During South Bend's sesquicentennial, we had the opportunity to do an installation at the South Bend Museum of Art. This was the perfect opportunity to claim Robert Indiana for South Bend.
There is a lithograph that he designed for the inauguration of the South Bend Art Center in 1976. From there, our research uncovered that his step-grandmother had been murdered there in the thirties. He had a couple of exhibits there as well.
Additional research got us interested in his history of making rubbings.
This led to a first project reworking Indiana's lithograph. What were numbers of highways became known dates related to South Bend. We also corrected the blue arrow that represents the St. Joseph river - the river flows north, but he wouldn't have know that! We made a rubbing table of this edited image, inviting guests to pull a piece of newsprint (sourced from the South Bend Tribune) out of a drawer, make a rubbing of the relief image, and take a print home. The table is built from wood from a single home that was torn down as part of a city-wide initiative by Mayor Pete.
The second project was making a wheat paste mural composed of rubbings from around South Bend. The image features a reworked image of South Bend's crest surrounded by a fence with street signs standing behind.
Lastly, the signage in the exhibition informed guests that an accompanying booklet was available for sale for 5₵ in the museum gift shop. The booklet compares the reworked lithograph with the original.