There was a big brash party going on when I walked in the door of Tube Factory artspace last night: people were dancing to the beats of DJ Limelight and DJ Lockstar. There was a long line at the cash bar. And to be sure, the people on the dance floor were dressed to the nines.
, an Indy-based fashion magazine, was celebrating the publication of Vol. 10. It also just so happened to be Pattern’s fifth year anniversary.
To celebrate the occasion, some of the most fashionable people in Indy were getting themselves professionally photographed in front of a background pattern consisting of a large collage of Pattern
magazine spreads. And then there was also a dark room where you could videos of you and your friends taken, in strobe light, for Instagram.
It wasn’t surprising to me that this party—the kind of hip party where you wouldn’t be completely surprised to see Madonna or Lady Gaga walking through the door—was taking place in Tube Factory, which is run by the nonprofit art organization Big Car Collective.
Just like the Listen Hear space a block away on Shelby St, also run by Big Car, Tube Factory is a multiuse space.
Aside from being a focal point of the community-building initiatives that Big Car is involved in
, too numerous to go into here, there was of course an art exhibition currently on display, Scott Hocking’s RCA.
From the bowels of the abandoned Indianapolis RCA factory Hocking had appropriated detritus which he had fashioned into a pyramid of sorts. The salvaged burnt plastic that he had hung on the gallery walls made a curious backdrop for the fashionably dressed, as if this party were taking place at the end of the world.
What was surprising to me, as a freelance writer trying to make it in this town, is that Pattern
—cofounded by Polina Osherov who is also the executive director—had never really been on my radar before.
has the full page advertising and hot fashion photography that you might expect in your typical glossy. But in Pattern you'll find connections to your local community. You'll find, for example, a a portrait of Central Indiana Community Foundation CEO Brian Payne by Shauta Marsh and a feature about Indy 500 champ Alexander Rossi, written by Burton Runyon.
These are not articles about their favorite neckties and night spots: these are in-depth serious articles.
Pattern’s Managing Editor, Eric Rees, just so happened to be manning a table where Pattern #10 was on display; you could get a copy in either black or white: list price $15.
I asked Rees how he got involved with the magazine. He told me that it was a listing for a website design intern that drew him in three years ago.
“I wasn’t the most fashionable guy, but I could move a website,” he said.
He told me that the magazine had international distribution: you could pick up a copy at select locations in Paris and Hong Kong. Or you could just run down to the local Barnes & Noble and find it stacked next to W and Vogue.
And while the Pattern staff look to these magazines, according to Rees, “there always have to have an Indiana connection.”
But Pattern is much more than meets the eye
: it is part of an eponymous nonprofit organization dedicated to not only promoting fashion, but promoting local hand-crafting and education.
Before I left Rees, I asked him about any fashion tips he had picked up, in three years of working for Pattern.
“Not all that much,” he said “But I learned that black never goes out of fashion.”
I started this Friday night at the opening of Weave Wars
at the Indianapolis Art Center, which explores “new directions” in using fiber as a medium, according to the exhibition flyer. One of these pieces, entitled “Siblings” inspires me to try to nutshell it as Damien Hirst meets Stitch N’ Bitch. It’s the first part of a journey tonight that will ultimately wind up at the Pattern Launch party at Tube Factory Artspace.
So the plan is to draw connections between all the stuff that's going on later.... but for now I just want to give you all a sense of what's going on at these places tonight. Is that all right?
In the IAC Library I ran into Erin Duffy, Director of Development at Indianapolis Art Center, who was participating in an event that directed her to “weave like a weaver bird & bring beauty to our walls,” on a loom set up on one of the pillars in the IAC library.
“I’m participating in a weaving activity that anybody can do tonight,” she said. “Just take any blue materials that you are interested in that are piled up in the library and what I’m trying to do is imititate a basket weave from like a cape. So I’m using different kinds of materials to show the contrast.”
“Is there anything that you’re doing now applicable to development work?” I asked.
“Oh absolutely,” she said. “What I love about being active in the arts here is that I can talk to anyone about the experience. So when I’m out chatting with donors, I can share my experiences.”
From the Indianapolis Art Center I zipped across town to the Garfield Park area, to the Listen Hear space run by Big Car Collective. That’s where Oreo Jones and friends were setting up for a “Lo Fi Social” producers' showcase, showcasing their beats.
(For more information about this multi city event see Bringing Down the Band/Beat.com)
“So it’s pretty much a producer show case and public can bring in their own instrumentals or beats and then it also showcases regional state producers from around Midwest,” Jones Told me. Some of those showcasing their work: Slot-A (Barron) from and Barron from Chicago, and then Longevity and Tyler Knapp from Indianapolis.
Listen Hear is definitely a mixed use facility: it is also housing Librería Donceles
, the itinerant Spanish language bookstore, conceived by New York Metropolitan Museum of Art curator Pablo Helguera. Of the thousands of Spanish Language books on display, you are allowed to choose one, making a donation in the amount of your choice.
I had been to the Librería once before and I met Helguera, but I never actually selected a book that I have promised to read after I learn to read and speak Spanish, which may never happen but....dare to dream.
Fortunately, Big Car Collective staff artist Eduardo Luna was there to help me select a book. That particular book was a softback copy of Los Bandidos de Rio Frio
by Mexican writer Manuel Payno; yellow-paged, and dog-ear. Read many times perhaps, and well loved.
"Growing up, I had a copy of this in my house," said Luna, 35, who came to the U.S. from Guerrero, Mexico in 1995. "My father had a copy; when I moved to the states I carried parts of the book with me. And I was pleased to find two copies of two copies of the book here: one has an orange cover, one that has a green cover and I’m giving you the green cover. The novel tells you about Mexican society from 1810 to 1830. It’s about how social customs, religions habits, of that time."
The novel was first published in Barcelona in 1889.
But the thing that Luna really was excited about was the West Michigan Street Festival, happening on Saturday, October 1 at 2611 W. Michigan Street, rain or shine. It will feature an art gallery with work from local visual artists, an outdoor theater, kids activities, yoga classes, and live music. (For more info email email@example.com or call 317-601-9084)
"It’s a great opportunity for the neighbors of the near west side to be part of this new initiative by LISC indpls and IUPUI, to create another great place in our city; River West," Luna told me. "Big Car is honored to be part of this."
Okay, so now I'm off to the Pattern Launch Party, across the street from Listen Hear, at Tube Factory Art Space at 1125 S. Cruft St. I'll have to wait 'til tomorrow to tell you about it, though, when I update this blog! Adios for now.....