Confluence (sculpture)

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Confluence by Stackhouse and Mickett.jpg
ArtistRobert Stackhouse & Carol Mickett
Year2004 (2004)
TypeIndiana limestone
LocationIndianapolis Art Center, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Coordinates39°52′39.33″N 86°8′40.09″W / 39.8775917°N 86.1444694°W / 39.8775917; -86.1444694
OwnerIndianapolis Art Center

Confluence is a land art sculpture by artists Robert Stackhouse and Carol Mickett. The work sits on the grounds of the Indianapolis Art Center located in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States. Confluence was installed as part of the Art Center's ARTSPARK initiative.[1]


Confluence consists of 100 tons of Indiana limestone cascading in height in a 70-foot boat-like shape.[2][3][4] The second part of the artwork lies along the White River, further into the ARTSPARK.[1] Words are chiseled into the vertical stones with one statement reading "My soul has grown deep like the rivers."[3]


Stackhouse and Mickett created the piece in residency at the Art Center during the summer of 2004.[5] The installation utilized motorized chisels, gas-powered saws and hammers to create the columns. Stackhouse oversaw the work on the vertical stones and Mickett handled the arranging of the bases. Visitors to the Art Center were encouraged to participate by being allowed to don goggles, dust masks and gloves to contribute to the creation process. This unique opportunity to participate in the creation process was described by Art Center vice president and programming director David Thomas as being "...such a great chance to connect with people in a meaningful way, to see how an artist like this thinks and works".[3]


This piece was the first installation acquired for the Art Center's ARTSPARK which, designed by Michael Graves, brings together art and nature.[1][3] The artwork was a gift from Michael and Mary Ann Browning.[1]


The mission of the Indianapolis Art Center is to engage, enlighten, and inspire our community by providing interactive art education, outreach to underserved audiences, support of artists, and exposure to the visual arts. - Indianapolis Art Center Mission Statement[6]

Stackhouse and Mickett aimed to create an artwork that integrated "the center's mission, to make it part of its place." Confluence also seeks to represent journeying, unity and the Art Center's relationship and placement on with the White River. The words chiseled into the stones tell stories of these subjects with some being inspired by Langston Hughes' poem "The Negro Speaks of Rivers."[3]


  1. ^ a b c d Indianapolis Art Center. "Indianapolis Art Center Map" (PDF). Artspark. Indianapolis Art Center. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 September 2010. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
  2. ^ "Broad Ripple Village". Artspark. Indianapolis Sports & Travel. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d e Danison, Joy & Sarah Preuschl. "Stone Souls". Cover Gallery. Indianapolis Woman. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
  4. ^ "Art Attack". Parks & Recreation. 42 (8): 76. 2007. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  5. ^ "Q&A with Dave Thomas". Arts. Nuvo Newsweekly. 2004. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
  6. ^ "Mission". The Center. Indianapolis Art Center. 2010. Archived from the original on 20 June 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2010.