Subsurface Graffiti Expo 2014
Crews from across the Midwest spent Sept. 5-7 in Fountain Square, creating 12 new aerosol murals around the neighborhood as part of the Subsurface Graffiti Expo.
Graffiti writer Amuse126 drove down from Chicago last weekend to paint his name on a wall in Fountain Square. He was but one of the many artists in attendance for this year’s edition of the Subsurface Graffiti Expo.
Crews from across the Midwest have been traveling to Indianapolis annually to create colorful, new aerosol works, often painting over what they or someone else painted the year before. Several of the writers have been coming since the event’s early years, but coordinators keep their eyes peeled to bring in new names and new styles to beef up the roster.
Subsurface is traditionally held over Labor Day weekend, but this year, it was moved out a week for the first time to avoid conflicts with a similar program being held in St. Louis. Organizers are considering holding the event earlier in the year in 2015. According to coordinator 6Cents, “There are becoming too many events we either have to compete with or miss ourselves at the end of summer.“Now in its 12th consecutive year, Subsurface operates off little to no funds. It exists and continues to draw talent only because artists find it a valuable opportunity to create new works and express themselves. In 2014, the focus was once again on the walls in the Fountain Square area, where the group appears to have found its new home.
Judging just by the number of paintings and paintbrushes in his behemoth, 6,600 square foot studio in the Enterprise Center (55 S. State St.), Phil O'Malley has a lot going on.
Then again, would you really expect O’Malley to have smaller digs? His 40 foot high by 20 foot wide painting for Clowes Hall's front lobby was unveiled Aug. 17. And he's been working on a solo show at the Herron School of Art and Design’s Marsh Gallery, opening Aug. 29.
Before we step into O'Malley's workspace, let’s spend some time talking about the massive painting, “Finding Your Way From Wander to Wonder,” that O’Malley, with a little help from his friends and Clowes staff, installed in on the south wall of the front lobby. Its size is impressive, as well as some of the other statistics associated with it. The painting required 12 gallons of paint and 20 gallons of acrylic primer. It took 240 hours to paint the thing. All of the drawing, spraying, squirting, mopping and brushing took place on the Clowes Hall stage between shows.
Another 360 man-hours were spent constructing the frame and installing the painting, which weighs 200 pounds. Twelve people were required to transfer the painting into position on a custom frame before being installed in the Clowes lobby.
The payoff was worth it. "From Wander to Wonder" is a luminescent painting that, in its abstraction, nevertheless bears some resemblance to an underwater seascape.
The companion exhibition, "Moment of Conception?" at Herron's Marsh Gallery will include an exhibit on the making of this massive painting, with documentation including timeline sketches, drawings, and three videos. The exhibit will also feature other work from the “Deep Down" series of which the massive canvas at Clowes is a part. "Moment of Conception?" was co-curated by O'Malley and C. J. Martin, with help from artists Naylor Musko and Steve Smolinski.
Back to the Enterprise Center. As O’Malley guides me past tables on wheels that are loaded with paints and brushes and all manner of in-progress projects — “I know it looks like organized chaos, or kind of organized, but I kind of know where everything is,” he says — he talks about the unique challenges of using the four-story-high interior of Clowes as a showcase for his art.
“There’s only 20 feet from the wall where the painting is to the back wall," he says. "And there are also four different levels for vistas. So for someone to be able to see it, they have to see it from the sides and from the balconies ... And rather than [having the piece] just sit in the space, hanging there, being decorative, it had to really function in the space. And I think what was so exciting about that challenge was to analyze all of those things and, plus, bring a theme to it that everybody could relate to. Everybody knows of sometime in their life when they had to find the strength or the courage to do something, whether it’s monumental or just to make a change in their diet.”
Hence, the painting's title, “Finding your Way from Wander to Wonder." According to O'Malley, getting from one to the other requires getting through a lot of "muck."
We then make our way into the half of his studio that was once the Midwest distribution center for Half Price Books. He shows me a sculpture laying flat on a table that will soon hang in the Herron’s Marsh Gallery, “The 5 Year Plan; 56.9,” which the 56-year-old O’Malley calls a self-portrait. The main elements in the sculpture are plastic Venetian blinds, 140 of them, pulled from the trash.
“We took the tops off ... hung them up on tubes, and I made a spray booth and sprayed all of them with color," he says. "The piece will undulate in both directions," with blinds hanging about 12 feet off the ground.
The piece is a timeline, O'Malley says: The colors of the rods correspond to stages of his life, some happier than others, but none finding him more more creatively engaged than in the present moment.
"Finding Your Way From Wander to Wonder" can be seen free of charge at Clowes Hall from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday to Friday.
"The Moment of Conception?," featuring the work of Herron alumnus and Clowes artist-in-residence Phil O'Malley, runs Aug. 29 to Sept. 19 in the Marsh Gallery of Herron School of Art and Design.
Art vs. Art 2012 (Slideshow)
Local arts organization Primary Colourspresents the infamous art competition, Art vs. Art. Early in September, competitors gathered at The City Market for Paint Day where individuals were given art supplies and four hours to create their artistic contenders. After a round of online voting, finalists face head-to-head audience votes at the Main Event held Sept 28th at The Vogue. Losers face the "Wheel of Death"; some art will die.
Art vs. Art 2011 at The Vogue (Slideshow)
Heaps of innocent paintings were destroyed Friday night at The Vogue as part of Art vs. Art. One piece emerged victorious, narrowly avoiding the chainsaw and acid bath.
Gen Con 2014
There is no telling how many dice were rolled, spells cast or cards played at this year’s Gen Con.
Gamers from as far away as Australia and Tokyo make the trip to Indianapolis each year to field test the latest tabletop and RPG releases.
For some, it's come as you are. But for those who come to cosplay, the question of “what to wear” can get downright serious.
Pittsburgh's Sheila Henderson, who dressed as a character from a Japanese comic book, spent the entire summer crafting her outfit. Sheila hand-sewed every stitch, and also fabricated her elaborate space weapon.
She does, however, admit to buying the shocking pink wig online along with a pair of white go-go boots.
Sheila packed a different, handmade outfit to wear for each day of the four day event. Last year she wore four completely different looks and says that she is already sketching designs for next year.
5x5: re:MIX at Harrison Center for the Arts
Kristopher Owens' Overwhelming Underpass, an idea to create a "community corps" to make underpasses more user-friendly, won $10,000 at an August 1 5x5 idea-pitching event held at Harrison Center for the Arts' historic sanctuary.
[A+E] Sports + Recreation
[A+E] Theater + Dance
[A+E] Theater + Dance
[A+E] Theater + Dance, Written + Spoken Word
[A+E] Theater + Dance, Comedy