Nontraditional Herron juniors help IMS embody ‘Back Home Again in Indiana’

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway featured work by Herron juniors Sarah Chumbley and alicia-for-blog_resizedAlicia Stephens in the official event program for the 2015 Indianapolis 500.

Chumbley, a visual communication design major, was a spring intern in creative services at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, reporting to Dawn DeBellis. Working on the publication design, Chumbley asked Debellis to consider a painting for page 23, to illustrate a favorite Hoosier song, Back Home Again in Indiana. Debellis agreed.

Stephens, a painting major, had created Cross That Bridge, an oil on canvas, to fulfill a school assignment. She painted from a photo she’d taken in 2012 at Shades State Park. “My daughter, who was seven at the time, was afraid to cross a log over a creek. Her dad is on the far side of the log,” Stephens said.

Stephens entered IUPUI later in life than most students. “I’ve been painting for 20 years,” she said. “I had success in selling my work, but I was stuck in landscapes. I didn’t know how to get out of it. My husband suggested that I come to Herron.”

Chumbley came to Herron after three and a half years as a chemistry major. “It was senior year and I just wasn’t happy,” she recalled. “I finally just decided to do something about it. I had a meeting with my advisor and told her that my dream job would be to work somewhere like Hallmark, where I’d have a creative outlet in a business setting, and she referred me to [Herron academic advisor] Abbey Chambers. An hour later I was registered as a visual communication design major. It was terrifying at the time, but I honestly believe it was the best decision I’ve ever made.”

Stephens and Chumbley first met in a drawing class two years ago. “I think we clicked instantly in that we were both older than your average college student,” Chumbley said. “When Alicia showed me Cross That Bridge I felt like it was her strongest piece yet.”

Chumbley got the Speedway placement through Associate Professor Paula Differding. “She asked if I had an internship yet and told me I should apply for the one at the IMS because it sounded perfect for me. She knew I was familiar with the racing scene; my mom owns Hinchman Racing Uniforms.”

“I hadn’t put together a resume or portfolio,” Chumbley continued. “I was hesitant and intimidated, but she insisted and so I applied anyway. Looking back, it was just incredible luck. I can’t imagine loving an internship more than I love this one, and it basically fell in my lap. There’s a reason why we all call Professor Differding ‘Mama Paula’. She knows what she’s doing!”

The official event program was one of dozens of assignments Chumbley completed during her internship, which began in mid-March. “The event program is 100 pages plus,” she said, “so it’s pretty much all hands on deck. I had a lot of freedom to design, as long as it fit with the aesthetic of the rest of the pages.”

“I was looking through old Indy 500 programs for inspiration I could use for the Back Home Again page,” she said. “I saw one that had a landscape painting and I thought of Alicia immediately. I asked her to send me some pictures of her work. In the back of my mind, I already knew I’d choose Cross that Bridge. It went with the song lyrics. When I shared a draft of the page with my coworkers, they agreed that it was perfect.”

Stephens credits excellent instructors for her success as a student, but her work ethic plays a big part. She has earned multiple scholarships. “I could not tell my son and daughter to go to college if I did not have a degree. I’ve shown them that if they work hard, they can treat every project as job they were hired to do. They can receive recognition,” she said.

“I was a high school drop out in ninth grade,” continued Stephens. “I did not have a supportive environment. I didn’t think I was smart enough to go to college, so I never tried. My sister had encouraged me to get my GED in 1995. To come to IUPUI, I had to take extra math classes to resolve what I missed not finishing high school. My husband helped me get through those classes and I finally made it here.

“I have learned so much. I can’t wait for senior year. Color theory was so important from my first semester here. I learned how to create the illusion of depth. I look back at my paintings from before Herron and think wow, I really was an amateur.”

Editor’s note: In June, Alicia learned that she has multiple myeloma. She is facing multiple rounds of chemotherapy and a likely stem cell transplant. She has started a GoFundMe campaign to help her family offset the costs of her illness that are not covered by their insurance. To find out more and to donate, visit Myeloma Cancer chemo fund.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IUPUI bring racing history to life online

thCAJ85RU0In partnership with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), IUPUI University Library brings 100 years of track history to life through a collection of free online audio stories. The short oral histories offer race insights and commentary and are accompanied by photographs of some of the most important moments in the life of the Indianapolis 500.

The oral race summaries expand on a one of a kind digital repository that captures the history of IMS through more than 14,000 images taken from 1879 to 2013. Thanks to grants from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library services and administered by the Indiana State Library, the photographs can be viewed on the IUPUI University Library’s website. Just Google: Digital Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

With the help of Donald Davidson, IMS historian since 1998, the oral histories were created by a 2013 IUPUI graduate, from the school of Informatics, Joe Skibinski. There are currently 66 audio histories and the collection continues to grow. Among the highlights are the 1960 race during which Jim Rathmann edged out Rodger Ward by 12.75 seconds and a flashback to the 2006 showdown when Sam Hornish Jr. pulled alongside Marco Andretti on the front stretch in a sprint to the finish to win by 0.0635 seconds. Some vignettes feature clips of the IMS Radio Network’s broadcast coverage with iconic announcers like Sid Collins and Paul Page.

This online collection allows users from across the world to explore the storied past of the landmark that has put Indianapolis at the epicenter of motorsports history for one hundred years. Visitors to the site can search for a favorite year of Indianapolis 500 racing, a favorite driver or car and more. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Collection is one of more than 60 online collections created by the IUPUI University Library and its community partners, including Conner Prairie Living History Museum, in nearby Fishers, and the Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper. To browse the digital collections, visit the library on the web.

Located at 755 W. Michigan Avenue in the heart of the IUPUI campus, the University Library is a public library, serving nearly one million visitors a year, 10 percent of them community users. University Library supports students and faculty across all of IUPUI’s more than 200 degree programs with research expertise and a wide array of resources. Any resident of Indiana is eligible for an IUPUI University Library card.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IUPUI library bring racing history to life online

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has a rich history that has shaped the culture of Indiana as well as the worlds of sports and racing.
A new digital collection made possible by the collaboration of the motorsports organization and the University Library at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis captures that history through more than 14,000 images.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Collection features highlights from the Speedway’s 100-plus years with photographs taken from 1879 to 1997. The photographs can be viewed online due to an ambitious digitization project, funded by grants from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services and administered by the Indiana State Library.

Some of the highlights include the very first public event at the Speedway, the 1909 U.S. National Balloon Championship. That helium-filled-balloon competition took place at the Speedway more than two months before the oval was completed. Other historic moments represented in the collection are the 1909 motorcycle race, dominated by “Cannon Ball” Baker, and the first Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in 1911.

This online collection will allow users from across the world to explore the storied past of the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Users can browse the collection by searching for drivers by name or searching for particular races by year.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Collection is one of more than 60 online collections created by the IUPUI University Library and its community partners. These unique online repositories, containing digital images of historic documents and objects, were created with the help of local organizations such as the Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, in nearby Fishers, and the Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper.

Located at 755 W. Michigan Ave. in the heart of the IUPUI campus, the University Library is a public library, serving nearly 1 million visitors a year, 10 percent of them community users. University Library supports students and faculty across all of IUPUI’s more than 200 degree programs with research expertise and a wide array of resources. Any resident of Indiana is eligible for an IUPUI University Library card.