SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) – A local artist is helping the town of Speedway start its engines in their new Speedway Municipal Center.
The town government building officially opens to the public on Monday with their first public town council meeting. There will be a ceremonial flag raising at 6:30 p.m., then people will be greeted inside with two special pieces of art created by Audwynn Newman.
The art will be a permanent part of the building, perfectly depicting both Speedway and a creative kickoff to the 2021 Indy 500 race.
“I don’t remember a time I wasn’t drawing images,” said Newman.
For as long as he can remember, Newman has been drawing or painting.
“So literally my entire life,” said Newman.
Now for the rest of his life, his work will live on in the racing capital of the world.
“I think, my God, someone is going to be looking at this forever,” said Newman, as he looks into the painting of Speedway.
Like the greatest spectacle in racing, the two new pieces of art will be a part of the town forever, featured in the new government building.
The Speedway Municipal Center, formerly known as the PNC building, was purchased by the Town in 2018 in order to develop a consolidated location for residents to do business with the town.
In recent months, many town departments have made the move to the new building and have worked diligently to prepare for a public opening.
Currently, the Speedway Police Department, Town Administration, Code Enforcement, Speedway Redevelopment, Speedway Cable Access, Parks Department and Clerk-Treasurer’s Office have relocated to the municipal center. Soon, the Speedway Schools Administration will move into the upper level of the building.
The art will remain a reminder to town officials and residents of Speedway’s racing history.
“It’s the biggest event in the world so these two pieces are commemorating that,” said Newman.
Naturally, the Indy 500 and Speedway staples are the themes.
“The banner here will say ‘driven by tradition,”’ said Newman.
The art will showcase traditions such as Sparkplug, the water tower and Allison’s Transmissions. Plus, the racing piece features the bricks, race cars and the Borg-Warner trophy.
Both artworks simply started as sketches Newman made in only a minute. However, don’t let the shorthand fool you, this art comes from the heart.
“It’s like thinking through your hand… It’s like a second language,” said Newman.
It’s a second language that speaks to race fans.
“We know some fans will be there. So, I wanted to touch on that and I wanted it to feel hopeful. Like, there is a new dawn or a new sun rising,” said Newman.
And the sun setting on last year, when Newman made a 104th running, masked masterpiece. Amid a pandemic, selling hundreds of copies to people who sadly couldn’t be in the stands.
This year, he is hopeful.
“I think there is hope. Just the fact that IMS is vaccinating people, is hope!” Said Newman. “And then as an artist, I see that coming through in my work. Just that hope, that feeling, that uplifting feeling.”
It’s a feeling race fans have as the Indy 500 gets closer. The pandemic’s finish line is in sight and the Brickyard is driving people to win their own race.
“Blessed and honored and just grateful,” said Newman.
The ceremony starts Monday at 6:30 p.m., then Newman’s art will officially be revealed.
A broader showing of Newman’s work will be also be displayed in an art exhibit at the Speedway Municipal Center for the public to enjoy, until June 4.
Newman said the Indy 500 piece featured in the Speedway building, will also be made into smaller versions people can buy in celebration of this year’s race.