Demetrius Green is 25 years old, born and raised in Indianapolis.
He is a full-time artist, mostly self-taught, working mostly in surrealistic forms and oil paint.
A recent internship at the Harrison Center paired him with sculptor Quincy Owens, and taught him a bit about working in metal.
Demetrius was introduced to KIB through a photographer friend, who recommended him to CAFÉ, the Community Alliance of the Far Eastside. CAFÉ was looking for an artist to create a mural for the underpass mural on Pendleton Pike under 465. After he met with staff at the Indianapolis Arts Council KIB, Demetrius was commissioned to design and lead the project.
Demetrius has always enjoyed drawing. After an accident three years ago, in which he broke his foot, he had extra time on his hands. That’s when he first picked up a paintbrush.
About the mural: “They wanted something simple,” says Demetrius. “I wanted to use a lot of colors, and I wanted to incorporate musical themes to draw on Indy’s jazz music tradition.”
He says that the committee found his first sketch to be too complicated. So he simplified it, keeping the musical elements but deleting some other images.
The pillars holding up the underpass had some crumbling cement, “but it was not as bad as I thought it would be,” he says.
The first step was to clean up the area: powerwashing the walls and picking up litter.
Then, on July 18, 60 volunteers showed up, including interns from major Indianapolis corporations. “The first day, I made an outline of the shapes I wanted, and made it into a giant paint-by-numbers puzzle.” Then, the volunteers followed along, filling in the colors based on Demetrius’ design.
“This was my first mural, but I would like to do more. It was a lot of fun!,” he says. “I feel like the mural is inspiring people. I’ve heard from a bunch of friends in the neighborhood that they love driving past it on their way to work.”