art to people during the pandemic; when they can't go to museums they can't go to gallery's,” said Whitsken.
“You wouldn’t normally think that you'd go to see great art at a Jiffy Lube but we are anything but normal,” said Steve Sanner, president of Jiffy Lube Indiana.
He said it started as a way to stop graffiti, but the project has morphed into so much more.
“We thought we would do one or two stores — were now at 18. We have seven more coming this year. We've got a national recognition award; I mean it's been crazy how this has taken off and never knew that was going to happen,” said Sanner.
The commissioned artists paint whatever they want with one stipulation.
“We're actually not allowing them to do anything car-related. So, I mean from the very start, we said, 'this has to be art. It can’t be advertising for Jiffy Lube,'” said Sanner.
“It's such a treat as an artist to paint what you want and have people support your vision, but I think it's so important for Jiffy Lube being really a national franchise to represent different kinds of people in different ways and let them tell stories that maybe they don't have the voice to tell, so I feel honored to tell the story of inclusion and positivity through my mural,” said Whitsken.
Who doesn’t love a good selfie? Sanner said if you take a selfie in front of three of their murals, they will send you a free oil change.
According to Jiffy Lube, they've had over 100 artists apply and they hope to see more next year and hope to have murals on all locations that will allow it. You can apply through the Arts Council.