LAFAYETTE, IND. – The month of May marks the beginning of "mural season" for communities across north central Indiana, and The Arts Federation is pleased to announce it is off to a vibrant start. Nearing completion is Greater Lafayette's newest mural, a brightly-hued, Afrofuturist painting by Chicago-based artist Oscar Joyo.
TAF has kicked off its 2022 mural season with a project along North 9th Street that has been nearly two years in the making. During the summer of 2020, community members and TAF created a social media campaign to fund a public arts project in support of Black Lives Matter. Collaborating with the Community Foundation of Greater Lafayette, Indiana Department of Transportation, and Tippecanoe County Public Art Team, TAF secured a mural site on the Sagamore Parkway North underpass over North 9th Street. TAF and partners hope that the mural serves as an inspiring welcome to the City of Lafayette.
"It is a priority of the Tippecanoe County Public Art Team to provide a welcoming and inviting entryway into the city. Representation matters and is primary to TAF’s work, ensuring that all people see themselves reflected in our community," says Tetia Lee, Chief Executive Officer of The Arts Federation.
The Malawian-born artist has developed a signature style of vivid portraits that incorporate tribal patterns and vibrant color palettes. For the North 9th Street mural, Joyo says his synesthesia has inspired the mural's design. Joyo's ability for "seeing" sounds as patterns of color is incorporated into the painting of three Black figures that represent the past, present, and future of Black music.
Joyo's mural adds to the expanding portfolio of TAF's mural projects. The organization's efforts have led to partnerships with communities across North Central Indiana, and its Wabash Walls initiative continues to grow the region's public art footprint.
A dedication for Joyo's mural has been scheduled for Tuesday, May 31 at 4 pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend and should park in the customer lot on the north side of Knox Services, which is located at 2632 N 9th Street. Members of the Tippecanoe County Public Art Team, TAF staff, and Tippecanoe County Commissioner Dave Byers will also be in attendance.