August 24, 2023

New plaza features art, green space and sports outside Gainbridge Fieldhouse


The Bicentennial Unity Plaza is open to the public. - (Jill Sheridan/WFYI)

The Bicentennial Unity Plaza is open to the public.

(Jill Sheridan/WFYI)

A new public space featuring art, entertainment and sports is open in Indianapolis. The Bicentennial Unity Plaza sits right outside the front door of Gainbridge Fieldhouse, home to the Indiana Pacers and Fever.

A $28 million grant from Lilly Endowment funded public art installations with a focus on connecting Indiana’s past and present. Two large reflective sculptures, murals, green space and a basketball court that doubles as an ice-skating rink are complete, as part of a $400 million makeover for the fieldhouse.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett says the plaza is a welcome addition to downtown.

“Because it is in the daily activation for local residents, as well as special events for our visitors that we foster a more resilient mile square every single day of the year,” Hogsett said.

Artist Hermann Mejia was commissioned to create two large interactive sculptures in the space.

“As you can see they're very distinct sculptures, but the idea was to have them work in unison but at the same time collectively tell a good story – a story about Indianapolis,” Mejia said.

Artist Anna Murphy completed a mural featuring 43 Indiana Legends in blue and gold.

The space will be able to host activities from yoga to youth basketball clinics.  Downtown Indy, Inc. President and CEO Taylor Schaffer said the new plaza is built for all Hoosiers.

“Spaces like this give people a reason to spend more time downtown to enjoy the atmosphere and to take in the arts and cultural amenities that make downtown Indianapolis special,” Schaffer said.

A weekend of free, public activities is planned to celebrate the new plaza.

Contact WFYI city government and policy reporter Jill Sheridan at jsheridan@wfyi.org

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