INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA Tournament is in full swing and there are special things going on across the city to showcase basketball, including a special art exhibit at the Circle City Industrial Complex.
“Broken Rims and Dirty Dreams” is a sculpture exhibit made with all refurbished basketball equipment. The artist, Nicholas Conlon, says he made it to show the love of the game.
The art went up specifically for the basketball tournaments. While Conlon is from Chicago, the exhibit has an Indiana connection, Bobby Plump, the man Hoosiers character Jimmy Chitwood was based on.
As you may remember, Plump played for a small school in Milan, Indiana. He and his teammates went on to win the state basketball championship in 1954.
“It’s key because it kind of brings people in, gets people excited about it, and then they get to see the other things. So it’s kind of a draw, sort of. I think the piece is really cool, I made it where it looks like the shots been taken and it’s sort of swished,” Conlon said.
The other art on display includes a piece along the wall that Conlin says tells the story of salvation and it’s painted on the backs of rims.
There’s also a wall that shows the history of the basketball goal. It has Conlon’s first goal made from a wire hanger, and there’s a milk crate he says kids use as a basket. And the wall also has what he calls the original basket, a peach basket.
“I just think what you gotta do is appeal to your audience a little bit and then bring them in and let them see some things they that haven’t seen before and some things that they don’t know about. And some things about life that I represent as an artist and that’s really kind of the rest of the show.”
Conlon says the pandemic has been a tough time for artists and entertainers. He’s hoping this exhibit is something that will catch basketball fans’ attention.
“Now they get to let the fans come in and this is special for me as well as artist all over. There’s a big downtown art scene going on. And we get a chance to express ourselves and get a lot more eyes on it than because of the pandemic than what we’ve had in the last year, over a year now. It’s been a bad situation for us for artists.”
Conlon mentioned that Bobby Plump is still alive. He says it’s one of his goals to meet him and maybe work with him on a future project.