Jammin’ on the Avenue by John Spaulding

TITLE: Jammin’ on the Avenue
ARTIST: John Spaulding
DATE: 1989
DIMENSIONS: 9.6′ x 4′ x 4′
TYPE: sculpture

Indianapolis native John Spaulding created Jammin’ on the Avenue (1989) as a tribute to the jazz heritage of Indiana Avenue that flourished from the 1920s to the 1950s. Famous Jazz musicians JJ Johnson, Freddie Hubbard, and Slide Hampton all got their starts in the jazz clubs along Indiana Avenue.

Lockefield Gardens Apartments, located just behind Jammin’ on the Avenue, is a former government housing project and Spaulding’s birthplace. It was home to many African-American families seeking a better life. Sixteen of the original twenty-four units were leveled in the early 1980s to make way for new developments, similar to much of the Indiana Avenue district.

Consider how public art like Jammin’ on the Avenue can be a touchstone for collective memory or even act as a challenge to institutional narratives.

Spaulding was an internationally exhibited artist. You can see more of his work at the intersection of Indiana Avenue and West Street, where Untitled (Jazz Musicians) is located.

To learn more about this artwork, visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jammin%27_on_the_Avenue , which includes information created by Herron School of Art and Design and IUPUI Museum Studies faculty and students in 2009 as part of “A Survey of IUPUI Public Art.”