CityWay is a neighborhood that set out to change urban living by making it accessible, with everything one could want in a short walking distance. It also changes the way urban living looks, with art pieces everywhere for its residents to enjoy. The second phase of the CityWay project, run by real estate company Buckingham, includes murals created by two internationally renowned street artists. Buckingham has commissioned more than 20 site-specific works of art for the CityWay neighborhood since 2013. “The goal is to infuse Buckingham’s appreciation for art into the neighborhood, creating a vibrant and memorable place for residents and visitors alike,” says Linda Jackson, spokesperson for Buckingham.
Nick Walker is an artist from Bristol, England, with works on display all over the world. According to Buckingham, his art has already become iconic to the CityWay neighborhood, gritty and beautiful at the same time, so bringing him back was an obvious choice.
Walker often uses a stenciling process to create his murals, which is quite labor-intensive. Most of the work is done before paint ever touches a wall. The image is produced, then the stencil is cut and printed to the proper size. For this particular Indianapolis mural, the image was projected directly on the wall to be painted over.
There is a common character in many of Walker’s murals, including the one in Indianapolis: a sneaky street artist named Vandal who never shows his face. The character is Walker’s version of a graffiti superhero who can do things that the real life artist could only dream of doing, like scaling a giant building overlooking the city.
Walker finds inspiration from everywhere, from freight train graffiti to comic book art, as he absorbs the world around him like a sponge. “I get inspiration from the cracks in a building, when paint fades or chips and reveals what’s underneath.”
Kelsey Montague is an artist from Denver with murals all around the world. Her art has a unique human element, inviting people to participate in the art itself and then share it on Instagram, by way of angel wings and other vibrant images. Buckingham knew her art would inspire guests and residents due to its inclusivity and interactive nature, making it perfect for the urban setting.
Every mural is unique to its location and purpose. Montague hides images within her art to tell a larger story. The colors, design elements, and images depends on the people and the community—for example, one of the local murals features a race car hidden in the design.
Montague is inspired by the people and communities for whom she creates. “Being able to challenge myself and focus on another person or community is a huge factor for me. It’s so inspiring as an artist to leave something that will be taken over by a community and become their art and a part of their identity.”