Speedway cultivating image as a home to arts, crafts

Speedway cultivating image as a home to arts, crafts

By Bill McCleery
Indianapolis Star
August 18, 2011
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It might not be known as an artists’ Mecca, but the town of Speedway is home to a growing number of arts-oriented events.

This Sunday, the “Market in the Park” happens from noon to 3 p.m. at Meadowood Park, 5700 Meadowood Drive, Speedway. It will feature booths with vendors selling arts, crafts, flowers and possibly some antiques and vintage items. At least one farmer is expected to sell produce. Artists will lead some free workshops for children, and a band might perform.

Earlier this summer, on June 30, the town opened the Speedway Centre for the Arts on the corner of 16th and Main streets. It features an artists’ gallery and has become a community meeting place.

Though she credits others for helping push forward these projects, Speedway artist Amy Carroll has been perhaps the primary driving force. She is now coordinator of both the Meadowood event and the new arts center.

On Sunday, Carroll answered questions about the growing arts movement in Speedway.

Question: How did the “Market in the Park” get started?

Answer: A couple years ago, we had an idea for something that would be a little bit farmers market and little bit arts and crafts, especially thing done locally. The first couple years, we tried to have  it the third weekend of every month from May to October. That was a little bit much so we’ve scaled back this year to the third weekend in August, September and October.

Q: What’s been most popular at these events?

A: The first thing that comes to my mind is the work of a local jewelry artist named Ann Tudor. She has a line of jewelry called “Maudies” that has a nice following. She does handmade glass beads — they’re called lampwork beads — that are really unique, and she makes re-creations from old jewelry. I’ve never seen anything else quite like what she does. Her work is very impressive.

Q: What if someone is interested in having a vendor booth?

A: On Speedway’s town website — www.townofspeedway.org — there’s an application form for 12′-X-12′ spaces. Cost is $10, which goes to the town of Speedway. If anyone has questions, they can e-mail me at amycarrollcreations@juno.com or call me at (317) 247-4761 or my cell, (317) 607-3300.

Q: You’re also trying to make people more aware of the Speedway Centre for the Arts.

A: Absolutely. We’re such a small community, but we don’t always know our neighbors all that well. This is becoming a place where people connect with one another, centered on the arts. We could never have done it without the town (officials) opening their eyes and hearts and saying, “We can do this.” We use a building that’s been owned by the town that basically was not being used. The Speedway Redevelopment Commission and the town manager, Barbara Lawrence, have really made good things happen.

Q: What are the art center’s hours?

A: It’s open 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. It’s also open noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays. People can go to a website — www.speedwaycentreforthearts.vpweb.com — to learn more about it. We also have Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Q: How did you become so interested in the arts?

A: Growing up in Missouri, I always enjoyed the arts, such as painting and music. In college, I studied art appreciation, speech and theater and later taught those subjects at a Catholic school.


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