We’re so excited about Emma Overman’s show at the Harrison, we created a cover story on her. We’ve wanted to do a story about her for years, and this just seemed like the best opportunity. There’s a duality to her work — it’s certainly kid-friendly, as is the Harrison Center — but there’s darkness lurking in the interstices of her vision as well. Really great stuff.

We were also stoked to learn what Andy Chen was up to at the StutzArtSpace opening Friday, because it deals with the interaction of our physical world and the internet; more specifically it focuses on the effect of social media on photography. It’s called Social Currency, and it sounds like a great show!

IDADA, the Great Mother of First Friday, has an interesting concept going on Friday called First in Line. Local artists are donating their works of art (any medium they prefer) and all works will be priced at an even $100. Smile for a picture with your work after you buy it, and be entered in a prize drawing if you buy as well. See Caitlin O’Rourke’s blog about First in Line.

We’re absolutely committed to riding our bikes to wUG LAKU’S STUDIO & gARAGE because Wug is hosting Jillian Ludwig’s Fam Farm, a collection of drawings that recall the modern use of “genetic modification, factory farming as well as deceitful packaging and misguided labeling results in confusion and a disconnection between customer and the source of their food.” She playfully expresses the loss of natural farming in our culture with detailed drawings, both whimsical and horrifying. Sounds like a very NUVO-y person and exhibit, both.

Murphy Arts Center, the sublime destination of all First Fridays, will be featuring a new installation at SpaceCamp. Its SoundBlock exhibition, which opens this weekend and runs through the month, features Roanoke, Ind.’s John Collins McCormick’s “Flow,” about which we know very little at this point, except that it is, according to a SpaceCamp press release, “concerned with sound and how it inhabits space and how we interact with sound.” Montreal’s Eric Boivin will also present work, including elements from the Montreal Sound Map, an interactive aural map of the city of Montreal being compiled by Boivin and others. (I stole this language from our music editor, Scott Shoger. Thanks, Scott!)

Of course, these are just the highlights we’ve snatched from the plethora of First Friday openings.

Otherwise, our top pick of the weekend is Saturday night’s Carnaval at the Jazz Kitchen. Any party thrown by the Cultural Cannibals (DJ Kyle Long and Artur Silva) is going to be a good one, and this samba-inflected celebration of the Brazilian Carnaval party, will be a doozy. This year’s event boasts entertainment including a live Brazilian samba band, The IU Brazilian Ensemble; the Flores do Samba dance group and an exhibition of photos and videos featuring Silva’s images from Rio de Janeiro.

On stage are a variety of openings this weekend:

Dance Kaleidoscope's Passionate Puccini opened Thursday at the Indiana Repertory Theatre and goes through the weekend. A romantic ambiance is sure to be in store for all those in attendance as the dancers from DK twirl gracefully to the arias of Puccini. The particular gem of the evening is sure to be “Butterfly,” a piece performed by multiple couples to the love duet from Madama Butterfly.

Everybody is talking about Tim Hardy, the Christel DeHaan Visiting International Theatre Artist. His version of As You Like It will be staged at Butler University, where we figure the meta-level of the “All the world’s a stage” monologue may be fully explored, knowing the edgy proclivities of the Butler theater department. Check out Caitlin O’Rourke’s blog about this production.

Also on stage this weekend is The Indianapolis Children's Choir, departing from their classical fare by teaming up with alum and now accomplished musician Sarah Scharbrough for Voices of Youth: Broadway, Jazz & More. This concert features jazz selections like "Moonglow" and "Birdland," and Broadway hits like "I Dreamed a Dream" and "Route 66."

Everybody loves Grace Fong, and there may be a few fans disappointed to find out she’s married, but fear not, she’ll be performing WITH her husband, Jun Iwasaki, on Sunday for the first concert of the 2011 Grand Encounters piano recital series. Proceeds from the event support American classical and jazz pianists as well as free arts outreach programs in Central Indiana schools, nursing homes and community centers.

Finally, this lineup would be remiss if it didn’t include the Monday night lecture by Katy Payne, part of the 2010-2011 J. James Woods Lectures in the Science and Mathematics. Payne began her research career listening to elephants and founded the Elephant Listening Project, associated with Cornell University. With the help of colleagues and the use of acoustic methods, she is able to study and aid in the conservation of forest elephants in Central Africa. Her studies have shown that elephants often communicate with sounds that travel over vast distances, below the threshold of human hearing. Read this excellent interview with Payne by Anne Laker.

See you out there!


Kyle Long pens A Cultural Manifesto for NUVO Newsweekly and in 2014 began broadcasting a version of his column on WFYI.