Fishers will soon be home to a new public artwork by Indianapolis artist William Denton Ray, thanks to a partnership between The Arts Council of Indianapolis and The Kroger Co. Color Me Fishers, a whimsical celebration of the rich history, vibrant culture and close community of the City of Fishers, will be unveiled at the grand opening for the new Kroger Marketplace at 11700 Olio Road in Fishers, Indiana on November 3.
Through the partnership, the Arts Council is helping Kroger commission artwork for three new Marketplace stores in the Indianapolis area. The objective of Kroger’s commissioned art program is to create a space that encourages community gathering and celebrates the spirit of the neighborhood. The Kroger family of stores seeks the talents of local artists to create an uplifting experience in their stores, and aspires to create a safe store environment that conveys a sense of connectedness to the communities within which they operate. As a company, Kroger values honesty, diversity, inclusion, integrity, respect, and safety. These values are expressed by the artwork commissioned for each store. The partnership aligns with the Arts Council’s mission of supporting central Indiana artists by creating more opportunities for them to create, promote, and sell their work.
“Both Kroger and the community of Fishers really fell for this piece,” said Julia Muney Moore, Director of Public Art at the Arts Council of Indianapolis. “Ray’s work not only helps the store connect to the community, but shows the identity of Fishers as they see themselves.”
Within Color Me Fishers viewers can find icons such as the year Fishers was established, the Conner House, Geist Reservoir, Fishers Station, and even the city flag. Food shapes unite the design, in the same way that food brings people together. To add to the whimsy, and connect shoppers with the artwork, Kroger will provide a coloring sheet to young customers so they can create their own version of Ray’s design.
William Denton Ray is an Indianapolis native, a mixed-media painter, sculptor, and designer working with a variety of forms and approaches. He attended the Columbus College of Art and Design where he majored in Advertising Design before transferring to the Herron School of Art & Design, IUPUI, to focus on painting and drawing. In 2009 Ray received a coveted Stutz Residency Award and has had solo exhibitions in Indianapolis and Boston as well as numerous group exhibitions throughout the US. Ray has executed several public art projects in Indianapolis. He maintains studios at his home on Indianapolis’ Northside and at the Harrison Center for the Arts.
The artwork was sourced through an open call developed by the Arts Council to find qualified artists, several of whom were asked to develop proposals. The final artwork was selected by an expert panel that included members of the Arts Council’s Public Art Selection Committee, community members local to the project, and Kroger staff.