INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 5, 2023) – The Hoosiers and the technologies behind Indiana’s advanced manufacturing industry take center stage in a new art exhibit, featuring images captured by Indianapolis photographer Michael Durr.
“The Art of Modern Manufacturing: Views through a different lens” opens on Friday, October 6 and runs through Friday, October 27. The exhibit, which is free to the public, is accompanied by an audio tour with commentary from Durr, writer Sandra Cline and Conexus Indiana Director of Innovation and Digital Transformation Ryan Henderson.
Durr, in partnership with Conexus Indiana, traveled statewide to capture nearly 80,000 images to document how Indiana manufacturers and Hoosier workers are using smart manufacturing technologies – such as cobots, additive manufacturing and advanced robotics – to increase productivity and competitiveness. Sixteen of his photos are on display in The AMP at the 16 Tech Innovation District.
Durr’s work is part of Conexus Indiana’s comprehensive project to chronicle the technology adoption journeys of Indiana companies that have invested in and implemented Industry 4.0 technologies. Nearly 50 company case studies, composed by local writer Sandra Cline, can be found on Conexus Indiana’s website.
The art exhibit complements the events Indiana manufacturers are hosting throughout October during Manufacturing Day activities. Manufacturing Day, officially recognized on Oct. 6, is a national Manufacturing Institute celebration that encourages companies to open their doors for facility tours, presentations and hands-on activities as a way to positively shift perceptions of the industry and inspire students to pursue advanced manufacturing careers.
Durr captured thousands of photographs while onsite at predominately small- to mid-sized manufacturing facilities across the state of Indiana, all of which have successfully secured a Manufacturing Readiness Grants award from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). The Manufacturing Readiness Grants program, administered by the IEDC in partnership with Conexus Indiana and Next Level Manufacturing Institute, was launched in 2020. To date, 481 grants have been made, totaling $52 million and spurring a total investment of $668 million in smart manufacturing technology, including cobots, machine learning, additive manufacturing and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
“Michael captured a whole new view of manufacturing through his lens, and we realized that his photos could be incredibly powerful storytelling tools,” said Fred Cartwright, president and CEO of Conexus Indiana. “Michael started this project in 2021 with a fairly typical view of manufacturing but tells us he now has a greater understanding of technology’s role in the manufacturing process and – most importantly – how people drive manufacturing success. We hope his photos can have a similar impact on those who visit the exhibit.”
Durr said of his experience: “Being involved with this project has unveiled to me the scope of manufacturing throughout our state. Capturing these images has given me a unique opportunity to share this often-hidden world with a large audience and give them a view behind the curtain. It’s amazing to showcase the detail, precision and quantity of what’s being made in our backyard.”
Conexus Indiana, founded in 2007 to strengthen Indiana’s advanced manufacturing and logistics industries, works with industry, education and public-sector partners to support innovation, build a robust talent pipeline and educate Hoosiers about the importance of Indiana’s advanced manufacturing industry to the state’s economy and Hoosier jobs. The public art exhibit is part of Conexus Indiana’s public awareness activities.
About Conexus Indiana
For more than a decade, Conexus Indiana, one of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) non-profit initiatives, has been positioning the Hoosier State as the best place for advanced manufacturing and logistics industries to innovate, invest, employ and succeed. By collaborating with industry, academic and public sector partners on a shared vision for an innovative, skilled workforce and stronger business climate, Conexus Indiana has helped to create opportunities for advanced manufacturing and logistics companies, prepare Hoosiers to succeed in the state’s largest industry sectors and maintain Indiana’s competitive advantage. For more information, visit conexusindiana.com.
Click on the links below to hear two sample outtakes from The Art of Modern Manufacturing: Views through a different lens” audio tour: