This story appears in the June 23 print edition of Transport Topics.
Celadon Group Inc. Chairman Stephen Russell has a passion for collecting art — as is reflected throughout the Indianapolis headquarters.
A wall in the carrier’s lobby features four color-splashed Andy Warhol originals of large tractor-trailers, and there is original art on the walls of nearly all the rooms at Celadon — the product of a renaissance man who also happens to be a trucker.
Charles Venable, CEO of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, said Russell has served on the board for the past nine years and was chairman for two of them.
“He’s a very interesting man and has a great passion for art, and the arts in general,” Venable said. “He’s clearly a very savvy businessman, very well-educated, and I think he probably came from a background that required him to work very hard to get to Cornell and to graduate with honors. He also has a great sense of humor, and he’s always posing philosophical questions.”
Venable said Russell is a sophisticated collector of contemporary art, purchasing works ranging from Asia and South and Central American artists to hip hop artist Kehinde Wiley and pop-art photographer Cynthia Sherman, best known for her conceptual portraits.
“But I would say the core is really of American painters and photographers, which he divides between his homes in Indianapolis and New York City,” Venable said. “Every wall has a painting or a photograph on it.”
The couple has an apartment in midtown Manhattan’s East Side with a panoramic view and a home in Indianapolis with spacious grounds and a garden.
Venable said Russell and his wife, Livia, “make a very wonderful couple.”
The couple also is involved in fundraising and donating to the Phoenix Theater in Indianapolis.
— Eric Miller