Beacon Bloom sculpture welcomes motorists to Carmel

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The City of Carmel has installed a new roundabout sculpture at 96th Street and Westfield Boulevard. Inside the roundabout, there’s now a 30-foot-tall, 18-foot-wide sculpture called “Beacon Bloom,” which looks like colorful flowers lit up at night.

Beacon Bloom welcomes motorists to Carmel at 96th Street and Westfield Bouelvard. (Submitted photo)

The cost of the statue, including its base and installation is about $352,900, according to the City of Carmel.

“I’ve gotten tremendous responses,” Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said. “People have been calling our offices saying they love it. I think over time it will become an iconic part of Carmel.”

The sculpture was created by Anderson-based artist Arlon Bayliss, who was inspired by the study of plant forms.

“I called the new Carmel sculpture Beacon Bloom because it stands at the city’s southern gateway as a beacon … signaling the presence of the roundabout, not with a warning, but with a welcoming expression of hope and growth,” Bayliss said in a statement.

Brainard said he hopes to commission this artist again for future work.

“It’s meant to inspire people,” he said. “In some ways, it’s turned out so well I almost wish it was in a more prominent area. But I’ll talk to the artist about similar works in other parts of town.”

Brainard said artwork in the middle of a roundabout is not only meant to provide a beautiful aesthetic, but also to train motorists to look only left when entering a roundabout. By obstructing the view from the other side of the roundabout, it prevents a motorist from looking across and waiting until a car completely passes around before entering, which Brainard said slows down traffic efficiency in a roundabout.

Brainard said the artwork also is a way to advertise the city.

“One reason we put it there is because people could see it from (I-465) and maybe become curious about what it was,” he said. “This is going to be here for decades. If you buy advertising, it’s over pretty soon. We get a lot of free media when we invest in the community.”

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