The Zionsville Cultural District’s new mission to “provide obvious and accessible public art” has taken fruition with the support of building relationships with the Town of Zionsville, community organizations and community residents.

At the first Farmer’s Market will be the kick off of honoring Zionsville’s past, by way of planting dahlias in home gardens and as public art. Mark Zelonis, who is leading this effort said, “We wish to engage the interest and participation of our local community and county-wide groups in this initiative through simply growing dahlias in their gardens and to use dahlias in public landscapes.”

In the late 1920’s, Zionsville had two prize winning gardens — The Tudor Gardens of Jennie and Adah Tudor and the Parkway Gardens of Fred Gresh. In 1933, Gresh received the Gold Medal from the American Dahlia Society at the Chicago World’s Fair for the outstanding flower of the year and named the bloom the “Zionsville Pride.”

Zelonis has conveyed this mission with the Boone County Master Gardener team and with the Zionsville Village Garden Club. The initiative has garnered support from Altum’s Garden Center and Akard True Value and by local community gardeners who are excited with this possibility of bringing back to Zionsville the honor of being recognized as “Dahlia City.”

The purpose of this ZCD effort is to educate the town and its visitors of Zionsville’s unique horticultural heritage and to encourage residents, civic groups and the Town to plant and grown Dahlias as a display of public art.

At the recent Mayor’s Night In, Zionsville Mayor Tim Haak announced a new 266-foot mural will be painted on the back of the building located on 98 Main St. The mural will be an abstract portrait of Abraham Lincoln. This mural suggestion was the consensus of the ZCD to honor the significance of the community park and to provide an obvious visual display of public art for the residents and visitors of Zionsville. The selected artist who provided the rendering is Nekoda Witsken, who has a long-standing family relationship with the town.

This is the second project the ZCD and the Town of Zionsville have collaborated on to bring public art to Zionsville. The first is the Sidewalk Poetry contest and now this latest mural with more to come.

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