Local Artists Wanted for Zionsville Cultural District Project • Current Edition


By Zach Swaim

The artwork on the traffic control box that was the subject of last year’s controversy is due for a freshen up once again in early spring.

The Zionsville Cultural District is calling on local artists to submit design ideas to the organization’s Artist Review Board for arbitration.

Carla Howie, chair of the ZCD board, said the organization’s decision to change the design was not made because of public outcry, but rather because the justice artwork social was always intended to be a temporary element.

“It was never meant to be a permanent installation,” Howie said. “Zionsville is going to redo this whole front area with the walkway project, and the traffic control box is being refreshed with it.”

The social justice-inspired coin, which depicts a clenched white fist held by children painted different colors, was met with concern by some in the community, while others applauded it. The art project was organized by an eighth grade student from Zionsville Middle School, with the collaboration of three other students from Zionsville Community Schools. The controversial clenched fist section of the box was painted by a high school student.

“It’s been there since 2020 and it was time for a change,” Howie said. “It got a lot of comments and caused people to think, which is what art is supposed to do. It served its mission, which was to recognize the social movement that was happening at the time.

The traffic control box, located at Sycamore and Main Street, is to be redesigned by a local artist, and this time the ZDC hopes it will be non-controversial.

“I’m sure it will be Zionsville related, so hopefully this time it will be free of controversy. There will be no religious or political messaging or anything of that nature,” Howie said. “It’s just a refresher. This is an opportunity for another artist to exhibit his art in the city.

To submit renders, visit zvillecd.org.

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