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Cris Rivas, Unspoken, 2017

Cris Rivas, Unspoken, 2017 (High Art Billboard Project)

It was a year of change for Arts in Indianapolis. The Phoenix Theatre moved to a new home and its founder resigned and soon-after founder a new theatre company. Meanwhile, Theatre on the Square was reborn as the District Theatre.

2018 was also the year we said goodbye to artist Lois Main Templeton and hello to the new kids at the Oilwick, while celebrating initiatives like the Art Council’s High Art Billboard project and stellar book projects by local authors from Sarah Layden to Michael Martone.

If you missed any of the big news in Indy arts this year, catch up with the 10 most read articles from 2018. Click on the title to link to the original story.

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2011 CVAs: Lois Main Templeton

Lois Main Templeton (1928-2018)

10. Remembering Lois Main Templeton

When word came on Nov. 7 that painter Lois Main Templeton had died at the age of 90, the Indianapolis arts community expressed its loss. Templeton was not only known for her art, which she took up at midlife, but also for building Indy’s art community. Born in Wisconsin in 1928, Templeton was the subject of a recent retrospective at the Indiana State Museum this past spring, as well as the recipient of the NUVO Cultural Vision Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.

9. The Artists of the Oilwick

You might call these young artists the new kids on the block, but they are carving a space for themselves literally and figuratively in the Indy art scene. Transforming an affordable warehouse space on the outskirts of Fountain Square into viable studio, exhibit, and performance space, these Herron grads are more than paying their dues.

8. A Studio Visit With Richard Emery Nickolson

The door to Nickolson’s studio only reads “REN” without any hint to his 38 years teaching hundreds of paintings from 1973 to 2010, his travels through Southeast Asia as artist for the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, and his research in symbology and/or the years he spent learning modern dance. Jennifer Delgadillo sat down with the venerated artist about his new role as part of the Indy Collective, a group of artists who have a permanent space for their art in the year-old 10th West Gallery.

7. High Art Billboard Project Winners Announced

We had the scoop this summer when the Arts Council of Indianapolis revealed the names of the artists to be featured in the next round of the High Art Billboard project around Indianapolis. The 10 artists chosen for the 2018-2019 High Art Billboard Program were chosen from 127 applicants from all over Central Indiana.

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Oilwick

The artists of the Oilwick

6. Tell Me What You Want: Science and Sexual Fantasy

Social psychologist Justin Lehmiller undertook the largest known survey of American sexual fantasies for his latest book, Tell Me What You Want. We sat down with him to talk about his findings ahead of his participation in a Banned Books Week panel at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library this fall.

5. A Change in Leadership at the Phoenix

Just weeks after the ribbon-cutting ceremony at their new state-of-the-art location, the Phoenix Theatre announced the departure of founder Bryan Fonseca. Over the 35-year-long span of Fonseca’s tenure, the Phoenix grew from a small storefront theatre to a multi-million operation--one that is now focused on paying for its new digs and close the gap on a $2.5 million deficit in its capital campaign.

4. Bringing a Theater Venue Back to Life

In August, 2017, Theatre on the Square (TOTS) shuttered for repairs leaving the future of Mass Ave’s theatre district in flux. Thankfully, groups like the Central Indiana Community Foundation and IndyFringe has stepped in to save the venue and relaunch it as The District Theatre—already staging crowd-pleasing productions.

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Blair St. Clair

Blair St. Clair

3. Best of Indy 2018: Arts & Entertainment

Arts in Indianapolis run the gamut from world-class symphonies to world-class block parties. In every case, the emphasis is on community and creativity. Here are the standouts NUVO readers voted as the  best in 2018 in everything from best dance company and theatre company to best film festival, best burlesque troupe, and best outdoor arts festival.

2. Indy Queen Chosen for RuPaul’s Drag Race

Twenty-two year old Blair St. Clair is the first Indiana contestant to compete for the official title of America's Next Drag Superstar. Twenty-two-year-old Andrew Bryson, who performs as Blair St. Clair, is a well-known diva of the local drag set and the former Miss Gay Indiana 2016. We caught up with Blair by phone just days before the official casting announcement was made public.

1. Southside Turnverein Reopens After Renovation

The historic Turnverein on Indy’s Southside was designed by Bernard Vonnegut and once served as a gymnasium for Indy's large German community. More recently, it was on Indiana Landmarks’ 10 Most Endangered Buildings list. On Nov. 9, a ribbon-cutting ceremony inaugurated the 118-year-old building as the new headquarters for Point Comfort Underwriters.

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Southside Turnverein building

Southside Turnverein building

 

Dan Grossman, Arts Editor at NUVO, can be reached by email at dgrossman@nuvo.net, by phone at 317-254-2400 or on Twitter @nuvoartsdan.

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Arts Editor

Dan Grossman is NUVO's arts editor.