‘Beacon Bloom’ brings beauty and purpose to roundabout
The City of Carmel has begun installing a new roundabout sculpture inside the roundabout at 96th Street and Westfield Boulevard. The 30-foot tall, 18-foot wide sculpture – “Beacon Bloom” – was created by Anderson-based artist Arlon Bayliss. It will be installed over the next few days. The City installs elements such as this not just for its beauty, but also its function.
Carmel uses roundabout art, sculptures and a variety of landscaping elements throughout the City’s 110 roundabouts in order to add a sense of beauty to our daily commutes and drives, but also as a way to train motorists to look left, and only left, when entering a roundabout.
“People say often that they don’t like these roundabout pieces because they block the view of oncoming traffic. But that is exactly the point,” said Mayor Jim Brainard, who has championed roundabouts and built more than any other city in the U.S. “When you enter a roundabout, you should only be looking to your left and finding a safe gap to proceed to your right. It’s all about safety and efficiency.”
The cost of the statue, its base and installation comes to about $352,900. It is one of several new pieces of art planned to be installed at roundabouts this year and in the future.
Arlon Bayliss has created art works worldwide and for the past several years has been contributing to the landscape of central Indiana, including “Seeds of Light” sidewalk pieces in Speedway and other beautiful pieces at Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation, Indianapolis Public Library and Indianapolis International Airport.
The new roundabout sculpture’s form was inspired by the artist’s ongoing study of plant forms and by the native Indiana plant forms.
“I called the new Carmel sculpture Beacon Bloom because it stands at the City’s southern gateway as a beacon … signaling the presence of the roundabout, not with a warning, but with a welcoming expression of hope and growth,” said Bayliss. “Viewers of the sculpture will see three tall-stemmed, flower-like structures reaching approximately 30 feet high as they approach and pass through the roundabout. They face south, northeast and northwest.”
The upper portion of each metal stem is comprised of sixteen clusters on curved cluster arms, arranged in a tilted, 12-foot domed flower. The rear of each faces downwards, towards viewers. Each cluster contains 16 florets. Dichroic glass lenses cover LED lights inside each floret so that, by night, each is bathed in subtly changing colored light.
Bayliss studied at the Royal College of Art, in London, England and his studio glass artwork is in collections and exhibitions worldwide. He was artist and designer at Rosenthal Glass in Germany for more than 10 years, and designer for Blenko Glass in West Virginia for nine years. He moved to the states to establish the glass program at Anderson University in 1990. Since 2014, he has worked as a freelance artist, designer and educator.
Attached is an image of the new sculpture. To see more of the artist’s work, go to www.arlonbayliss.com