Indianapolis has a newly installed resident along the banks of the White River. Donald Lipski’s new installation “The Tent” is a nice surprise for those who frequent the White River State Park’s plaza. The installation is playfully reminiscent of the Indianapolis Speedway’s checkered flag. The silver structure is unobtrusive against city skyline from the pedestrian bridge leading to the zoo.
The work is a gift from the 500 Festival, a not-for-profit volunteer organization created to organize civic events celebrating the greatest race in the world, as part of the 50th Anniversary Legacy Art Project.
“I recalled seeing a video of the 500 Festival’s Mini-Marathon with the colors of the runners’ shirts bobbing up and down,” said Lipski in a press release from the 500 Festival. “I feel that ‘The Tent’, a symbol of community and coming together, captures the movement and excitement of all the Festival’s events.”
Another Lipski work entitled “Seven Spades” can be found a few miles up the river at the IMA. Made of 100 small objects, each object is a separate sculpture created by combining everyday things. I spotted conglomerations of phone cord, birthday candles, spades playing cards, plastic rulers, a branch, Lipski’s American Express card, electric wire, bike reflectors, drinking straws and address labels from the Herron Gallery in Indianapolis. The work is a fine example of assemblage art and reminds me of discovering unknown tools in my grandfather’s barn as a child in northern Indiana.
Text referring to the piece reads: “In some combinations the impulse seems to be to destroy the object’s former use. In others the inspiration is joining similar forms.”
Both of Lipski’s works are site-specific and add an eclectic intimacy to the city’s riverside art collections.