On Friday, March 24, 2017, the Art Association's LOVE sculpture was installed in the Arts Park. The Iconic LOVE image is the original creation of New Castle native Robert Indiana. The LOVE sculpture is part
of the Robert Indiana Arts & Cultural District project, lead by Carrie Barrett and the New Castle Main Street Organization. AAHC Board Member, Steve Weidert organized the LOVE sculpture project for the Arts Park. Thanks to generous donations from long time arts supporter Jeri Horn and many other AAHC members, we were able to move forward with the creation of the LOVE sculpture.
The sculpture was created by the New Castle Community Center Welding and Metal Arts classes. The students and teachers donated the time and labor, which was no easy feat. Each letter in the sculpture is four feet tall and four feet wide! The installation required the use of a hydraulic fork lift, expertly operated by NCCC Welding teacher, Steve Vitatoe and a little elbow grease from Steve Weidert, Aaron Dicken and Nancy Dietz.
The LOVE sculpture is the first large art installation in the Arts Park. With the continued support of our members, it will not be the last. We hope to work with the students and teachers of the New Castle Career Center again and make your Arts Park a true showcase of art that is representative of Henry County and Indiana.
LOVE's Origin – Robert Indiana
The iconic LOVE image was the creation of Robert Indiana. Robert Indiana was born Robert Clark in New Castle in 1928. He spent the first 17 years of his life living in Indiana moving frequently between cities and eventually lived in 21 different homes. After his parents divorced, he relocated to Indianapolis to live with his father so he could attend Arsenal Technical High School (1942–46). After serving for three years in the United States Army Air Forces, he studied at the Art Institute of Chicago (1949–53), the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine (summer 1953) and Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College of Art (1953–54). He returned to America in 1954 and settled in New York City. There he began making art with his distinctive "hard edge" style. Since 1978 he has lived in Vinalhaven, Maine in an old Victorian home he has named “The Star of Hope”.
Indiana's work often consists of bold, simple, iconic images, especially numbers and short words like EAT, HUG, and, his best known example, LOVE. The LOVE icon first appeared in a series of poems written by Robert Indiana in the 1950’s where he arranged the letters in a square and tilted the “O”. The red/blue/green image was then created for a Christmas card for the Museum of Modern Art in 1964. In 1970 the first of many sculptures was created and displayed in Indiana at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Then in 1973, the image was used by the United States Postal Service for an 8 cent stamp. Indiana’s LOVE design has been reproduced in a variety of formats for rendering in displays around the world. Versions of the sculpture now exist in Hebrew, Chinese, Italian and Spanish.
To find out more about Robert Indiana and see many more great pictures, please visit Aaron Dicken's blog fromindianawithlove. He and Richard Bouslog traveled to Maine and spent an afternoon with Robert Indiana in his home in Vinylhaven.