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IMS creative team ‘breathes life’ into the track through art

IMS Creative Team designs art for racing fans

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Hundreds of thousands will pack the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indy 500 on Sunday, and something that might catch the eyes of many is the art.

Many of the designs seen when walking through IMS were created by local artists. Shae Beechler is on the IMS creative team, and designed some products found in the gift store for children.

“The IndyCar coloring book really focuses on the series and the art of racing,” Beechler said. “You learn about the pit crew and the parts of the car, so it’s great for the kids to learn about that and create new race fans. The IMS one is really focused on the day of the Indy 500.”

Some of the garage doors also host spreads of art. Cholie Fishers created one of many garage door designs before they were printed onto vinyl for display.

“I think that it’s really exciting to try and beautify a masculine sport and that’s something that we did a lot of this year with the program,” she said. “You’ll see more florals and things like that and like our campaign this year is very light and airy so just softening that rugged rough sport this year.”

Grace Keller joined the team in 2020, and says each year, the team adds new life to the track. “The garage doors – those weren’t a project when I first started here, and we had this awesome idea of ‘what if we had some really beautiful spots for fans to take pictures in front of’ because, of course, we’ve got the Pagoda and all the scenic stuff, but we wanted some art.”

Keller tells News 8 a graphic she designed of Joseph Newgarden winning the 107th running of the Indy 500. Incorporated into the graphic were orchids, which appear in the winner’s wreath.

“We loved that graphic so much that we wanted to incorporate it in the cover (of this book),” she said, showing a program made for the 108th running of the Indy 500. “You can actually scratch the orchids on here and smell the wreath. We had to go through hundreds of scents to see which one smelled the most like our wreath.”

The 2024 Indy 500 programs are available at the track and online.