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.
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.”