We’re thrilled to announce the artist selections for 2020! Since 2016, our mural project has brought beautiful art to our store exteriors and helped Indiana artists grow. This mural project is part of our Growing People through Work initiative, a corporate commitment to building up our employees and the communities where they live and work. The murals are presented in partnership with the Arts Council of Indianapolis.
In 2019, the Jiffy Lube of Indiana mural project received the Americans for the Arts’ National Arts and Business Partnership Award. “It is an exciting time to be part of a project like this,” says Steve Sanner, owner of Jiffy Lube of Indiana. “It’s positively impacting our business, but more than that, it is improving our communities and inspiring our people.”
Joy Hernandez has exhibited her work all over Indianapolis, including at the Harrison Center, the Arts Council’s Gallery 924, in the Flava Fresh exhibition series, and at the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library. Her signature clean, graphic look with bright colors, smooth lines, and even tonal blends translates well to murals, which she completes on her own and with the Kewanee-based Walldogs mural collective. Recently her “Bean the Astronaut” character has graced spaces all over the city: the theme of space exploration expresses hope and looking towards the promise of the future, and the character is engaged in actions that are playful and relatable. In addition to being a practicing artist and a co-founder of Full Circle Nine Gallery in Indianapolis, she is a video photographer and editor for WISH-TV and a frequent correspondent for WFYI’s local arts and culture spotlight program, Curious Mix.
Dan Handskillz (aka Dan Thompson) started to create graffiti art in high school, then went on to study illustration and fine art at the Herron School of Art & Design, IUPUI. He pursued mural and graffiti art at the same time as his employment as a commercial illustrator, always seeking to “paint big outside” almost exclusively using aerosol paints. Although he still does occasional commercial projects, today his primary practice is painting murals on commission for clients large and small including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyGo, Uber, Red Bull, and Subaru. A co-founder of the Indy-based crew called the Fantastic Aerosol Brothers (“FAB Crew”), Dan executed graffiti-style murals in Broad Ripple, Fountain Square, and Mass Ave. As a design artist he is heavily influenced by comic books, video game concept art, and famous painters and illustrators, and focuses on creating murals that are relatable to youth but still contain important messages about existing in today’s world.
Artur Silva is a Brazilian-born artist currently living and working in Indiana. A longtime Indianapolis resident, he received his Masters in Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and is well known locally for his digital collages as a member of the Cultural Cannibals collective. Silva has received numerous awards and fellowships for his work, including a prestigious Pollock-Krasner Grant, an Efroymson Contemporary Art Fellowship, and a Christel DeHaan Artist of Distinction Award from the Arts Council of Indianapolis. Although most of his work is seen in museums and galleries, with his more accessible public work Silva tries to discuss the same range of ideas, which center around questioning traditional ideas of power and influence and how to best create a more equitable visual world. In addition to pursuing his own projects, Silva is a scholar-in-residence at the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute and teaches time-based media and theory at Indiana University South Bend.
Apprentice muralist Shaunte Lewis will be working with Silva. A self-taught artist and a newcomer to a professional visual art practice, Lewis’ illustrations and mixed-media paintings show bold color and strong forms as she works at the intersection of feminism and abstraction. Lewis’ work has previously been seen at Tea’s Me Café, Mass Ave Wine Shop, and the Art Bank.
Nekoda (Koda) Witsken is a professional mural artist and the proprietor of Hue Murals by Koda. A Fortville resident, she studied history and art at Purdue University and at Duke University. Witzken’s colorful and innovative murals can be seen all over central Indiana in public spaces and businesses, as well as in private residences. She also participates in school programs, provides paintings for charity art auctions, and performs exotic body and face painting. Her goal as an artist is to provide culturally-inclusive ways to bring more color and happiness to the world. When she’s not painting, Witzken works as a program assistant for Nickel Plate Arts in Noblesville and is restoring her family’s ancestral Hamilton County home.
Bryan Ballinger graduated from the Columbus College of Art and Design with a degree in Illustration and also has a master’s degree in Writing for Children from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. He has worked as an illustrator for Nintendo Power magazine, Microsoft, and the Encarta CD-ROM encyclopedia and was the 3D design lead for the producers of the VeggieTales series of children’s videos. Currently he is a freelance illustrator, comic artist, and muralist, and a professor of Digital Media Arts at Huntington University.
Alexandra Hall is an independent painter, illustrator, and muralist. Her whimsical, animal-based compositions are often based on anthropomorphic caricatures of people she knows, combined with surrealistic, yet playful imagery. Active in the Fort Wayne public art scene, Alexandra also shows her work at art fairs and in 2018 she was chosen as one of Fort Wayne magazine’s ‘Top 10 People of the Year’
Carl Leck is a repeat participant, having executed a mural for the program in 2018. He studied drawing, painting, and printmaking at Ball State University and is a self-employed freelance artist specializing in murals. Leck utilizes a technique called “trompe l’oeil,” which translates to “fool the eye”: he is skillful at translating the illusion of three dimensional objects onto a painted two-dimensional surface in full detail. His work is seen in public spaces all over the city—highway underpasses, school gyms, businesses—and he frequently executes private commissions. Leck maintains a studio at the Harrison Center in downtown Indianapolis.
A Froggy Forest
Artist: Bryan Ballinger
Address: 317 W North St
Neighborhood: Kendallville, in Northeast Indiana
Huntington-based artist and illustrator Bryan Ballinger is known for his engaging murals that delight people of all ages. His Froggy Forest mural at Kendallville store is no exception. When Bryan submitted his proposal for this bright, whimsical design, we knew it was perfect for this two-story wall. “Public art gets communities engaged and interacting more!” he shared as he completed this project. A Froggy Forest is the first Jiffy Lube mural in the Northeast part of the state.
Artist: ISH (Ismael Muhammad Nieves) with apprentices Matthew Cooper and Jamahl Crouch
Address: 8580 N. Michigan Rd (at 86th St.)
Neighborhood: Northwest Indianapolis
The three figures in the mural represent the fact that this Jiffy Lube location was the third one opened in Indiana, nearly thirty years ago. The idea of “kings” was developed by the mural’s artists, a team of one master artist and two apprentices. In the African American community, friends often refer to each other as “kings” and “queens” in order to convey appreciation, pride, and support. As a mentorship project, the love and support is directed towards the new artists who deserve to have the confidence and stature of a king. A “king” is also graffiti slang for a highly accomplished writer: all three of the artists who created this mural have street art backgrounds.
Artist: Christina Hollering
Address: 9825 Fall Creek Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46256
Neighborhood: Geist, Fall Creek, Northeast Indianapolis
Our Waterways is a tribute to nearby Fall Creek and the rich and varied life that it sustains. Blue herons, banded water snakes, and dragonflies are combined with the abstracted wave and sun patterns and a kayak-and-paddle motif to create appreciation in viewers of the valuable asset that runs literally through their backyards. The waterway is an important part of the ecosystem we all share and a reminder that in this part of Indiana, we are all in a watershed.
Artist: Pamela Bliss
Address: 7965 US 31 South (at stop 11 Rd.)
Neighborhood: Southside Indianapolis
Given the opportunity to paint whatever she liked on the wall of this location, Bliss chose to depict the importance of bees and their drastic drop in population because of herbicides, pesticides, deforestation, and urbanization. When bees are gone, everything in the world, including humans, will cease to exist. True to her style, the artist depicted an illusion of the wall breaking open to reveal a honeycomb, with several bees in various states of maturity flying out from it. The final “bee” is a baby in a bee costume holding a heart balloon, to indicate the importance of bees to human life. The bees appear to be flying towards a giant sunflower, with a world globe in its center.
Artist: Kyle Ragsdale
Address: 10520 E. Washington St. (near German Church Rd.)
Neighborhood: Far Eastside
Safe Passage is the expression of a metaphor for the world: a collection of random figures, some human and some animal, on an epic journey in an unknown direction with only each other to rely on. The yellow-toned and sparkling paint in the sky indicate that the scene is taking place in some mythical landscape, much as the shimmering gold tile backgrounds of Byzantine church mosaics were understood to indicate the heavenly realm. The figures include historical people George Washington and George Washington Carver (visual puns relating to the mural’s location on East Washington Street), a nun, a giraffe, a polar bear, a crowned cat, bunnies, and a child in a red hat–some of which recur in the artist’s other mural and easel work–and indicate the varied nature of the life that is bound together on our planet. The scene wraps around the corner.
Artist: Megan Jefferson
Address: 7825 E. US 36 (Rockville Rd. between County Rd. 267 and Dan Jones Rd.)
The city of Avon, Indiana, is quickly being developed but there are still farm fields and wide-open spaces. The artist of Rural Rhythm, Megan Jefferson, is attracted to painting those wide-open spaces – particularly Midwest landscapes – because she grew up in a small farming community in Northwest Ohio. Skies there are big, colorful fields are everywhere, and the land is flat so you can see for miles. The first time she visited Avon, the site of the mural, she was reminded of the rural landscape of her hometown. To create this mural she drove the back roads, feeling nostalgic and took photos of her favorite beautiful vistas. This mural is inspired by one of those photographs and its goal is to acknowledge, preserve, and celebrate the rural beauty that still exists in the town (and in the artist’s heart).
Artist: Shamira Wilson Young
Address: 5630 N. Georgetown Rd.
Neighborhood: Snacks Crossing, Westside of Indianapolis
Shamira Wilson Young created Interwoven, a metaphor for the energy of movement inspired by our social fabric, textile technique, and the multicultural diversity of the community surrounding 56th and Georgetown. It expresses the interconnected nature of community and provides a moment of joy for both visitors and neighbors. “I drew a lot of inspiration from the location and the community: the surrounding colors of the buildings, the large commuter corridor with lots of movement and travel, and its multicultural diversity. I also have family and close friends that live in the neighborhood so I have a personal connection to the area.”
Brownsburg is Developing
Artist: Barb Stahl
Address: 1280 N. Green St.
Barbara Stahl wanted to pay homage to the older buildings in Brownsburg that are being torn down in favor of new construction but in a colorful and innovative way. “The word develop stood out to me,” said Stahl. “When I was in college we studied photography in the darkroom and I thought about how the developing trays could show off historic landmarks without doing a classic photo collage.” She used a play on the word developing and depicted a photographer in a traditional darkroom creating images of both “old” and “new” Brownsburg, and cleverly framed it as a photo album page in a three-ring binder.
Artist: William Denton Ray
Address: 6275 N. Keystone Ave.
Neighborhood: Glendale, Northeast Indianapolis
William Denton Ray, working in his own neighborhood, created an abstracted face made from geometric shapes. The mural’s title, Indivinity, is a combination of the words “individuality,” “divine,” and “infinity,” all concepts he was thinking of during the design process. To Ray, every shape is essential in defining the face, and the face is constantly changing. “I knew I wanted her looking west because it’s representational of where the sun sets and where Midwesterners dream of going, or at least some do… California dreaming.”
Artist: Blend Creative Minds
Address: 5444 W. 38th St.
Neighborhood: International Marketplace, Westside Indianapolis
Blend Creative Minds (Rafael Caro, Erica Parker, and Lauren Neely) chose to reflect the thriving international culture surrounding the site through their depiction of the Brazilian folk tale of Boitata, the Fire Snake. According to legend, the snake protects hidden treasures and brings light into a dark world. The mural’s vibrant colors and its mix of brush and aerosol painting techniques celebrate the diverse and dynamic neighborhood.
Taking the Bait
Artist: Carl Leck
Address: 8175 Allisonville Rd.
Carl Leck used his trademark illusionistic technique in Taking the Bait, where a shimmery winged creature is confronted with a sweet morsel. Despite its unfamiliarity with the manufactured treat on offer, the bird is tempted by the bait. Is it a trap? Most definitely! The inspiration for the design was derived from the chickens in his backyard. Their black feathers combined with the sunlight make them shimmer an iridescent blue/green and sparked the idea to have a bird with multi-colored feathers.
Artist: Craig Martin
Address: 2 S. Earl Ave.
Lafayette-based artist Craig Martin took a familiar sight—the purple coneflower, native to Indiana and thriving in its numerous prairies and meadows—and turned it into exotic scenery. “I’ve always been drawn to working with elements of nature, such as flowers and trees,” said Martin. “When I thought about imagery that might have a common connection to a wide cross-section of the community, I thought of the purple coneflower.” Tropical Wabash portrays this common “weed” as a noble specimen, shared by all of Indiana’s people regardless of geography or economic status. As such, Martin is emphasizing that we all have more in common than we know.
You Have Company
Artist: Ellen Forney
Address: 1840 E. 151st St., Carmel, IN, 46033
Neighborhood: Northern Carmel, Westfield
Seattle-based cartoonist Ellen Forney (and cousin of Jiffy Lube of Indiana President Steve Sanner), herself diagnosed with bipolar disorder, based the mural design on elements of her 2012 graphic-nonfiction memoir Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me. The message “You Have Company” on this mural refers to the often-invisible challenge of mental illness, which seems to isolate those suffering from mental health issues. Simply knowing that others are similarly challenged can help people cope successfully. This mural was painted as a partnership with NAMI and Indy Reads Books and included a panel discussion on mental health and art.
Artist: Justin Cooper
Address: 1495 Keystone Way S, Carmel, IN, 46032
Neighborhood: Central Carmel
This mural pays tribute to Carmel-born artist Franklin Booth (1874-1948) in the design for this mural. Both Cooper and Booth were determined to become artists at a very young age, and both focus on figures and extreme detail in their work. Those who helped create the mural hope that you will take a moment to breathe while experiencing the beauty of this mural. This project is a partnership between Jiffy Lube and the now-disbanded Department of Public Words. Many volunteers have contributed to the creation of this mural during community celebration paint days, including at a Luke Bryan concert as part of our LiveNation partnership.
Artist: Ethan Culleton
Address: 6401 N. College Ave., Indianapolis, IN, 46220
Neighborhood: Broad Ripple, Northeast Indianapolis
The design for this mural is a metaphor for bringing differences together in harmony to produce something beautiful. The various colors represent the diversity of people, philosophies, and ideas coming together in a harmonious way to create things that have never existed before. The flowers represent the beautiful growth that comes from existing in harmony despite our differences. Broad Ripple has a reputation for being socially, economically, and ethnically diverse, which makes it a perfect location for this mural. The mural was painted by community volunteers through a partnership with the Broad Ripple Village Association.
Why “Every Part Matters?” As ideas for this project began in late 2015, the Department of Public Words proposed this auto-themed mock-up for our first mural.
We never want the creative freedom of our muralists to be confused as having anything to do with cars or our business. We strive to create pure public art, for the betterment of our community, so we chose not to use the Department of Public Words original “Every Part Matters” mural proposal.
However, we fell in love with the analogy of how each part of a car, from a major component to a simple gasket, must work together to move forward and reach our destination. Each mural in this project works together to create an incredible pathway to public art around the State. Follow along! #jiffylubemurals