In collaboration with the Town of Zionsville, Zionsville-based artist Cynthia Young has unveiled the design of the 10-foot-tall Walking Man sculpture. The sculpture, located in the Zionsville Town Hall outdoor public plaza directly off the Big-4 Rail Trail, is the newest addition of public art in Zionsville.
In September of 2016, the Community Foundation of Boone County donated four Walking Man sculptures to the communities of Zionsville, Lebanon, Whitestown and Jamestown with the goal of tying the county together through art and honoring the Foundation’s 25th anniversary. Each community had the opportunity to add their own unique touch to the sculpture through paint, graphics, decals and more. Each community also chose their sculpture’s location, with many along a section of trail or in a park.
For Zionsville’s Walking Man, Young worked with the Town to create a design that ties into the sculpture’s proximity to the Big-4 Rail Trail. On the sculpture’s torso, an illustrated, artistic map directs trail users and Town Hall visitors to Zionsville’s 400+ acres of parks and trails. On the arms and legs, painted colorful wildflowers native to Indiana highlight the importance of landscaping with native plants. On the shoulder, Young added a life size 3-dimensional Cardinal, the Indiana state bird.
“I was trying to come up with a way to tie in the walking trails and parks since it looks like he is walking and he is next to one of the walking trails,” Young said. “Once I came up with the torso having the parks map on it, the native plants painted on the extremities fell into place since native plants are so important to the environment. Susan Conaway of Zionsville is a naturalist and helped me choose the plants to use.”
To design the illustrated parks and trails map, Town of Zionsville Director of Communications & Community Relations Amanda Vela and Parks Department Superintendent Matt Dickey worked with Lebanon-based website and graphic designer Chad Perdue of DevLab.
“I wanted Walking Man to look like he belonged in his environment while highlighting the great parks and trails in Zionsville,” Young said. “I think he looks satisfied among nature and the trail, and put another way, he looks at home."
The Community Foundation of Boone County encourages residents and tourists to visit the decorated sculptures and share photos using #booneimpact.
“With Walking Man being located right off the Big-4 Rail Trail and visible from the Town Hall parking lot, we love the idea of making it a resource to the community by adding a map of our local parks and trails,” Mayor Haak said. “Our Walking Man is not only functional in its design, it’s colorful and vibrant and inherently ties together our community, the county and the state.”