Local Artists Needed For Upcoming Exhibition “Sleek: The Art of the Helmet”

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum announces an artist callout for the upcoming exhibition, “Sleek: The Art of the Helmet,” which explores the art of the racing helmet and the stories behind the designs. The Museum will offer a $500 artist fee to those selected.

The exhibition will feature a total of 27 helmets, nine helmets will be from racing history, nine from current drivers, and local artists will commission the final nine using Bell Racing Helmets. The number nine is a nod to the “Fast Nine Shootout,” when the fastest nine drivers must make another four-lap attempt to determine their starting position. Artists are to create a helmet with the theme of, “If you were the driver, what would represent you on your helmet?”. Artists can use their own unique materials, process, and style and does not need to include racing imagery.

“Sleek” is led by guest curator and local Indianapolis artist Amiah Mims. Mims, a painter and designer, has been featured in the 2019 Indianapolis Motor Speedway “Welcome Race Fans” project and the Indy Arts Council’s “Murals for Racial Justice” in 2020. She is a member of The Eighteen Art Collective, a local group of Black visual arts who created and installed the #BlackLivesMatter mural on Indiana Avenue in 2020 and have since had multiple exhibitions in local museums and cultural institutions. In 2021, she collaborated with three-time Indy 500 winner Johnny Rutherford to create the cover design for the official souvenir program for last year’s race. Mims recently founded her own company, Works by Mimsy, specializing in graphic design, paintings, and murals.

Applications are now open, and the deadline to apply is April 15. The selection process, with the support of the Indy Arts Council, will be conducted by a panel, and artists will be notified by May 1.

Information about application requirements and artist expectations can be found on the application page: IMSMuseum.org/artsubmissions.

The artist-created helmets will be auctioned off upon the exhibition’s close in early 2023. Funds raised will benefit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, to support the sustainability of the collection with a percentage going back to the artist of each helmet.

“Sleek: The Art of the Helmet” is scheduled to open at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum in July 2022.