Pamela

Bliss is responsible for two of Indy's new murals in the 46 For XLVI project. One of these, her monumental

portrait of native son and American literary master Kurt Vonnegut on

Massachusetts Avenue, just west of Alabama Street, already shows potential to

become what every work of public art aspires to be: a local icon.

"People

from San Francisco were walking by while I was working on it and said, 'Hey!

That's Kurt Vonnegut!'" Bliss says. Couples are reportedly having their

photographs taken in front of Bliss' portrait.

Bliss

sees her work — and the 46 For XLVI mural project — as being in a

direct line of descent from the murals created through the Works Progress

Administration during the Great Depression.

"(President

Franklin D.) Roosevelt tried to get the economy going by employing different

categories of the workfield, and the arts was one of them," she says. "I feel

like I'm part of that."

Bliss,

who has another mural depicting such Indianapolis jazz greats as Wes Montgomery

and Freddie Hubbard on the Musicians Repair and Sales Store on Capitol,

believes murals enhance the community. "People tend to fall in love with

murals. I've painted a few murals over in Wayne County and people get really

attached to them, especially if they see them in progress. They come by and

they feel they're a part of it. Instead of painting in a studio and you hang it

on a wall, people are actually being a part of the experience. Their hands

aren't putting it on the wall, but they are experiencing it and that's why they

get attached to it."

Bliss

says the mural project has put Indianapolis on the map. "It's already become

historic. Just like the WPA murals — they were created for a reason

and, one of these days, all of these murals, as a whole, will be known in

history as the Super Bowl murals."

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