The Art of Football

When it comes to welcoming sports fans to town, Indy artists know how to get creative. 

In early January, as part of the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship celebration, visitors experienced new artworks that capture the thrill and exhilaration of the game and saw performances by local musicians, dancers, and actors. 

Israel Solomon

Interactive Goal Post Murals

Five 10x10x10-foot murals invited fans to step right into the action. Artist Israel Solomon’s Powerful Impact, 126 W. Georgia St., took its cue from the iconic Heisman Trophy pose. “For me, this strong pose is inspirational, and I hope those who experience the mural feel the same way,” says Israel Solomon, @israelsoloart. Other murals included:

  • G. R. I. T. by Ashley Nora, at Indianapolis International Airport (Uber/Lyft area in the Ground Transportation Center) - @ashleynora_art
  • Stadium Nights by artist Shelby Riley, at the Indiana Convention Center’s Maryland Street entrance - @ShelbyRileyArt
  • Goal Plated by artist Dan Handskillz, on Georgia Street near the Omni Severin Hotel entrance - @invisible_hometown
  • Light of the World Log Cabin Field Goal by artist Michele Wood, on South Capitol Street near Maryland Street - @miwood735 

Sidewalk Galleries 

The Capitol Street/CSX underpass connecting the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium has been transformed into an outdoor art gallery. Stroll through to see 15 original artworks and one poem, all by local artists.

The 16 participating artists include:

  • $hady (​​@shadyflocka)
  • Philip Campbell (@philipcampbell)
  • Deonna Craig (@deonna_heartbeat)
  • Mechi Shakur (@Mechishakur)
  • Gaby Mojica (@gabyspotlight)
  • Derek Tuder (@DerekTuder)
  • Kipp Normand (@kipp.normand)
  • Phil O'Malley (Artistphilomalley.com)
  • Sherry Polley (@SherryPolleyArt)
  • William Denton Ray (@whimsicalfunk)
  • Joani Rothenberg
  • Gary Schmitt
  • Emma Schwartz (@emmaschwartzart)
  • Januarie York
  • Mirvia Sol Eckert (@mirviasolpainter)
  • Priya Wittman (@priyawittman)

Deonna Craig


Sherry Polley

Also noteworthy: At 10 W. Washington St., suspended columns of small disco balls and 12 footballs covered in mirrored tiles, representing 12 teams, sparkle in artist Meghan Curran’s (@meghan_curran) storefront installation. The centerpiece is a large painted, wooden cutout of a football player, dancing under a large disco ball, on a checkerboard “floor.”

Live Music Series @ Indianapolis International Airport

For four days at the airport’s Civic Plaza, musicians performed to greet visitors. Acts included:

  • Pop artist Emma Peridot (@itsemmaperidot)
  • Singer-songwriter Keith Beatty & his band, The Bayonets (@keith_beatty )
  • Indie synth pop band manners, please (@mannerspleaseband)
  • Indie alt-rock band KRISTEN (@kristentheband)
  • Singer-songwriter The girl called BOOKS (@thegirlcalledbooks)

Top image: Courtesy of Visit Indy, bottom image: courtesy of Indianapolis International Airport

Visual Art Exhibitions

Icing the Kicker. Leave It All on the Field. Hustle, Hit, Never Quit. To celebrate the terms and expressions unique to the game, the College Football Playoff Indianapolis Host Committee commissioned Indy artists to create 22 unique poster designs. Arts and sports lovers were able to bid on the framed posters, with proceeds going to Teach Indy. 

And speaking of teachers, more than 20 Indiana visual art educators had artworks at the Indianapolis Artsgarden as part of the College Football Playoff Foundation Teacher Art Exhibition Paintings, sculptures, and books created by 15 teaching artists were also exhibited at the KIND Gallery, on Concourse A, at Indianapolis International Airport. 

GEORGIA STREET STAGE & STROLLING PERFORMERS  

Dancers, actors, musicians, and more took the stage and strolled along Georgia Street for three full days. Performances, organized by the District Theatre, included: 

  • The Strolling Piano

    Indianapolis-based vocalist/pianist S. Joel Norman sang and entertained while playing on a mobile, self-contained piano. 

  • Magicians

    Jamahl Keyes, internationally known as "The Magic Comic," performed. Local magician Taylor Martin also conjured up a talented team that included Barry Rice, Christopher Alan, and Daniel Lee.

  • The Quirkestra

    If football referees were Dickensian holiday carollers, they would be this a capella group specializing in well-known melodies that feature sports-inspired lyrics. The performance featured the show's creator, Ben Asaykwee, along with Tiffanie Hollifield, Matt Campbell, Julie Lynn Barber, Shelbi Berry, and Maddie Olletti.

  • 31 SVN Street Dance

    The Fishers-based dance academy’s powerful street performances featured adults and kids.

The Quirkestra

Arts and culture programs to help welcome fans are part of a 2022 College Football Playoff Indianapolis Host Committee and Indy Arts Council partnership, with funding made possible by Lilly Endowment Inc.

Indy Arts Council also thanks the City of Indianapolis, Indiana Sports Corp, Visit Indy, Smart Girl Creative Co., and 60 on Center for their partnership and support. 


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