By mid-afternoon on Thursday, workers had completed the installation of the colorful quilt-patterned panels on three sides of the new 4th Street parking garage in downtown Bloomington.
As they were packing up their gear, the crew from Ignition Arts, which did the fabrication and installation of the piece, told The B Square they were glad to have wrapped up the work before Christmas Eve.
The garage has been open for parking since Aug. 23.
Since its opening, a collection of incidents at the garage, in combination with city staffing challenges, has led the public works department to add some private security patrols.
The payment system for the garage was not immediately operational when the garage opened, but it has since been installed. That means it’s possible to start trying to track occupancy levels, which have mostly been only a fraction of the 540-space capacity.
Bloomington’s new 540-space parking garage on 4th Street has been open for people to park there since Aug. 23.
Since then, elements like the payment system and solar panels have been installed.
On Wednesday, the installation of the public artwork called “Urban Fabric” resumed after a two-day pause, in order to get approval from the board of public works for a lane closure on Walnut Street.
The art consists of vast panels of multi-colored aluminum wedges that are meant to evoke a quilt.
Also this week, the two public toilets on the north end of the garage were open for use, after a delay due to a lack of parts for the doors. According to public works director Adam Wason, a late issue arose with the compatibility of the electronic locking mechanisms and the door jambs.
The restrooms will be open around the clock through the whole week, with regular monitoring during overnight hours, according to Wason.
Towards dusk on Tuesday, visible progress was being made on the installation of “Urban Fabric,” a piece of public art that will wrap the new 4th Street parking garage in downtown Bloomington.
The public artwork for another recently completed city parking garage, located in the Trades District just north of city hall, will get a formal dedication this Friday.
Adding to public art activity in Bloomington in recent weeks was the dedication of “North Star/Hoosier Line” on Friday two weeks ago. It was installed on the east and west walls of the restrooms, north of the splash pad across the B-Line from the pavilion.
The aerial image of the 10th and Madison where the gateway artwork will be installed is from the Pictometry module of the Monroe County online property lookup system.
Selected artwork by Stefan Reiss.
Trades District satellite images from 1998 through 2019.
No later than the end of 2021, and probably earlier, a new sculpture will appear at the intersection of 10th and Madison streets, as a gateway to the area known as the Trades District.
At its Monday meeting, Bloomington’s five-member redevelopment commission approved the roughly $90,000 contract with Indianapolis firm Ignition Arts, LLC, to fabricate and install the artwork, which was designed by Stefan Reiss.
Reiss, who’s based in Berlin, will be paid a $12,500 artist’s fee, according to Bloomington’s assistant director for the arts Sean Starowitz.
Speaking into a PA microphone Friday afternoon, standing just south of the 7th and College intersection in downtown Bloomington, Penny Caudill said, “We walk into work and we smile!”
Caudill, who’s Monroe County’s health administrator, was talking to artist Gypsy Schindler, who just recently completed a mural on the wall that leads along the ramp to the lower-level entrance of the county’s health building. The art depicts kids playing—riding bicycles, kicking a soccer ball and jumping rope.
On Wednesday morning, the cavernous, brick-walled theater space at Bloomington’s FAR Center for Contemporary Arts stood empty except for a stack of lumber, each piece a pre-cut and bolted-together wooden sandwich of sorts.
Artist Nicholas Paul DeBruyne set about reducing that stack by laying out the sandwiches pairwise end-to-end in a grid of joints that eventually took up most of the floor. Over the next few hours, these basic bones would get fastened together and tilted towards the ceiling to form the framing elements of a piece of art called “Archaeopteryx.”