This art project is informed by crime prevention through environmental design. Having images of people on the walls will add a human element and make the passersby feel as though people are there with them as they go through the underpass. There are no houses or businesses in this corridor to keep watch on it and the surrounding area has one of the highest crime rates in the city of Indianapolis. It is our hope that when someone going through sees the art work, they will stop and think twice before they do something to disrespect the community.
The people that live here still believe that the neighborhood can be safer. The eagle and stars that will also be a part of the mural will give rise to pride in the place we call home. The theme of American 3.14 has evolved to mean that we can take pride in this place with a mural that is a 3.14 upgrade.
$2,000 will be spent on supplies for the creation of stencils that can be reused to put the images on the wall and for the paint and equipment for its application and for the preparation of the mural surface. The plan is that if the area is hit by graffiti again, the stencils can be used to redo the mural images quickly and without the need to call in another artist or much further labor. $2,500 is for the artist's labor, which is broken down into roughly $4 per square foot of mural or $15 an hour.
The artist, Aaron (Ezi) Underwood, is a hip hop artist from Indianapolis, Indiana. He has always been creative. After exploring various media, Ezi began to draw models and he developed his own style. He has always loved street art. Artists like Shepherd, who did the Obama hope posters, started doing large mural pieces on buildings. Seeing this development in the art world planted the idea of returning creativity to the community. "I want to become a mural artist", Ezi told himself. When Lisa met Ezi at a gallery showing some of his gripping art, they immediately started collaborating to co-lead this project on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis. Lisa is a resident of Rivoli Park Neighborhood and she is volunteering her time as an organizer of this project so that this corner of the world can be a little bit brighter.