On Saturday, October 8, two galleries will have openings that feature artists with connections to the Herron School of Art and Design. These are the French Bleu Gallery and the Eye on Art Gallery, which sit next door to each other on Carmel's Main Street.
The Herron connection at the upcoming Eye on Art Gallery show is a slightly tenuous one: the featured artist, Susan Brewer, was a friend of Robert Berkshire, a former Herron professor who died last year. You may see echoes of Berkshire's influence in Brewer's boldly colored and rhythmically patterned canvases.
"Berkshire was a real dear friend and I spent a lot of time last year helping him. He did figure drawing in my studio. He did claim to be my mentor. I got to watch him draw and it was like conducting a symphony."
But Brewer listens to her own music as she paints, as it were. "I started seeing dream images in the late '80s," she says. "I started seeing paintings. It took a few years before I evolved to that. And at the time I was doing ceramics."
"I've followed Susan's work for a number of years," says Jerry Points, the owner of the Eye on Art Gallery. "And I think, having been at the Stutz for six years, that I've observed her as one of the more serious artists down there... I don't show that many emerging artists or artists from Indiana but I wanted to introduce her works to the Carmel area."
Susan Mauck's French Bleu Gallery, which opened last year around the same time as Eye on Art, will feature the paintings of a former Herron professor, the late Ed Manetta. (Both Mauck and Points are former Stutz-based artists who came to Carmel's Arts & Design District late last year hoping for increased sales in this high-end retail environment.)
"Robin Manetta came in," says Mauck, "And it came up that her husband was a professor at Herron and she said she was looking for a place to do a tribute show. And I said, 'Why don't we think about having it here?'" And since then we've become really good friends. I'm happy to do it. And I later found out that he was instrumental in the Carmel Arts Council: He was one of the presidents of the Carmel Arts Council. And it kind of seemed fitting that it should be here in the Arts District."
Another standout opening during the Carmel Gallery Walk, at the Evan Lurie Gallery, will be for a show called "Weaving Ephemeral Elements" featuring large-scale paintings by the Cuban-born and -educated Alexi Torres.