BY ADELE FOY
Trains go plowing through Chris Rund’s imagination on a steady schedule, fired by the same childhood fascination that drove him to doodle, dream, and eventually work for the Indiana Rail Road Company.
Rund, whose creative powers span music, broadcasting, teaching, and marketing as well as visual art, fused his knowledge of trains with vivid colors and dynamic images in a series of evocative train posters. They transcend their advertising function for the Indiana Rail Road Company, where he worked in corporate services and public relations.
Exhibited at Gallery406 in Bloomington last year, the posters are still available there in 16-by-20-inch digital prints.
While the posters evoke nostalgia for rail’s golden era in the first half of the 20th century, they also depict a means of transportation still important today.
“I was fascinated with the historic artwork [of trains],” says Rund. “But the Indiana Rail Road was doing fantastic, entrepreneurial things, and this was a way to express that, along with what the railroads have meant.”
Rund worked for the Indiana Rail Road from 2007 until 2012, when it moved its headquarters to the north side of Indianapolis, making for a too-long commute. He is now employed at RootWorks as a specialist in corporate branding and communications.
A performance graduate (double bass) of the IU Jacobs School of Music, Rund has explored numerous avenues of expression in his career. As a teenager, he penned editorial cartoons for student papers, and during college he worked as a classical-music DJ for WFIU. Deciding not to pursue an orchestral career, he joined the staff of Hirons and Company, where he acquired skills in public relations and advertising.
But with a couple of forebears who had worked on the railroads, and a childhood that whirred with train sets and models, he had been hearing the call of the whistle his whole life, and his move to Indiana Rail Road, at a point of resurgence for the industry, was irresistible. “I’ve been very fortunate,” he says.