The Black Knight Archive, Chapter 1: Migration at iMOCA
Ian Weaver's Black Knight Archive purports to tell the history of a Black Nationalist group that came into being in Chicago's Black Bottom neighborhood, a once vibrant and diverse part of the city that's been razed over (like much of the Indiana Ave. district here) to make way for highways and other symbols of urban progress. The neighborhood is real, but the Black Knights aren't — just as all supposedly historical artifacts in the show, opening Friday at iMOCA, were created by Weaver himself over the past decade. Read my interview with Weaver here.
One good quote: "I was born in the 1970s, and so a lot of the imagery of the Black Power movement is something I experience in an iconic way, as symbols, without the attendant first-person experience. So, I use them that way in the work: more iconically, less historically. I was also interested in a mash-up of these different histories, in a general sense: the heraldic history of Europe, and the militant history of the Black Panthers."
Aug. 1-Oct. 18 at iMOC, opening Aug. 1, 6-11 p.m.
Passages at Harrison Center for the Arts
We're calling the Harrison an essential First Friday stop this month. First off, you have the latest installment of the ideas competition 5x5, starting at 7:30 p.m. in the historic sanctuary. This time around the theme is Re:MIX and will feature ideas that “integrate culture, community and place to make our urban neighborhoods stronger.” Moving across the courtyard, Gallery No. 2 will feature broadsides and artists' books from the al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here Coalition Collection. Iraq's Al-Mutanabbi Street, a cultural center for centuries for artists, scholars and writers, was destroyed by a suicide bomber in 2007. In response, an international coalition of artists and writers banded together to create broadsides and books, collected as al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here. In 2013, the Herron Art Library became the only United States library to permanently house works from that collection (and one of only three in the world). And there's plenty more happening: The Harrison Gallery will feature mixed media work by Herron professor Anila Quayyum Agha. Hank and Dolly's has large-scale photographs taken in India by Katie Basbagill and Abbey Bullerdick. The Underground will host a project created in partnership between Herron professor Linda Adele Goodine and the Latino Youth Collective. And the Porch Party group show will continue at the City Gallery.
Harrison Center for the Arts, Aug. 1, 6-9 p.m. (some shows up through August)
The Pattern Store opens its doors
The Pattern Store — a combination store, event space and office created by the fashion collective Pattern with the help of the Riley Area Development Corporation, other non-profits and a last-minute Kickstarter — is opening its doors to the public Friday, Aug. 1, from 5-10 p.m. But let's be clear, says Pattern co-founder and executive director Polina Osherov, this this is a soft opening/sneak peek, with plans in place for an official, grand opening in September or October. Featured vendors at Friday's event include House of 5th, PRINTtEXT, Luur Design, Rue Violet and No Bad Ideas. Read my interview with Osherov here.
Pattern Store, 877 Mass Ave, Aug. 1, 5-10 p.m.
Print or Die, etc. at Herron
Herron's annual print exchange really does put a lot of pressure on participants, though “Print or feel bad about it later” would be kind of lame. Herron grad Dominic Senibaldi started the exchange in 2009 while at Western Washington University, where the mantra of the print shop is, you guessed it, “Print or Die.” He's kept it going annually since then, soliciting work from around the country. Also opening at Herron this Friday is 316: A Thesis Exhibition, featuring work by Eric D. Johnson to fulfill the requirements of an MFA in Printmaking.
Herron School of Art and Design, Aug. 1-29
A couple announcements
The Tonic Ball 13 Launch Party is getting underway very soon at The Hi-Fi, running 5-7 p.m. with performances by Apache Dropout, Brian Deer and Phyllis. Tickets will be available for a special discounted rate of $20. There are six — six! — featured acts this year, though they come in pairs: Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks, The Velvet Underground/Lou Reed and Nirvana/Foo Fighters. And then just a few steps down the block and you'll come across the speaker announcements/ticket launch for TEDxIndianapolis, from 6-8 p.m. at Well Done Marketing.
And more (consult IDADA's site for a full list of "official" events):
Justin Cooper and Mike Graves: Second Nature
Courtland Blade: Places We Travel Through
Raymond James Stutz Art Gallery
Mark Sheldon: No Room for Squares
D. DelReverda-Jennings: Caught Between the Sun and Heaven
Zuimeng Cao: The Glance of Chinese Painting
Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library
Bits & Pieces: Collage by Mark L. Smith and Multiples by Flatbed Press Artists
Indiana Landmarks Center
A ton of galleries took July's First Friday off; it did fall on July 4, after all. So it's no accident that August's lineup is just jam-packed with new shows, openings and announcements. Here are our top picks.