Jen Bubp Is Helping to Shape and Mold the City for the Better as Carmel Arts Council President
The Carmel Arts Council just celebrated its 30th anniversary by holding a successful fundraiser in partnership with Feinstein’s at Hotel Carmichael.
The longtime arts group’s former executive director was Doreen Squire Ficara, who passed away in 2016. She was known for big ideas and making sure they became reality. She worked tirelessly to gain Carmel the distinction of having the World’s Smallest Children’s Art Gallery, officially recognized by Guinness World Records in 1999. So it seems fitting to introduce you to the new president of the Carmel Arts Council, who has literally jumped in “Doreen-style” after being a member for just six months.
Jen Bubp comes to the Carmel Arts Council with qualifications and experience that are already breathing new life into the organization, whose mission is to encourage and promote the arts for all ages through its leadership as well as financial and volunteer support, in order to nourish a vibrant culture in the Carmel community. She is the chair of the Carmel High School art department.
Prior to joining the council, Bubp stepped up and led her students through a collaborative project with the City of Carmel and the Carmel Parks and Recreation Department to cover the walls of two Monon Trail tunnels with beautiful murals. The tunnel under City Center Drive was the first, and multiple students pitched their vision for a work of art depicting music. Caroline Hammonds’ design was chosen by the Carmel Public Art Committee and the work began.
Instead of handing out paintbrushes and paint to her students, Bubp knew she had to solve a few problems first, including how to complete the project with the amount of time students could devote, how not to close the tunnel, and how to keep students safe and not be on ladders and scaffolding.
She teamed up with creative strategist John-Michael Polley, and they devised a system to use vinyl wrap as wallpaper for portions of the mural that were out of reach for students. The rest of the project involved blank pieces of wrap that students could then paint on, with the entire mural easy to care for and long lasting.
Bubp and a new group of students then tackled the 116th Street tunnel.
“Adding art to these tunnels is an easy way to bring art and beauty to the citizens of Carmel,” Bubp says. “It brings me joy.”
Emily Garnes’ design was chosen for the second tunnel, and now Bubp believes it is time to expand the work of her students in more places throughout Carmel.
“Collaboration is my theme, and I want to create partnerships with other artists and galleries to enhance the offerings of the World’s Smallest Children’s Art Gallery,” she says. “We will continue to raise money for student scholarships and showcase the talents of our local artists.”
As Doreen would have wanted, the Carmel Arts Council is in hands that can creatively mold and shape the future.