A new medical manufacturing facility opens May 4 in Indianapolis. Bloomington-based Cook Medical and Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana collaborated on the facility with the goal of countering decades of disinvestment in the Northeast Indianapolis neighborhood.
The partnership aims to employ people who live there, providing free education and wraparound services, and establish more higher paying jobs in the neighborhood.
WFYI’S Taylor Bennett spoke with Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana Vice President of Marketing and Communications Ivan Cropper and local artist Amiah Mims about the new building's art that aims to represent the facility's connection with the neighborhood.
WFYI's Taylor Bennett: An important part of this, this building was the art. Why did you decide to include art and have these wonderful murals inside?
Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana Vice President of Marketing and Communications Ivan Cropper: Well, one of the things that we love, at Goodwill is self-expression. And we thought the best way to really connect Goodwill, Cook Medical, and the neighborhood would be an artistic rendering of the work that we are bringing to the neighborhood. And after a search, we were able to come up with Amiah Mims, she's done some fantastic work, really excited to have her as part of this project, and interpret this for us, in two murals in the building,
Bennett: What was your reaction when you were asked to participate in this project?
Artist Amiah Mims: It was really exciting. I had heard a little bit about the project, just what the initial announcement and what was going to be happening. And then once Ivan here reached out and filled me in a little bit more on you know, the details and the background information and, and all of the intention and effort that was going into it. It definitely was something that I wanted to be a part of.
Bennett: What was your inspiration?
Mims: We had a lot of different talks about inspiration, but definitely, the main thing was the neighborhood kind of like he just mentioned, you know, the neighborhood is a really important piece to this project and the city that surrounds it. So lots of play and connection to Indianapolis and the neighborhood that surrounds the building.
Bennett: Describe it for our listeners.
Mims: So our murals, there's actually two that are in the building. There's one right upon entry -- so right in the main entryway. And after kind of working with the creative department at Goodwill, we talked about a couple of different ideas and landed on giving the visitors a sneak peek, if you will, as to what you're going to see later on in the facility and all of the manufacturing work that they're going to be doing there. So the entry mural is a really kind of close-up intimate shot of two hands, working on putting together medical equipment. So it's really simple. But it's bright, it's colorful, and it really grabs your attention as soon as you kind of walk in. And then the secondary mural is actually in the break room. And that one, we want it to be more lively, fun, colorful, you know, just to give people when they're on their break time, something fun to look at and something to be proud of.
Bennett: You're an amazing artist. I wish I could even draw a cat. With anything that looks like art.
Mims: I'm sure you could do it.
Bennett: But you've been involved in some other very interesting projects as well.
Mims: I have just recently kind of branched off into this new business that I'm working on. So I've got a couple of projects underneath my belt. The largest one today is actually the mural that is on the side of the Indianapolis Recorder building. And then I just finished a project with the Pacers as well and we have some other ones sprinkled in there. And I was also an artist on the Indiana Avenue Black Lives Matter street murals. So yeah, we've got a couple of big projects throughout.
Bennett: So what is the plan? What's the timeline for the building opening and where the public can come in and see it?
Cropper: We are excited that the building will be opening on May 4. May the Fourth be with you, right? We will have the Governor in attendance for a classic ribbon cutting.
Bennett: I am looking forward to congratulations to you both.
Cropper: Thank you so much.
Mims: Thank you