In September 2020, the Arts Council kicked off the Bicentennial Legends mural series to celebrate the City of Indianapolis' 200th birthday. Internationally recognized cyclist and racial justice advocate Marshall "Major" Taylor (1878-1932) will be honored with the first public mural in 2021 in a prominent downtown location.
The project will build on Indy's already-iconic murals of Hoosiers, which include author Kurt Vonnegut, poet Mari Evans, and former Indiana Pacer Reggie Miller. New murals will depict individuals who embody the Bicentennial Commission’s guiding principles: History, Civic Pride, Innovation, and Legacy.
We Need Your Help!
With support from the community, artists, and property owners, we can honor and celebrate many other Legends over the next several years.
We are seeking nominations from the public for individuals whose talent, courage, and humanity and helped make Indianapolis/Indiana the vibrant place it is today. We are especially interested in those who made important contributions but were overlooked because of their race, gender, economic status, or social class.
The Arts Council is looking for building owners interested in participating as a Legends mural site partner. We are seeking prominent wall locations in downtown Indianapolis and in well-trafficked locations elsewhere in the city.
Artists with large-scale mural experience are invited to provide their contact information and work examples as part of the Arts Council’s open Request for Qualifications. For each mural project, a community-based team will review designs and commission an artist. The deadline to apply to create Spring 2021 projects is Nov. 8, 2020.
In 1899, Marshall "Major" Taylor, who was born and raised in Indianapolis, became the first African American world-champion professional cyclist. He was also the U.S. sprint champion in 1899 and 1900, and became a pioneering role model for other athletes facing racial discrimination.
The Arts Council identified Major Taylor as the first Bicentennial Legends portrait mural subject in partnership with the Major Taylor Coalition, an informal group of Central Indiana residents who are passionate about seeing Taylor honored in his hometown.
The mural will be installed in 2021 on the Barnes & Thornburg building, 11 S. Meridian St. Lead funding support is provided by the City of Indianapolis Bicentennial Commission, Barnes & Thornburg, Glick Philanthropies, the CIBA Foundation, and public donations to the Major Taylor Coalition, matched by SRAM Corporation.
Image courtesy of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites.