New IMA arts park will feature a 'castaway'

The student will live on this floating island for six weeks.

Mary Milz/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - The Indianapolis Museum of Art is breaking new ground on its art and nature park which opens in June. One piece in particular is expected to make waves.

In the film Castaway, actor Tom Hanks played a man stranded on a Pacific island. How about living on a floating fiberglass island in Hidden Lake - in Indianapolis?

Several Herron Art Students would love to do just that.

"I've always liked living in odd places. I've spent time living in a truck. I've also lived in a cabin with 20 people," said Jason Bord, Herron student.

He and fellow students are collaborating with New York artist Andre Zittel on her piece for the IMA's new art and nature park. It's an igloo-like island, which one student will customize and live on for six weeks next summer.

"The island represents our biggest fear and our biggest fantasy - the idea of being completely alone. It's something we all crave and are terrified of at the same time," said Zittel.

"I would say it's unprecedented," said Lisa Freiman, IMA, who explains that it's part of a bigger picture. "We're really interested with our contemporary program and 100 acres of giving contemporary artists a platform to do avant-garde work outside the marketplace."

There are some liabilities associated with having someone live in the igloo, but Freiman says they have it covered.

The person won't be stranded. They'll have a boat, but they'll still have to call this 20-foot space home. Ava Larkin wants in.

"We believe in being comfortable at home and nurtured and this is an opportunity to inhabit something that's different and maybe be confined or ostracized by the masses," said Larkin.

Unlike Tom Hanks, the IMA castaway won't be away for long.

The winning student or castaway will get $3,200 to design and install their interior. They'll also have to serve as a park guide by blogging or Twittering about their experience.

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