INDIANAPOLIS (June 15, 2023) – Indianapolis artist Brenna McCarty has been commissioned to create a new permanent art installation at the Indianapolis International Airport (IND). McCarty’s creation will be the first permanent art installation since the new terminal opened in 2008. McCarty, a student at the Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI, will create a 40’ by 100’ hanging sculpture that represents unity and global connection. The permanent art installation will be installed this fall, suspended above the escalators and stairs leading into the Baggage Claim area of the terminal.
Officials from the Indianapolis Airport Authority and representatives from The International Center and Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI hosted an announcement event today to introduce McCarty and her unique art concept.
“IND has one of the most robust art programs in our airport size, and that’s very intentional,” said Indianapolis Airport Authority Executive Director Mario Rodriguez. “Public art gives communities a stronger sense of identity, and creativity drives collaboration and opportunity – and this installation is a perfect example of that.”
The IAA’s partnership with The International Center seeks to uplift the creative economy, which includes elevating local artists and art institutions like the Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI, to the global stage.
“Commissions through the Herron School of Art and Design’s Basile Center for Art, Design, and Public Life are crucial for enhancing the school’s educational experiences, as they help students develop their professional art practices prior to graduation,” said Greg Hull, dean of the Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI. “We are honored to have been able to collaborate with The International Center and to showcase our students’ talent to the rest of the world, with IND serving as the center stage.”
The art piece is also a celebration of The International Center’s 50th anniversary of unity and global connection. For half a century, The International Center has served as a guide to the world’s cultural landscape and a catalyst for the state’s international growth. The International Center expands Indiana’s global interest through a variety of programs and services, convening people with diverse interests around shared common international goals.
“From our start in 1973, The Center has worked to make all feel welcome in our global state. We wanted to gift a piece of art to the community to convey that welcoming value,” said Martin Baier, president and CEO of The International Center. “We couldn’t think of a better place to display the art than our wonderful airport, the gateway of Hoosier hospitality.”
The International Center was awarded a $120,000 grant from the Brooks and Joan Fortune Family Foundation to facilitate the commission and installation of McCarty’s unique art piece.
“I flew in and out of the Indy airport for five years working across the world after high school, and the Indy airport became a second home to me,” said McCarty. “I see it as a place of both coming home and also new adventure, and that’s a feeling I want to spark in others when they encounter the [art] installation.”
McCarty’s composition, Blue Skies, will consist of approximately 200-300 10” acrylic spheres that have been dyed with blue pigment to embody unity and global connection, “creating an impactful sense of movement and energy that parallels a busy airport where individual paths cross, and people come together to either arrive home or go out into the world.”
A multidisciplinary designer and artist, McCarty will graduate this year from the Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI with her bachelor’s in fine arts in integrative studio practice. She has lived abroad in Australia, Madagascar and the Philippines where she focused on humanitarian work and freelancing in digital brand and logo design, and videography for companies such as TCC, the largest Verizon retailer. She has also served as creative director for Katecha Corporation, where she helped design a well-being app for Black Women and Women of Color. McCarty recently joined the Converse global digital design team at the Nike corporation.