Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:
Once upon a time, and exactly once, Indianapolis hosted a Super Bowl. Back in 2012 our li’l city earned its first chance to host the big game. Thanks to tremendous teamwork among numerous organization and bodies cooperating under Mayor Greg Ballard, the Circle City welcomed untold thousands of visitors for a super-sized weekend of football mania, Hoosier tourism, and limited-time-only activities that welcomed all brought our downtown alive. It was a unique occasion that everyone in town could appreciate, including those of us who aren’t into sports, have never watched an entire football game — nary a Super Bowl, not even for the ads — and have never been invited to a Super Bowl party. We found ways to get into the spirit of the proceedings anyway.
All of this happened three months before Midlife Crisis Crossover launched. At the time I simply shared pics and stories with online friends, then reused a tiny selection of that material here on MCC one year later. I can’t remember why I was so stingy and only reposted eleven photos from among the dozens of relevant ones, including an entire quest involving citywide art. This past week our local media outlets have been holding their tenth-anniversary celebrations of that time we all did a Super Bowl together. That means it’s the perfect time for a remastered version of the tale of how we spent January 27-28, 2012, the weekend before Super Bowl 46…this time in trilogy form!
Regarding the aforementioned art quest:
Our fair city went to exquisite lengths to gussy itself up for visitors. To prove there’s more to us than just corn, sports, and culture-war slap-fights in Indiana, the Indy Arts Council kicked off an initiative to raise our artistic profile by bringing in artists, many of them locals, to paint murals all over town in the months leading up to Super Bowl Sunday — 46 such murals in all, because tie-in. The plan was to keep all 46 in place for a full ten years for quality-of-life purposes long after our out-of-town guests left. A recent check of the ol’ calendar has confirmed their decade is up. The Council is now seeking public input as to which murals should stay or go. For some of those works, it’s already too late.
On Saturday the 28th of that fruitful installation year, Anne and I set out to photograph as many of those larger-than-life expressions as we could until our time and energy ran out. Several of these were along the downtown Canal Walk; quite a few more were less than a mile out. Road closures for Super Bowl traffic foiled our efforts to reach other pieces in the vicinity. Some neighborhoods were farther away than we had time to include; others were the kinds of places where outsiders should not come to a complete stop. In all we captured roughly 22 of the 46 to varying degrees of clarity. (I’ll explain the “roughly”.)
(Nine years later we’d catch another of Ms. Bliss’ tributes to Hoosier music farther south in Seymour.)
My apologies in advance for the next three, which are not great shots but I hate to break up the set. A lot of these murals are hard to find online in any high-end quality and are nearly always unlabeled. I highly recommend seeking them elsewhere if you think you can.
We come now to the “In Memoriam” section, our slow-motion tribute to those murals that are no longer with us, including my absolute favorite of all the ones we saw. We here at MCC mourn their loss and recommend you finish reading the entry to the accompaniment of your least favorite Sarah McLachlan song.
To be concluded!