Garfield Park Vista Markers

We were commissioned by the Friends of Garfield Park in 2014, as part of the Garfield Alive! program (funded by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust), to design a series of markers to highlight some of Garfield Park’s major points of interest.

It was a fascinating challenge, to design a piece for anyone who might happen upon it, that speaks both to the heritage of the park and the park’s present and future visitors – for decades (and even centuries) to come.

At a sprawling 128 acres, there are assets in the park of which even regular visitors are not aware. The vista markers aim to engage visitors by calling attention to important park features from afar and also providing relevant information, in both visual and auditory form, upon closer investigation.

Visitors who encounter these vista markers, with shapes abstracted from classic Victrola-style phonograph players, are prompted to dial a phone number unique to each marker that will launch an audio history about the relevant park feature. Upon dialing in, visitors can place their phones inside the open cylinders of each marker to take advantage of the natural amplification provided by the shape of the metal. This amplification allows multiple visitors to share the experience simultaneously – it’s a working, no-electricity speaker!

About Garfield Park

Garfield Park, flanking downtown’s southern edge, is the oldest city park in Indianapolis. An essential part of noted landscape architect George Edward Kessler’s Park and Boulevard Plan for the city, it is also on the National Register of Historic Places.

About iFab: Vista Fabricators

An exciting part of this project for Big Car was the opportunity to work with iFAB.

Indianapolis Fabrications is a custom fabrication company specializing in unique or small run projects. They specialize in fine art fabrication, prototyping, limited run custom design products, art conservation and restoration and vintage automobile restoration and customization.

Projects of note include:

  • the largest artwork in Indianapolis, “May/September,” a 13,000 sq ft metal sculpture on the facade of the New Wishard Hospital
  • PUPstop Stadium Chairs / The Bush Stadium Seat Salvage Project
  • Mary Miss’ “Flow Can You See The River” – 200 sites across Indianapolis