During South Bend's sesquicentennial, I had the opportunity to do an installation at the South Bend Museum of Art. I decided this was the perfect opportunity to claim Robert Indiana for South Bend. Robert Indiana (note: legally Robert Clark) is famously from Indiana.
There is a lithograph that he designed for the inauguration of the South Bend Art Center in 1976 (still available for purchase at the museum for a modest price, if you know who to ask). From there, my 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 me 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. I also corrected the blue arrow that represents the St. Joseph river - the river flows north, but he wouldn't have know that! I made a rubbing table of this edited image, inviting guests to pull a piece of newsprint (from the South Bend Tribune of course) 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 wheatpaste 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.
Please note: my interest in Robert Indiana is ongoing - name change, autochronologies, his house museum, including stuffed animals in later exhibitions, superstitions, Marsden Hartley, his fashion choices. Reach out if you want to talk Robert Indiana or want to see help me realize more projects about him.