The Spirit of Community

The Spirit of Community

By Nicole Davis

Andrea Townsend wasn’t sure what to expect when the Speedway Arts Council approached her about spearheading the art portion of a community mural project at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It couldn’t have gone better, she said.

“Over 250 people came to help paint and they were not expecting a turnout like that,” Townsend said. “It’s astonishing how many people wanted to be part of it and help.”

Townsend is a 2002 graduate of Perry Meridian High School and graduate of Herron School of Art. She’s painted professionally since completing art school, doing commission and mural-based paintings in her studio at the Circle City Industrial Complex, downtown Indianapolis. Examples of her work can be found at

Andrea Townsend leads a community mural project at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 11. (Photo by Faith Toole)

A board member for the Speedway Arts Council designed the artwork digitally, featuring a 1926 IndyCar to honor the year the town of Speedway was incorporated. The mural, titled “The Spirit of Community: Mural on Main” is located on a 100-foot wall in the parking lot next to Barbecue and Bourbon on Main Street.

“I was brought in to draw everything, block out colors that people could come and fill in the shapes,” Townsend explained. “It was strange for me because I’ve never painted someone else’s design; it’s always been my own. I liked the design. It had a great pop of color. From what it sounds like, this will be the first of many art things around. They (the Speedway Arts Council) want to have more involvement in the arts. I’m happy to be part of the first big project to put that in motion. The fact that it did happen, and the fact that it’s done before race day, that’s really exciting.”

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