Visual Art

Jim Walker

The Vanity Spa in Avon features work by local artists.

As Indianapolis continues to sprawl in all directions, the idea of taking local art to people in the suburbs makes real sense. Two years ago, Primary Colours brought its annual art show to Noblesville. Many galleries have sprung up in the village at Zionsville. Earlier this year, Quincy Owens, Beth Hall and others began showing work in a dentist's office in Carmel. And, on Jan. 27, The Vanity Spa in a new strip mall in Avon hosted a large opening with work by a handful of local artists on the walls.

Vanity Spa is a huge space with lots of room for hanging large and small pieces in fitting settings with good lighting. Work hangs not only in open foyer-type spaces but also in small massage rooms and narrow hallways, giving the work real opportunity for attention.

Indianapolis artist Greg Seagrave, who said he didn't really know where Avon was before this show, served as its curator, sending out a call for artists that drew enthusiastic response. Seagrave's own wild abstract paintings, which fall somewhere between colorful splatter and outsider-like obsession to detail, stand out in the mix.

While Anna Miller's close-up photos of flowers printed on canvas are occasionally suggestive, much of the other work tends to be more decorative than evocative. But that makes sense for a first show in a new space, for a new audience. Seagrave plans to help Vanity rotate the work hanging at the spa on a regular basis.

Beyond its importance in terms of outreach, the art looks good hanging here. Seeing that might encourage customers - who, on Friday, weren't the same hipsters usually seen at downtown galleries - to take something home and begin collecting. Vanity's owner, Jessica Imburgia, has made the right move in bringing work by local artists out to this spa/gallery found next door to a cell phone store.

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