Mayor Joe Hogsett, Bicentennial Commission Launch Art Contest for City’s 200th Anniversary

May 15, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS – On Wednesday, May 15, Mayor Joe Hogsett joined members of the Bicentennial Commission and representatives from the local art and design community to launch the Indianapolis Bicentennial Design Competition. Setting the stage for upcoming programming, this contest will select designs that will be used for branding, posters, memorabilia and artwork during this citywide celebration.

The Indianapolis Bicentennial will commemorate two significant events in the founding of our city: when dozens of families built cabins along the east bank of the White River in 1820, and the approval of that site as the state capital and official naming of Indianapolis in early 1821. In order to honor the importance of both events, bicentennial celebrations and programming will begin in June of 2020 and continue through the summer of 2021.

Original artwork will play a key role in marking this milestone; designs will be used to brand this civic event as well as create bicentennial posters and memorabilia, promotional materials, public exhibits, and more. “The Indianapolis Bicentennial gives our residents a unique opportunity to reflect on our city’s storied past, as well as look ahead to what will shape our community in the next one hundred years,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “It is our hope that artists – both young and seasoned – participate in the bicentennial design process and add color, creativity, and imagery to the celebration of our city’s first two hundred years.”

It is in that spirit that the Indianapolis Bicentennial Commission is seeking to make this a process that engages local artists of all ages and disciplines throughout Marion County. “Indianapolis has a history of promoting inclusive design; the flag of Indianapolis in its current form was created by a student at the Herron School of Art. The Bicentennial Commission hopes to build upon this tradition by calling on artists of all walks of life, in all corners of the city to submit their designs and become an integral part of celebration programming,” said Steve Campbell, co-chair of the Indianapolis Bicentennial Commission.

Today’s announcement coincides with Indy Design Week, a citywide festival celebrating and exploring the practice of design across all disciplines, taking place in Indianapolis May 13-19. The mission of Indy Design Week is to strengthen the local artist network and increase awareness and appreciation of design and its potential impact on business, culture, society, and people. “With the onset of the fourth industrial revolution and the rise of the Midwestern cities, Indianapolis is primed to experience a continuous boom in population, with it bringing new opportunities and challenges,” said Stephanie Poppe, director of Indy Design Week. “We as designers, as citizens, have an opportunity to shape the world to come together. The bicentennial celebration and art competition offers a fantastic opportunity to showcase our local talent and have a voice in the future of our city.”

Bicentennial Design Competition entries should celebrate our city and address one or more of the Bicentennial Commission themes: history, civic pride, innovation, and legacy. Mayor Hogsett’s Create Indy Advisory Committee will review all submitted artwork, and members will select multiple awardees. A popular vote will also decide the public’s favorite design. The Create Indy Advisory Committee will award the following monetary prizes: $5,000 to the overall winner; $1,000 to the winner of the youth category; and $500 to the people’s choice winner.

An online portal will launch this summer allowing artists and designers to upload their work. The deadline for entries is Sunday, September 1st, and winners will be announced in early January 2020. Interested artists can learn more about the contest at