Indy artists create signs to welcome race fans

To celebrate the 104th running of the Indy 500, on Aug. 23, five artists created new signs for 2020. The featured artists are Josh Betsey, Joy Hernandez, Becky Hochhalter, Martin Kuntz and Jingo de la Rosa.

Joy joined us this morning on Indy Style to tell us about her work.

The Arts Council of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are offering limited-edition, $150 giclée prints from all five years of the iconic Welcome Race Fans signs project. In addition, the public can buy the new 2020 series Welcome Race Fans signs as posters for $10 each, or collect all five for $25. The prints and posters will be available for purchase from Aug. 3-31 at

Proceeds will benefit the artists who created these original artworks, and also support Phase II of the Indy Arts & Culture COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. Nearly 100% of arts and cultural workers in Central Indiana have lost significant income due to venue closures and event cancellations, according to Arts Council surveys, and are in critical need of financial support for basic living expenses.

Welcome Race Fans, a partnership between the Arts Council and the IMS, started in 2016 to mark the 100th running of the Indy 500. That year, 33 artists were commissioned to create original signs to welcome visitors and celebrate the history and excitement of Indianapolis racing culture. Since then, a total of 52 artists have made signs using their own styles, materials, and processes–from salvaged metals and poplar to colored pencils on paper or acrylic paint on canvas. Traditionally, these signs have been printed as posters or banners and placed throughout the city during the month of May.


The Indy Arts & Culture COVID-19
Emergency Relief Fund
was launched in March to
support arts and cultural workers who suffered immediate, severe income losses
caused by venue closures and event cancellations due to the pandemic. Between
March and May, the $472,000 Fund, started by a generous coalition of community
funders, awarded 950 rapid-response grants of $500 each to help arts and
cultural workers cover basic living expenses including housing payments, health
insurance, and food.

That need for financial support has grown stronger, according to June 2020 survey of more than 1,400 creatives statewide conducted by the Arts Council and the Indiana Arts Commission, and 25 of the IAC’s regional partners. More than half of the respondents reported being unemployed and having less than three months of savings on hand. Creatives are also looking for support through contracts, project commissions, gigs, and other paid opportunities.

For more information, visit the Welcome Race Fans website.