We received word from reps at Butler University on Wednesday that the writers for this fall's Visiting Writers Series had been selected, and we've got to say, it's an impressive group. On deck: a New York Times bestselling author, Pulitzer Prize-winner poet and a hometown hero cum YouTube star. As always, the events are free and open to the public; call 940-9861 for any additional information. Check out profiles of the chosen pen-wielders below.
Robert Hass; Sept. 21, Reilly Room
Former U.S. poet laureate Robert Hass is one of contemporary poetry’s most celebrated and widely read voices. His first collection, Field Guide (1973), won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award and established him as an important American poet. He confirmed his ability with Praise (1979), which won the William Carlos Williams Award. In 1984, Hass published Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry, a collection of previously published essays and reviews.
His third collection of poetry, Human Wishes (1989), experimented with longer lines and prose paragraphs, privileging process and meditation over the poeticized images that had filled his earlier work. The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa (1994) paid tribute to some of Hass’ non-Western mentors. In 1996, Hass published another collection of poems, Sun Under Wood, which was awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award. His first book post-laureate was Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005 (2007), and his latest is Apples Trees at Olema: New and Selected Poems (2010).
He has taught at State University of New York at Buffalo; St. Mary's College of California, Moraga; University of California, Berkeley; and has been a visiting lecturer at University of Virginia, Goddard College and Columbia University, as well as chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2001-2007. He teaches at the University of California-Berkeley.
Karen McElmurray; Sept. 26, Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall
Karen McElmurray is a writer and assistant professor at Georgia College and State University. She is the author of the novel Strange Birds in the Tree of Heaven, which won the Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing in 2001, and the memoir Surrendered Child: A Birth Mother’s Journey, in which she wrote about relinquishing her son to state-supported adoption in Kentucky in 1973. The memoir was a National Book Critics Circle Notable Book and received the Associated Writing Programs Award for Creative Nonfiction in 2003.
McElmurray is creative nonfiction editor for Arts and Letters, Georgia College’s literary journal. Her newest novel is The Motel of the Stars.
Tomas Salamun; Oct. 3, Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall
Slovenian poet Toma Šalamun, one of Europe’s most prominent poets and a leader of the Eastern European avant-garde, is the author of more than 30 collections of poetry in Slovenian and English. His poetry has been translated into more than 20 languages.
Early in his career he edited the literary magazine Perspektive and was briefly jailed on political charges. He studied art history at the University of Ljubljana, where he found poetry suddenly, as a revelation, describing its arrival in a 2004 interview as “stones from the sky.”
He has won the Jenko Prize, Slovenia’s Prešeren and Mladost Prizes, and a Pushcart Prize, and was a Fulbright Fellow at Columbia University.
Richard Rodriguez; Oct. 24, Reilly Room
Richard Rodriguez told his family’s story in Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez, his well-received 1981 autobiography. This first book placed him in the national spotlight, winning an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and a Christopher Award.
In 1992, he published Days of Obligation: An Argument with My Mexican Father, another collection of autobiographical essays. His 2002 collection of essays, entitled Brown: The Last Discovery of America, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Award.
Rodriguez occasionally serves as an essayist for the PBS NewsHour.
Poet Natasha Trethewey is the author of three collections of poetry: Domestic Work (2000), Bellocq's Ophelia (2002) and Native Guard (Houghton Mifflin, 2006), for which she was awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize. She is also the author of a book of creative non-fiction, Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (2010). Her fourth collection of poetry, Thrall, is scheduled for release in fall 2012.
Trethewey, a professor of English at Emory University, has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is also the recipient of the 2008 Mississippi Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts and was named the 2008 Georgia Woman of the Year. In 2009 she was inducted into the Fellowship of Southern Writers and she was the James Weldon Johnson Fellow in African American Studies at the Beinecke Library at Yale University.
This year she was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame.
John Green is the New York Times bestselling author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines and Paper Towns. He is also the coauthor, with David Levithan, of Will Grayson, Will Grayson. He was 2006 recipient of the Michael L. Printz Award, a 2009 Edgar Award winner, and has twice been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Green’s books have been published in more than a dozen languages.
In 2007, Green, who lives in Indianapolis, and his brother Hank ceased textual communication and began to talk primarily through videoblogs posted to YouTube. The videos spawned a community of people called Nerdfighters, who fight for intellectualism and to decrease the overall worldwide level of suck. (Decreasing suck takes many forms: Nerdfighters have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight poverty in the developing world; they also planted thousands of trees around the world in May 2010 to celebrate Hank’s 30th birthday.)
Although they have long since resumed textual communication, John and Hank continue to upload three videos a week to their YouTube channel, vlogbrothers. Their videos have been viewed more than 75 million times, and their channel is one of the most popular in the history of online video. John Green is also an active (if reluctant) Twitter user with more than 1.1 million followers.
Richard Price; Nov. 8, Reilly Room
Richard Price’s novels include Freedomland, Clockers, which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, Samaritan and Lush Life. In 1999 he received an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His fiction, articles and essays have appeared in Best American Essays 2002, The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, Esquire, The Village Voice and Rolling Stone. He has also written numerous screenplays, including Sea of Love, Ransom and The Color of Money.
The biggest event we're plugging this weekend has to be the cultural extravaganza that is the Eiteljorg's Indian Market & Festival, held at Military Park on Saturday and Sunday. It's an annual celebration of Native American tradition, showcasing more than 140 artists, storytellers, dancers and singers. The festivities will be complemented nicely by an array of tasty snacks and dishes, including the ever-popular Indian tacos. Things will get started around 10 a.m., but stick around and make a day of it.
Having officially opened on Wednesday, the Robot Machines Exhibition at Lala Gallery and Studio in Lafayette continues this weekend, featuring the robotics-infused work of Herron grads Cara Owens and Brandon McDonald (among others). Art featured will range from interactive robots to cartoonish posters celebrating all things metallic.
Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from now until July 1, check out the "actletes" (can't take credit for that one) of ComedySportz on Mass Ave. Oz, Unscripted: An Adult Trip thrives off of audience participation, so it's a good one to bring friends to and get rowdy with the improv nerds.
Also this weekend, the Indianapolis Isshinryu Bushido hosts the Isshinryu World Karate Championship Tournament at the Marriot East, welcoming more than 500 asskickers in 65 divisions. We'll spare you the Karate Kid references for now, but take the kids to this one.
Might as well bend down now to pick up the enviro knowledge that's about to be dropped at the 2011 Indiana CAFO Watch Conference, this Saturday at Mill Creek Civic Center. Starting with a continental breakfast included in price of admission, the day will include presentations (bear with us here) on the myriad consequences of Controlled Animal Feeding Operations. Think how impressed your friends will be when you mention you spent the day with reps from the county health department.
Need to decompress after all that heavy enviro business? Swing by the Phoenix Theatre on Saturday afternoon for their annual benefit, Brew-Ha-Ha, featuring over 50 beers from local brewers like Sun King, Bier Brewery and Bee Creek. Admission ($25 advance, $30 at the door) includes unlimited sampling — don't tease us.
A mainstay of the true Hoosier summer, Marsh Symphony on the Prairie launches this weekend, its 30th anniversary no less. American Landscapes will include highlights of American classical music — Gershwin, Copeland and Bernstein, we're told. A lovely way to enjoy an early summer evening.
A speedier way to marinate in the great nighttime weather is this Saturday's N.I.T.E. Ride. Join fellow Naptown bike enthusiasts for a two-wheeled nocturnal tour of downtown Indy. The route will cover 20 miles, zipping past IUPUI's campus and Monument Circle. Register soon, and be sure to BYOL (bring your own light).
The historic Woodruff Place 'hood is holding its annual Home and Garden Tour this Saturday and Sunday. Three gardens and seven homes will be open to the public, featuring styles ranging from Queen Anne to Colonial Revival — in case you were looking for a nice way to feel inadequate about your own home setup.
Local comics Cam O'Connor and Ryan Remington are redefining Sunday as the new night for comedy in Indianapolis. Their weekly series, The Best of Both Rooms, brings the funny to the Sinking Ship with sketches, improv and stand-up from local and regional talent. Come for the jokes, stay for the drink specials.
One of our favorite people in the city (for now at least — she's planning a migration to Maine), Lois Main Templeton is showing her work at Editions Limited Gallery, starting Sunday. We might be a bit biased, as she just won the Lifetime Achievement Award at our Cultural Vision Awards earlier this month, but really, we can't help it — we love this classy broad.
As you close out the weekend with Sunday groceries, it might be a good time to reconsider your dismissal of the grow-your-own movement. Plan to check out Garden Adventures at the Indiana State Museum on Wednesday, June 29. Growing Foods Indy will be on hand to share insights to developing your own personal garden. Might be the best way to deal with your horticultural envy following the Woodruff Place tour.
(Slideshow) Your Go & Do weekend, June 24-26
Make it an enviro weekend with CAFOs galore get physical at the N.I.T.E. Ride and karate championships. Whatever you can squeeze in on top of the Eiteljorg's Indian Market & Fest, our Do or Die for the weekend.
The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in Indianapolis is offering educators a remarkable opportunity to learn more about the author and ways to teach his work in the classroom.
According to a press release from library officials, the idea came about when two local high school teachers contacted the library asking for teaching materials/suggestions. The newly-opened library was only too happy to seize the request and use it as a means of promoting the very types of unique services they exist to provide.
The resulting collaboration is an upcoming week-long series of workshops, July 18-22, led by Vonnegut scholar Rodney Allen, who also serves on the KVML board of directors.
Allen’s course aims to educate teachers on Vonnegut’s life and work, giving them tools and ideas for presenting the author’s work in the classroom. The goal, ultimately, is help instructors better answer students’ questions and select topics that will lead to thoughtful discussions and spark more critical thinking.
“This is going to be a great program,” said Julia Whitehead, Executive Director of the KVML. “Dr. Allen is is one of the best sources in the world for information about Kurt Vonnegut, and it will be a pleasure to host his visit. We hope our teachers will come away thinking that the program is worth the time and effort as we look forward to expanding it to other areas of the state in future years.”
“We are excited that as a result of this workshop, more teachers and students will have a better understanding of one our state’s greatest literary voices,” said Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of Indiana Humanities, which provided funding for the workshop along with a matching grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. “We have no doubt that when students are exposed to Mr. Vonnegut’s imagination, satire and humor that they will be encouraged to think deeper about issues and events in their own lives.”
Workshops are scheduled as follows:
(Monday) Tour of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library. Lecture on Vonnegut’s biography and career trajectory. Lecture on Vonnegut and World War II. Screening of Mother Night starring Nick Nolte and based on Vonnegut’s novel of the same title.
(Tuesday) Lecture on Cat's Cradle. Discussion of the novel and the challenges it presents, often for political reasons, when taught to high school students. Slaughterhouse-Five lecture/discussion.
(Wednesday) Continued lecture and discussion of Slaughterhouse-Five. Discussion of Vonnegut’s non-fiction. Lecture on Fates Worse than Death and other essays.
(Thursday) Teaching Vonnegut’s short fiction: Harrison Bergeron and “Happy Birthday, 1951.” Lecture on useful Vonnegut scholarship.
(Friday) Tour of Vonnegut sites: Crown Hill Cemetery, family home, the Athenaeum. Screeing of Slaughterhouse-Five starring Michael Sacks. Discussion/farewell.
Enrollment for this series is limited to 15 teachers. First come, first serve means quickly visiting the library’s website for more information www.vonnegutlibrary.org or contacting the library at firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Summer Solstice at the IMA (Slideshow)
Visitors came together to celebrate the Summer Solstice and IMA's 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park's one year anniversary.
NUVO Alternative Newsweekly in Indianapolis is seeking an enthusiastic and experienced A&E Editor who values independent journalism and arts and entertainment coverage more than a fat paycheck.
Working as a member of the NUVO Editorial Department, the A&E Editor is responsible for the day-to-day coverage of A&E on NUVO.net and week-to-week coverage of A&E in print, both our weekly publication and our CityGuides series.
JOB DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
A protagonist for all things A&E in the Indianapolis area, telling stories through multiple media in print and web via print stories, blogs, photos, video. The position encompasses all the arts, plus comedy, sports and recreation, film and food.
Critical acumen toward the arts is necessary, but you have a veteran team of reviewers to assign, edit and manage.
Applicant should have curiosity about all genres of A&E; we’re not interested in someone who loves one genre, say, visual arts, but can’t stand classical music. We want someone who enjoys the “high” arts and the “low” arts.
We want someone with an insatiable desire to discover the new innovator, artist, protagonist, etc. in the community, as well as respect and knowledge for those who comprise Indy’s A&E cultural history. Therefore, it’s essential for the A&E Editor to be out in the community with frequency.
Knowledge of AP style is important; a zest for accuracy is a must.
• assign feature stories, reviews and cover stories for print related to all things A&E. Applicant will in most cases handle acquiring or assigning art and photography to accompany that content
• write feature stories, reviews, cover stories and previews (go/do)
• be responsible for fresh daily content for nuvo.net
• participate in our CityGuides series as is pertinent to the A&E categories
• be responsible for event/calendar entries related to all things A&E, although finding capable assistance peers and subordinates is acceptable.
• meet or exceed deadline requirements for all the above.
EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
* Bachelor’s degree in English, Journalism, Communications or New Media.
* Experience in implementing and managing digital content preferred.
* Strong writing and editing skills with a keen interest in growing digital media and audiences.
* Excellent communication, interpersonal and organizational skills.
* Strong peer-management and teaching skills; the ability to work well with a large number of writers of varied background, ability and experience.
* Familiarity of Indianapolis, Indianapolis arts, culture and music, NUVO and the NUVO brand an advantage.
* A team player; humor and enthusiasm essential to flourish in the high stress environment of publishing.
Send cover letter, resume and up to three published clips in electronic format by July 6 to email@example.com.
Well-known actor and comedian, Kevin Pollak, is in town through Saturday, performing stand-up at Crackers. The star of A Few Good Men, The Usual Suspects and Casino, Pollak is currently in The Big Year, featuring Steve Martin and Jack Black. Here’s your chance to rub elbows with the cultural elite, and have a delightful time doing so!
The beloved and bewitching Brenda Williams is performing on Friday at the swanky-but-cozy Cabaret at the Columbia Club. If you’ve never seen this local singer, who’s opened for the likes of Ray Charles, the Beach Boys, Lee Greenwood and Chuck Mangiore, you’re missing out on a true talent.
Speaking of talent there four — count ‘em, four! — openings at Herron School of Art and Design, starting on Friday. The newly named Dorit and Gerald Paul Gallery will feature 16 works by artists such as Jackson Pollock and Susan Tennant. Also featured will be Randolph Deer in An Uneven Symphony, Robert B. Berkshire in Best of Berkshire and New Works by Valerie Eickmeier.
Raymond Leppard returns to the ISO podium on Friday and Saturday, conducting Beethoven's 9th Symphony, one of the most beloved works of all time. Best known for the final movement featuring Friedrich Schiller’s “Ode to Joy,” the performance will feature Leppard as conductor, the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir and soloists Sara Jakubiak, Sean Panikkar, Michaela Martens and James Westman.
Saturday is the Summer Solstice and where better to spend it than at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. By celebrating the Summer Solstice you are also marking the one-year anniversary of 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park with the IMA. The scheduled events include yoga at dawn, information about Andrea Zittel’s Indianapolis Island, a drumming circle with Steven Angel (founder of the Drumming for Life Institute) and art making at the Visitors Pavilion. Be sure to stop by the “Align” sculpture; each year on the solstice, the two components of the sculpture align to create one single, solstice-y shadow.
House shopping on Saturday? Even if you aren’t, it’s fun to dream. The 38th Annual Home & Garden Tour in the Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood means select residents open their homes for public tours, promoting the history, beauty and unique architecture of the area. This year’s tour, titled “Real Homes. Real Neighbors. Real Ideas,” honors the authentic character of this historic neighborhood.
Some dance opportunities for you this weekend. On Saturday night, you can support our local dance company, Motus, with an Evening of Wine and Dance at the White Rabbit Cabaret. Pair together an evening of wine tasting and watching six newly choreographed dances at the White Rabbit Cabaret. American Culinary Federation's Gold Medal Winner, Chef James Chantanasombut, will be preparing six delicious courses complete with the perfect wine pairings.
The Aphasia Dance Company performs at the IMA. The Belgian troupe will have two performances of Rencontres des Imbéciles (Under Erasure) at 5 and 7 p.m. Indy native and North Central graduate Craig McCormick will perform with the group as they feature surrealistic images in a memorable stage performance that challenges the perceptions of audience members.
Fun for your head: Dr. David Linden will speak at the Center for Inquiry on Saturday night. Dr. Linden’s from the John Hopkins University School of Medicine and specializes in what does and doesn’t light up the pleasure centers of your brain. Linden, the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Neurophysiology, has published two books about the science of the psyche, from love and religion to addiction and comfort foods. Seating is limited.
Finally, on Tuesday night you can check out the Circle City Chamber Group with their Heavy Metal gathering, showcasing all the fun ways to use metal in art. With metal sculptures from Carol Tabac-Shank, a performance from the Drum Corps International and tons of food and giveaways, there won't be any shortage of things to do. Plus, proceeds from ticket sales go to IPS.
(Slideshow) Your Go & Do weekend, June 17-19
We have a little bit of everything, from dance (at the IMA and White Rabbit) to comedy (Kevin Pollak) to Beethoven to the one-year anniversary of the 100 Acres.
One of the most highly anticipated events of the year is the Treasures of the Earth exhibit at the Children’s Museum. I got a sneak peak the other day (I dressed as a little kid—very convincing!) and was awestruck. It’s really the most ambitious thing I’ve ever seen them do, and I’ve been going to the CM for many years. You can attend the Grand Opening on Saturday and the exhibit is permanent which means you can see it any time you're in the museum.
I love acrobats, but prefer them as performance art, not accompanying circuses (i.e. subjugating animals). So, I can get 100 percent behind Cirque de la Symphonie bringing their magic of cirque to Hilbert. Behold the world’s best aerial flyers, acrobats, contortionists, dancers, jugglers and strongmen; you’ll be treated to the top artists in their respective crafts. The show is set to symphonic music conducted by Jack Everly. La Symphonie opens Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.
This Friday is the opening party for the Indianapolis Art Center’s exhibition entitled Inside, showcasing acrylic on canvas paintings. Painting styles range from traditional landscapes to fantastical abstractions, but what makes this exhibit extra special? The artists are men imprisoned in the Correctional Industrial Facility. The exhibit began last week, but opening reception is Friday from 6-8 p.m.; exhibit runs through July 11; look for an upcoming feature on this show by Dan Grossman.
Indy Pride, Indianapolis’s largest GLBT celebration, has a myriad of festivities from Night to Unite on Friday to the multiple event cavalcade on Saturday, starting with the 6th Annual Cadillac Barbie Pride Parade. The parade begins at 10 a.m. and starts at the corner of College and Massachusetts Avenues. The party then moves to the American Legion Mall from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., where over 150 vendors and entertainers — such as Jennie DeVoe, God-Des and She, and Kaci Battaglia — will be located. There’s a lot going on with this festival, so check out Sam Watermeier’s feature to find out more.
A stone’s throw from the Harrison Center and IMAF, and a hop-and-a-skip from Pride Parade is the Talbot Street Art Fair. This two-day juried event features 270 artists from across the nation and is in its 56th year. Artists’ booths will have works in all mediums on display and for sale. Free and paid parking is available, or go green and park your bike in the Herron High School front lawn. 10 a.m. Free.
As if there wasn’t enough going on, you are going to want to check out The Midwest Body Art Festival — in association with Mode Magazine — will showcase some of the region’s finest body paint artists on June 11. In Indianapolis’ first ever Midwest Body Art Festival, artists such as Anthony Camcho, Anything Airbrushed, Yonio and more will present their work. The cost for general admission is $10 and for $40 for VIP tickets — perks including wine, vodka, gift bags and prime seating.
In terms of sportsy-style activities, we’ve got our Fever playing the New York Liberty. The Liberty finished 2nd in their conference in the 2010 season with a record of 22-12 with the Fever hot on their trail finishing 3rd with a record of 21-13. Featuring two of the WNBA’s strongest teams, this game is sure to be an exciting one. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.
The Indianapolis Indians start a four-game home stretch against the Gwinnett Braves from June 11-14. They’re looking to make up ground on the Columbus Clippers, who are way ahead of them in division standings. The Indians will face a stingy pitching staff in the Braves, who have the best team ERA in the league and have given up a league-low number of homeruns. The Indians won’t be back until June 24 after this series, so catch them this home stand.
On Saturday, in the midst of the madness of Independent Music and Art Festival at the Harrison Center, and Pride Parade, downtown, you’ll find the Wicket World of Croquet at the President Benjamin Harrison. This annual tournament, complete with judges and equipment, welcomes competitors of all skill levels, but you probably haven’t registered in time, doofus, so show up to size up the blokes for next year’s competition. The fundraiser will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and costs $25. Proceeds from tournament provide funds for the museum's educational programs.
Finally, looking into next week, if you have an interest in bicycling check out Jim Fitzpatrick at the Central Library. Courtesy of the Central Indiana Bicycling Association Lecture Series, author Jim Fitzpatrick will present an illustrated program about 19th century African-American bicycling champion Major Taylor — the 1899 world sprint champion. Known as “the Worchester Whirlwind,” Taylor was the highest paid and most famous athlete in bicycling, the most popular sport of his time. 7 p.m. Free.
See you out there!
(Slideshow) Your Go & Do weekend, June 10-12
Opening weekend of the Venice Biennale is a pilgrimage for art aficionados. Once every two years the art world floods this city of canals to see what work each country has to offer. Countries have different ways of picking the artists to represent them and ideologies can definitely emerge. Sometimes you can get conservative shows (Canada’s), sometimes not (UK’s). As the commissioner for the US pavilion, Lisa Freiman, chose the latter track.
Read David Hoppe's feature story about the IMA and the Venice Biennale.
As the senior curator of Contemporary art at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Freiman went with Puerto Rican artists, Allora and Calzadilla. This duo turned things upside down, literally in fact.
There are six components to the work. The one that cannot be ignored is the upside-down, 60-ton tank in the courtyard. At certain times, an athlete runs on a treadmill on top of the tank. This turns the treads and the sound carries over the whole Giardini section of the Biennale. People start following the noise, leading to the spectacle.
Inside, the pieces are of a quieter, but still impressive, sort. In two rooms, replicated business class seats from Delta and American airlines are placed. These props are used by gymnasts at platforms for their performances.
The final room before exiting is filled with a giant pipe organ, except, instead of keys, you have an ATM. Withdraw money and you are rewarded with unique music from the pipes. Spectacle, commerce, identity, sport and nationalism are keys for considering this show.
Outside the U.S. pavilion there was still much to explore. Luckily, I had fellow Hoosiers with which to explore since Herron School of Art and Design had a study abroad class there and I joined up with them for the weekend.
Venice’s Pavilion features boats tipped up at high angles with video monitors showing waterfalls; the whole place is lit blue, each end of the crescent building has walls of video of water; it's surreal and striking and fitting for a city so dominated by boats and water.
Nearby, Macedonia’s Pavilion features artist Igor Toschevski who showed in Indianapolis at SpaceCamp in January of this year, a giant leap from the Murphy Building to the Biennale, but this just proves that the Indianapolis gallery scene can draw world players.
At Basilica di San Giorgio, Anish Kapoor’s "Ascension" is breathtaking. The column of smoke that rises from floor to roof of the church is ethereal. The piece is elusive and compelling, referencing spirituality and a temporary transcendental state — the best piece of Kapoor I have ever seen. It is much more moving than the “bean” in Chicago.
After closing one night, two other Herron people and I were able to visit Mike and Doug Starn’s Big Bambu, which has been previously installed in the Met in New York. They've been working on this gigantic platform/tree house structure for years. It's a wonderful sight during the day, and even more amazing at night.
There are hundreds more pieces, pavilions, and events, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the most beautiful piece to be found. For Saudi Arabia’s first participation in the Biennale, they chose two sisters, Raja and Shadia Alem. The video and sculptural installation had me and my fellow Indy viewer awestruck. Referencing Mecca and Venice, the piece is mesmerizing — the mirrored cube and spheres and the video and light projections making the room magical.
The U.S. pavilion is only one of the dozens represented, but this year it stands near the top thanks to some bold choices by the IMA and Lisa Freiman. Indianapolis is taking a strong position in the global art scene lately and this helps bolster those efforts immensely.
Flounder Lee lives in Indianapolis where he teaches at Herron, makes art, and runs the SpaceCamp Gallery in the Murphy Building.
This month’s First Friday was a typically rich and wondrous experience. For me, I started my night at our annual Cultural Vision Awards ceremony at the Athenaeum, really my single favorite event of the year!
We honor the visionaries of our city, and they say thank you to us. Usually all we hear is folks complaining about what we don’t do; or how bad we suck or whatever. It’s nice for the positive vibes to flow.
The fun didn’t stop, though, when the CVA was over as I made may way to Earth House to see the Windows and Mirrors exhibit. Check out Dan Grossman’s review here.
From there, I got a ride to Fountain Square in the back of a pick-up truck, as I’d left my bicycle at the Athenaeum. This is a great second option after a bicycle, to ride in the back of a pickup truck. Oh wait, you’re still burning carbons; and it’s probably illegal; never mind.
I missed my usual spots, however: Harrison Center and Wug Laku and Indie Indy and 924 Gallery and Stutz and ARTBOX, but you can find ample reviews and coverage all over our site.
The Murphy contained two immersive experiences, the iMOCA show and the happening at Big Car. I call the Big Car show, Welcome to Tuccenen, a “happening” because artist Brandon Schaaf had transformed the space into a manifestation of his strange and fertile mind. Soon after I arrived, his band began to play, each member of the band, also a citizen of his imaginary town of Tuccenen.
It didn’t take long for an impromptu dance party to erupt, though it was mostly men slamming each other around; perhaps that’s how they do it in Tuccenen.
The Murphy building was its usual labyrinthine self; full of strange events and interactions that later, I am never sure if they really happened — or if I just dreamed it.
(Slideshow) First Friday June 3
A pictorial journey through multiple venues at June's First Friday.
Now that the race is over, arts and culture reasserts itself after a weekend of staying out of the way. Of course, lots of art openings, this being First Friday, but there’s a boatload of theater as well.
Let’s begin, though, with our own event, the 13th annual Cultural Vision Awards ceremony, held at the Athenaeum. It’s free and and open to the public and honors eight individuals and entities for their contributions to making Indianapolis the great city that we love. Come by and honor the honorees, then depart for your First Friday fun.
Right there at the Athenaeum is an art exhibit that sounds fascinating: I AM Exhibit, an exhibition of art and poetry celebrating the idea that all of life is connected. Organized by Broadway United Methodist Church, the exhibition features local artists and writers such as Michael Jordan, Hope Carter, Mari Evans — and Lobyn Hamilton, whom we featured on our cover in February.
My first stop after the Athenaeum will be Erin Polley’s Afghan Mural Exhibit, a collaboration of more than 20 artists from around the world, memorials to Afghan civilian causalities will be displayed at the Earth House Café. The exhibit’s entitled Windows and Mirrors: Reflections on the War in Afghanistan, and is sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization dedicated to nonviolence. The contributing artists include American students as well as Afghan high school students. Erin always puts on a great event, don’t miss it!
A few blocks west of Earth House, ARTBOX Stutz II presents Shine, featuring works in resin and metallic sculpture. The pieces share qualities of a glossy, reflective nature, but the individual artist’s approach either accentuates the reflectivity of the work — or at other times destroys it. Shine features paintings and sculpture from ARTBOX veteran Thomas Ramey along with newly represented artists Jorge Enrique, Ronald Westerhuis, Bilhenry Walker, Bruce Riley and others.
Eventually, you’ll get Fountain Square and once there you won’t want to miss iMOCA’s new show, Ryan Mulligan’s My Son the Future Time Traveler, an exhibit that explores what it means to be the protector of a future time traveler, via a 30-foot wall mural, TV drawings and a time machine Mulligan constructed for his 5-month old son, Hobbs. Mulligan’s work is also inspired by his father, who was badly injured by a drunk driver.
Upstairs from iMOCA is Big Car Gallery, always a destination, but come on, could it get any cooler than this? Brandon Schaaf, member of local performance troupe Know No Stranger, transforms Big Car Gallery into an imaginary town in an exhibit/installation called Welcome to the Town of Tuccenen. Not only are imagined characters of the town displayed, you’ll also get to experience its food and music as well. If you’ve ever seen Schaaf perform with KNS, you don’t need us to convince you to see this show. His performance art piece set to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” is the one of the Eight Wonders of Indy’s performing scene.
As far as theater and performance there are some exciting shows opening this week, including:
Five Women Wearing the Same Dress at Theatre on the Square. This is a new theater company, Betty Rage Productions, and great folks are involved, so the quality will be high. This script, by True Blood and Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball, pits a diverse set of bridesmaids against one other, and will be directed by the multi-talented Karen Irwin, her directorial debut in fact!
You’ve always wanted to see Avenue Q, right? Well now here’s your chance to see a local production by the excellent folks at the Phoenix Theatre. In case you’re not familiar with the concept of the show, it involves puppets, and song titles from this show include “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist” and “The Internet is for Porn.” Avenue Q, the winner of the 2004 Tony for Best Musical, will be running from June 2 to July 10 on the Mainstage at the Phoenix Theatre.
The fine folks at Buck Creek Players are presenting Frankenstein: A New Musical an adaptation of Mary Shelley’s horror classic as a stage musical. With 15 cast members, this is going to be a big show; what we don’t know is if the Creature will dance or not. The always dependable Scott Robinson directs.
Finally, a couple of fun, outdoorsy things to do:
The annual Woodruff Place Flea Market celebrates its 36th year this weekend, promising two days of treasure hunting, along with food, fun, and some seriously fascinating people-watching. The annual flea market provides a perfect opportunity to enjoy summer weather while admiring one of the city’s oldest, most beautiful neighborhoods. Proceeds from the sale help maintain the historic neighborhood. Event runs Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
And, the Asian Fest at Garfield Park. Asian American Alliance, Inc. and Indy Parks present the fourth annual Asian Fest on June 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Festivities include cultural performances, art exhibits, anime and a plethora of other activities, plus merchandise vendors and delicious food from local Asian restaurants.
(Slideshow) Your Go & Do weekend, June 3-6
A pictorial march through your best options for the weekend.
[A+E] Film + TV
[A+E] Classical Music
[A+E] Theater + Dance
[Music] Punk + Metal, Festivals + Parties
[A+E] Festivals + Parties, Beer + Wine, DJs + Dancing