Lilly Medal Awarded Prize Winners
Lilly Medal, a beautifully designed original art piece, is awarded to the
winners of the Indianapolis Prize, which also includes a $250,000
unrestricted award to an individual who has made a significant contribution
to the conservation of an animal species. This cast bronze
commemorative medal reflects the commitment of the
Eli Lilly and
Company Foundation, which has provided funding for the Indianapolis
Prize program since its inception.
In its design, the Lilly Medal reflects the relationship between man and
the natural world and provides a fitting remembrance to each Indianapolis
Prize recipient. It was designed by Rik Tommasone, then a senior
student at the Herron School of Art and Design, Indiana University. The
Indianapolis Prize Organizing Committee instituted a design competition for
the medal that was open to faculty, alumni and senior students at the
prestigious Indianapolis art and design school. Rik’s design was
chosen from the submissions by a panel of experts.
The design features a shepherd, who is associated with watching over his
flock, a concept similar to a conservationist watching over a species. He is
surrounded by nature, with plants growing upward to represent positive
outcomes. The sun in the background is rising to represent the light
that guides the individual to unselfishly help the cause of animal
conservation. The round shape of the medal speaks to the circle of
life. The organic shape of the plant is intertwined with the circle
shape to represent the balance of life for all creatures.
Rik’s finished artwork, a metallic art sculptor modeled in clay a large
format bas relief master model that was used to make the dies that minted
the Lilly Medal out of solid bronze using more than 1,200 tons of pressure.
Each medal was then meticulously hand finished with a chocolate brown
patina. The completed 3-inch diameter medal features Tommasone’s artwork
on the front and a quote from naturalist John Muir on the reverse side:
"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to
everything else in the Universe."
According to Prize chair Myrta Pulliam, "The look, the feel and the sheer
weight of the Lilly Medal reflects the importance of the Indianapolis Prize
as well as its place among major awards. We are very pleased with the
design and the artistry of people involved, from Rik Tommasone’s original
concept through the casting and the application of the patina.”
Lilly Medal © 2013, Indianapolis