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Indianapolis-based poet, Mari Evans, honored with art mural on Mass Ave

Posted at 1:43 PM, Aug 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-11 15:02:23-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- Move over Kurt Vonnegut, there’s a new mural in town.

The second week of August welcomed a new artistic piece to the Mass Ave neighborhood featuring Indianapolis-based poet and artist, Mari Evans.

Known as one of the founders of the Black Arts Movement, Evans has called Indianapolis her home since 1947.

Many of her most famous titles are “I Am a Black Woman” and “Where Is All the Music?”

Evans selected artist Michael Jordan, also known as “Alkemi” to paint the mural.

The project is a partnership between Big Car Collaborative, The Links Inc., The Riley Area CDC and the Indiana Arts Commission.

In March 2015, Shauta Marsh, Big Car's chief curator began speaking with Evans about a series of projects to raise awareness of the artist.

The two thought a mural was the perfect way to execute their plan.

“We are excited about championing a project that highlights Mari Evans' work because we noticed that not enough people in our city and state know about her and her unique and powerful voice,” said Marsh. “Mari’s work paved the way for minority writers. And she truly represents the diversity of our state as a powerful role model for young people.”

Marsh added that the organization is proud to help Evans’ piece come to life as several male artists such as Vonnegut and Wes Montgomery are honored in similar fashions.

The mural began to take shape on the wall of the historic Davlan building, which was chosen by Big Car due to the high traffic of the area and its close proximity to the similar Vonnegut piece.

Progression photos of the project were posted on Facebook for a couple of weeks before its completion on Aug. 8.

Jordan said he gave himself two weeks to finish the piece and on July 28 (day 15), the project was nearly done despite extremely warm temperatures.

He even posted photos of himself working on the mural during the night.

Since its installation, the mural has gotten lots of positive feedback, but now Jordan said he is on to his next 3D art project before beginning another mural.

Big Car’s Tube Factory artspace will host an art exhibit featuring Evans’ work Nov. 5.