The City of Valparaiso has unveiled 17 new works in its Art Walk at Cumberland Crossing, located at the northeast corner of Cumberland Drive and Vale Park Road. The new pieces are metal sculptures created by brothers Greg and Alex Mendez of Decatur, Indiana, using steel like that manufactured throughout the Northwest Indiana region. The pieces were selected by the City’s volunteer Art Advisory Committee.
“This show is almost a retrospective of our work,” said Artist Alex Mendez. “Of the 17 pieces, some represent our earliest work, some are mid-career and 10 were created especially for this show,” he said. The Mendez brothers currently have work on display throughout the country, including Florida, South Dakota, Georgia, Minnesota and Iowa. The pair are also familiar to Valparaiso as they’ve had pieces included in the Art Walk in years past and have had several works purchased for permanent display, including Alex’s abstract guitar located outside the Urschel Pavilion in the Costas Family Plaza and his Three Curves at Central Park Plaza.
Each of the brothers has his own unique style with Greg’s work being largely figurative and inspired by movement, classical Greek influences and fashion, while Alex’s work is primarily abstract, featuring geometric shapes, interesting angles and unique combinations. Both artists create entirely by hand, from concept to completion, including hand painting, with no machine fabrication or powder coating. Pieces can take months to a year to complete. “We want our pieces to radiate a happy feeling. The last thing we want is to give anyone a negative feeling, like sadness, anger or anxiety,” said Greg Mendez.
Valparaiso’s Art Walk was introduced in 2011 as a celebration of public art and has included a revolving free display of outdoor sculptures that can be enjoyed year-round. The display is possible through the generous support of the Valparaiso Redevelopment Commission, private donors and Urschel Development Corporation. Current sponsors include 1st Source Bank, Centier Bank, Kyle and Maggie Clifton, Patricia Crise, OnePointe Management, Pines Village Retirement Communities, the Sarkisian Family, Megan and Stu Summers Family, Thorgren Tool & Molding, Inc., and Urschel Giving.
The current Mendez installation will be on display through Spring 2025. Works are available for purchase with more information available at tinyurl.com/PublicArtValpo. The Art Walk has been organized by the City of Valparaiso’s Office of Community Engagement.
Caption: Artists Greg and Alex Mendez with Alex’s work entitled “3.1.” The Mendez brothers have installed 17 new works at Valparaiso’s Art Walk at Cumberland Crossing. The display is possible through the generous support of the Valparaiso Redevelopment Commission, private donors and Urschel Development Corporation. For more information, visit tinyurl.com/PublicArtValpo.