Even major works of art need dusting, including Chihuly’s masterpiece at IU School of Medicine

dna towerIt rises 19 feet from the atrium floor of one of the busiest laboratory and classroom buildings on the Indiana University School of Medicine Indianapolis campus. This unique sculpture created by renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly is, well, dusty; it needs cleaning.

The luminous structure composed of more than 1,000 glass spheres in shades of blue, green, mauve and yellow can’t simply be vacuumed or spritzed with window cleaner and buffed with paper towel. The process is more complex, and only one firm in the United States is authorized to handle the maintenance and cleaning of Chihuly’s artwork. These professionals from Denny Park Fine Arts travel the globe delicately and skillfully disassembling, cleaning and reassembling Chihuly’s masterpieces.

Denny Park Fine Arts has been commissioned to clean the IU School of Medicine DNA Tower, modeled after the so-called blueprint for life. They will be working on the project June 1 and 2 in the Morris Mills Atrium of the VanNuys Medical Science Building on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus.

The sculpture was installed in 2003 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the IU School of Medicine and the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the DNA molecule by IU alumnus James D. Watson and colleague Francis Crick. The DNA Tower was unveiled Sept. 30, 2003, and this will be its first thorough cleaning.

 

Art legends inspire creative miniature golf course for Herron student scholarship fundraiser

Herron Open includes Warhol-inspired hole.
Herron Open includes Warhol-inspired hole.

Andy Warhol’s soup can paintings and Picasso’s bull series are among the inspirations for a nine-hole miniature golf course created for a fundraiser at Herron School of Art and Design on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus.

“The Herron Open: Mini Golf Mega Art” takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 7 on the first floor of the art school building, Eskenazi Hall, 735 W. New York St.

Tickets for the evening of miniature golf, food and drinks, along with music and a silent auction, are $35 to $125. The event is open to the general public, and proceeds will help fund scholarships for Herron students.

Reagan Furqueron, director of foundation studies at Herron and faculty coordinator for the Herron Open, is spearheading the construction projects needed to transform Eskenazi Hall classrooms into one of the most creative miniature golf courses Hoosiers will ever play.

Nine student-faculty teams representing the school’s academic programs — art history, sculpture, foundation studies, art education, print and painting, visual communication design, ceramics, and furniture design — and the school’s alumni association, have each built a hole, clocking in a total of at least 200 hours on the three-month project.

“None of us have ever built a mini golf course, so we have been making up the rules as we have gone along; but as artists, we are pretty well-prepared for that,” Furqueron said. “I gave them two rules to follow: One was that each hole had to be well-made. And the other was that (a hole) had to be playable. Then they could do whatever they wanted to from there.”

The builders played some mini golf around town to get a feel for what should happen along the course. While miniature golf enthusiasts will see some similarities with other courses, there are some creative twists to the Eskenazi course.

“It is a little more dimensional than what you are used to … the (course) at the mall is pretty flat. There are some challenges in this one that are pretty interesting, some tricks,” he said.

Although the event can be seen as a “really great cocktail party with mini-golf,” its value goes beyond entertainment.

“The fundraiser is for student scholarships, which is why many of our faculty wanted to get involved,” Furqueron said. “We know our students give a lot to come to school. All IUPUI students do. And this is a way for us to give back to them.”

The project has provided opportunities for freshmen to collaborate with faculty as peers outside a classroom setting, and it has provided graduate students the opportunity to practice their project management skills. The event also provides the community an opportunity to visit Herron’s first-class facility.

When: June 7, 2014
Where: Indianapolis, IN
Tickets are available online

Story 17: Digital Bridges from the IUPUI University Library

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21 years. 21 stories.
Over the course of 2014 the IUPUI Library will be sharing these stories with you.

Story 17: Digital Bridges

From the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to the Indiana Law Review, the IUPUI University Library Center for Digital Scholarship is connecting the city with the campus every day. We support the city by creating digital collections of images, newspapers, artifacts, and public records.

Missed a story? Want to read one again? All stories can be found here.

IUPUI Africana Studies Program receives award from National Council for Black Studies

385606_w296The Africana Studies Program in the IU School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has received the Mary McLeod Bethune and Carter G. Woodson Award for Outstanding Service in the Promotion of Social Responsibility in Africana Studies from the National Council for Black Studies.

The award was presented at the 38th annual National Council for Black Studies Conference in March in Miami, Fla. IUPUI’s Africana Studies Program served as the local co-host of the council’s 2013 conference, along with IU Bloomington, Notre Dame and Purdue universities.

“This award acknowledges the collective efforts of Africana studies faculty, students and staff who played strategic roles in the local conference planning as well as their active participation in the NCBS conference that was held in Indianapolis last year,” said Bessie House-Soremekun, director of Africana studies and professor of political science and Africana studies. “We are deeply humbled to receive this prestigious award named in honor of two great exemplars of social responsibility, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune and Dr. Carter G. Woodson.”

The 2013 National Council for Black Studies conference, at the Westin Hotel in downtown Indianapolis, had the second highest attendance in the organization’s history. The conference, which featured more than 400 concurrent sessions, drew on the diverse talents of IUPUI Africana studies faculty, staff and students, as well as members of the Indianapolis community. Professor Monroe Little served as chair of the local arrangements committee, and IUPUI senior Kendrea Williams and graduate assistant Juhanna Rogers provided invaluable service as members of the local arrangements committee.

IUPUI and Indianapolis community members also presented papers and served as volunteers at the conference. House-Soremekun presented a welcome speech at the opening reception at the Madame Walker Theatre Center. Three IUPUI students — Stella Brown, Leon Bates and Gregory Efiom — were inducted into the National Council for Black Studies National Honor Society.

The National Council for Black Studies was founded in 1975 by African American scholars who believed in the importance of providing scholarly information on the historical contributions of Africa and the experiences of African descended people in the African Diaspora. It has emerged as one of the most respected professional organizations in the United States dedicated to engendering an ongoing respect for people of African descent.

New IU ethics consortium announces funding for research projects

The Indiana University Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics and Society is offering funding for research proposals from IU faculty that explore the theme of wonder, especially as it intersects with nature and the environment.

The IU Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics and Society is an interdisciplinary association of scholars, academic programs and research centers from the eight campuses of Indiana University. The consortium was launched in January 2014 to leverage IU’s strengths in the interdisciplinary study of religion and advance research in key thematic areas.

This is the first call for research proposals from the new consortium. The research proposals are part of the first phase of a two-year thematic initiative — “Wonder and the Natural World” — sponsored by the consortium.

rachel carsonThe approaching 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s book “The Sense of Wonder” in 2015 makes the IU consortium’s theme especially timely, said Lisa Sideris, associate professor of religious studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington, who is also the inaugural director of the consortium.

“Wonder has played a key role in the environmental movement since that movement’s inception,” Sideris said. “We’re seeking proposals that ‘push the envelope’ in exploring the intersecting themes of wonder and nature, such as war and nature (‘shock and awe’), children’s natural spirituality, cinematic or fictional representations of wonder, even areas such as genetic engineering and wonder in artificial environments, like theme parks.”

Funding of up to $5,000 for individuals and up to $10,000 for teams is available. Full-time, tenure-track IU faculty members from any IU campus are eligible to apply, with proposals that cut across disciplines, units or campuses especially welcome.

The deadline for proposals is Sept. 1, 2014. Funding awards will be announced at the end of October. Recipients will present their preliminary findings and works-in-progress at a daylong symposium at IU Bloomington in May 2015.

The full call for proposals may be found online on the Department of Religious Studies website. Proposals should be emailed to Abby Gitlitz. For additional information on the consortium or the funding awards, contact Lisa Sideris.

Jennifer Thorington Springer appointed director of IUPUI RISE Program

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Jennifer Thorington Springer

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education Kathy E. Johnson has announced the appointment of Jennifer Thorington Springer as director of the IUPUI RISE Program effective June 1.

The RISE Program builds on IUPUI’s rich history of experiential learning and challenges all IUPUI undergraduates to complete at least two of four types of credit-bearing learning experiences as components of their baccalaureate degree:

  • Research: Knowledge learned in the classroom is applied to research-based projects that can serve the student’s area of study and creative activities, as well as the campus and the greater community.
  • International experience: Studying abroad enhances learning and understanding of complex global issues, helps develop a conceptual framework that informs the way a student looks at the world, and offers meaningful interactions with diverse populations and cultures.
  • Service learning: Service learning combines classroom instruction with meaningful community service that enhances the student’s growth and commitment to civic engagement.
  • Experiential learning: Experiential learning is a process through which a student develops skills, knowledge and values from direct experiences such as internships and field work.

Engaging undergraduate students in the RISE Program and other high-impact practices, particularly first-generation, low-income and minority students, emerged as an essential campus priority in the 2013-14 IUPUI strategic planning process.

As RISE director, Thorington Springer will be charged with strategic campus-level leadership, communication and assessment for the RISE Program, and will coordinate closely with IUPUI’s Center for Research and Learning, Office of International Affairs, Center for Service and Learning and Office of External Affairs to expand opportunities for undergraduate students to actively engage in the educational process. Additionally, she will cultivate faculty engagement in high-impact practices and will collaborate with faculty and department leaders to develop challenging, innovative and creative curricula that benefit the RISE Program.

Thorington Springer is an associate professor and associate chair of English, adjunct faculty in women’s and Africana studies and an affiliate with the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at IU Bloomington. She was selected for the position after an internal search chaired by Rick Ward, executive director of the Center for Research and Learning and a Chancellor’s Professor.

“Dr. Thorington Springer is a skilled and effective leader who has a strong track record of excellence on the IUPUI campus as well as within her discipline,” Johnson said. “She is a gifted communicator and will bring a tremendous amount of energy to helping make RISE a signature strength of the IUPUI undergraduate experience.”

Thorington Springer’s contributions to the IUPUI campus community have been recognized with the Chancellor’s Award For Excellence in Multicultural Teaching; the Joseph T. Taylor Diversity Award for Excellence in Diversity (individual and group); the IUPUI Student Council Outstanding Mentor/Motivator Award; the IUPUI Outstanding Woman Leader Award; and the Trustees Teaching Award four times. She is also a member of the Faculty Colloquium on Excellence in Teaching.

“I am excited about leading the RISE Program because it would afford me an opportunity to help IUPUI create a blueprint for other college campuses on how to successfully integrate research, international experiences, service and experiential learning at the undergraduate level,” Thorington Springer said.

Thorington Springer received her Bachelor of Arts from Westfield State University and her Master of Arts and Ph.D. in English from Miami University, with a cognate in women’s studies. She was hired at IUPUI in 2001 to teach courses in Caribbean literature and studies as well as African American and Diaspora literature and studies. Her research primarily examines literary constructions of black diasporic identities, and how race, class, gender, sexuality and nationality influence those identities.

Dual shows at Indiana State Museum and Herron School re-create Indianapolis art scene of ’80s and ’90s

386205_w296The Indiana State Museum and Herron School of Art and Design have collaborated to present a window into the Indianapolis art scene of the early 1980s and 1990s. The iconic institutions will exhibit “431 Gallery: Art and Impact” and “Ed Sanders/Life and Art,” respectively.

A June 27 opening reception featuring passed hors d’oeuvres, beverages and live music will begin at the museum from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and continue at Herron from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Ticket information is available at the Indiana State Museum ticket counter, 317-232-1637.

“431 Gallery: Art and Impact” will feature a partial re-creation of the gallery, where visitors can view two- and three-dimensional works by former Herron students from the original cooperative. The exhibition is funded in part by the Buckingham Foundation, the Arts Council of Indianapolis and the City of Indianapolis and is free with museum admission after the opening reception.

“The 431 Gallery was one of the original galleries operating on Massachusetts Avenue from 1984 to 1993,” said Mark Ruschman, the museum’s curator of fine art. “The area is considered Indianapolis’ first arts district and was integral in driving the downtown renaissance. The exhibition will connect many people to a time in Indianapolis when there were few venues for artists to showcase cutting-edge, contemporary works.”

Featured artists include Bill Adkins, Anita Giddings, Larry Kline, Carla Knopp, Steve Paddock and Ed Sanders. “431 Gallery: Art and Impact” will continue through Sept. 14.

“Ed Sanders/Life and Art” is a posthumous, solo exhibition of paintings and drawings. Critics and fellow artists recognized the Herron graduate as a major figure in the Indianapolis art scene of the time. He died in 2006 at the age of 59.

Bret Waller, director emeritus of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, organized the exhibition and authored the companion, illustrated catalog. He said Sanders supported himself by architectural work during the day, painting in his studio until late at night, producing a remarkable body of work. One observer wrote, “[I]t often seemed that Ed was trying to tackle bigger game than most artists attempted, here or anywhere else. Ed’s paintings seemed like a no-holds-barred wrestling match with existence … he painted as if painting really mattered, as if truth itself depended on it.”

“Ed Sanders/Life and Art,” in the Berkshire, Reese and Paul galleries of Herron’s Eskenazi Hall, will bring together important works spanning Sanders’ quarter-century career. The free exhibition will continue through July 24.

On Saturday, June 28, there will be two panel discussions related to the exhibitions, funded by the Efroymson Family Fund, a Central Indiana Community Foundation Fund, and moderated by Steve Mannheimer, a professor in the School of Informatics at IUPUI who, as a professor of painting at Herron, challenged his students to create the 431 Gallery, and David Hoppe, contributing editor at NUVO. Panelists will include Bill Adkins, David Andrichik, Dave Lawrence, Richard Emery Nickolson, Mark Ruschman, Constance Scopelitis, Joyce Sommers and Jim Walker.

“431 Gallery,” a conversation about the gallery’s role and impact on the Central Indiana art scene, will take place from 10 a.m. to noon in the museum’s Dean and Barbara White Auditorium. “Our Journey: 30 Years of Art,” a look at what’s next for the larger art scene in Indiana, will take place from 1 to 2 p.m. in Herron School of Art and Design’s Basile Auditorium. Both exhibitions will be open. The discussions are free and open to the public, but due to limited seating, reservations are required. RSVP by calling the museum at 317-232-1637. The deadline is June 22.

“This is the first time Herron and the Indiana State Museum have partnered on a major program, and we’re excited about it,” Ruschman said. “Since the 431 Gallery was founded by former Herron students, and Ed Sanders was a founding member, the collaboration on the exhibitions and panel discussions makes perfect sense.”

For more details, contact Mark Ruschman at 317-232-1633 or mruschman@ indianamuseum.org, or visit the museum website.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IUPUI bring racing history to life online

thCAJ85RU0In partnership with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), IUPUI University Library brings 100 years of track history to life through a collection of free online audio stories. The short oral histories offer race insights and commentary and are accompanied by photographs of some of the most important moments in the life of the Indianapolis 500.

The oral race summaries expand on a one of a kind digital repository that captures the history of IMS through more than 14,000 images taken from 1879 to 2013. Thanks to grants from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library services and administered by the Indiana State Library, the photographs can be viewed on the IUPUI University Library’s website. Just Google: Digital Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

With the help of Donald Davidson, IMS historian since 1998, the oral histories were created by a 2013 IUPUI graduate, from the school of Informatics, Joe Skibinski. There are currently 66 audio histories and the collection continues to grow. Among the highlights are the 1960 race during which Jim Rathmann edged out Rodger Ward by 12.75 seconds and a flashback to the 2006 showdown when Sam Hornish Jr. pulled alongside Marco Andretti on the front stretch in a sprint to the finish to win by 0.0635 seconds. Some vignettes feature clips of the IMS Radio Network’s broadcast coverage with iconic announcers like Sid Collins and Paul Page.

This online collection allows users from across the world to explore the storied past of the landmark that has put Indianapolis at the epicenter of motorsports history for one hundred years. Visitors to the site can search for a favorite year of Indianapolis 500 racing, a favorite driver or car and more. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Collection is one of more than 60 online collections created by the IUPUI University Library and its community partners, including Conner Prairie Living History Museum, in nearby Fishers, and the Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper. To browse the digital collections, visit the library on the web.

Located at 755 W. Michigan Avenue in the heart of the IUPUI campus, the University Library is a public library, serving nearly one million visitors a year, 10 percent of them community users. University Library supports students and faculty across all of IUPUI’s more than 200 degree programs with research expertise and a wide array of resources. Any resident of Indiana is eligible for an IUPUI University Library card.

IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI recognizes three with alumni awards

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASheila Gilbert dedicates her life to helping the poor. Charity Counts brings educational opportunities to Indianapolis. Brian Denton puts his statistical skills to work in the medical field.

Their accomplishments are unique, but they are connected by their liberal arts education. And on May 9, Gilbert, Counts and Denton were honored with IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI Alumni Awards.

“Sheila Gilbert, Charity Counts and Brian Denton are three wonderful examples of liberal arts alumni making a difference,” said William Blomquist, dean of the IU School of Liberal Arts. “It’s a joy to recognize their career and community achievements and add them to the rolls of accomplished alumni of the school.”

Each year the Liberal Arts Alumni Association recognizes alumni and friends of the School of Liberal Arts for their achievements and service. The Distinguished Alumni Service Award recognizes outstanding alumni who distinguish themselves either professionally or by giving extraordinary service to the school/university. The Early Career Achievement Award recognizes outstanding accomplishments in a profession or for service to the school/university; graduates within 15 years of degree completion are eligible for this award.

Gilbert received the Liberal Arts Distinguished Alumni Service Award for her work with people in need. Counts and Denton received the Early Career Achievement Award for success in their respective career paths and contributions to their alma mater. The awards were presented as part of the school’s annual celebration of its graduating classes, which took place at the Indianapolis Arts Garden.

Honorees were nominated by faculty, community members and alumni, and selection was made by the Alumni Association Board.

More information about the honorees:

Sheila Gilbert (BA sociology, 1978; MA public and environmental affairs, 1983)
Sheila Gilbert is the national president of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. She is a past president of the society’s Indianapolis Council and currently facilitates its educational program, Changing Lives, a 26-week training and educational program that helps low-income families exit poverty. She was a St. Mary of the Woods College adjunct faculty member and previously served as director of Project CLASS, a career development and work experience program of Indianapolis Public Schools for more than 800 economically disadvantaged adults. “She is the unpaid servant leader of an organization that yearly provides more than half a billion dollars’ worth of goods and services to people in need in the United States,” said Robert White, professor and chair of sociology. “I cannot conceive of an alumna who brings more honor to the IU School of Liberal Arts than Sheila Gilbert.”

Charity Counts (MA museum studies, 2008)
Charity Counts is the associate vice president of exhibits at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Since receiving her master’s degree, she has been active with the Museum Studies Program as a donor, guest presenter and internship mentor. While a student, she published the article “Spectacular Design in Museum Exhibitions,” which became a cover story in Curator: The Museum Journal, the top peer-reviewed publication in the field. “Ms. Counts embodies the spirit and purpose of the liberal arts and brings that knowledge to her everyday work,” said Elizabeth Wood, associate professor and director of museum studies. “Her attention and commitment to intellectual pursuits and leadership in the field indicate the strength of an early and distinguished career.” Counts is credited for developing strong relationships for the Children’s Museum with content providers such as Lego, National Geographic and Nickelodeon, as well as negotiating exhibitions such as the Terra Cotta Warriors from Xi’an, China.

Brian Denton (BA economics, 2002; BA German/political science, 2003; MA economics, 2005; BS mathematics, 2009)
While working on his master’s degree, Brian Denton discovered a passion for statistics and computer programming. Since then, Denton has used his extensive training to build a career as a statistician. He spent two years as a statistical research assistant at the prestigious Sloan-Kettering Memorial Cancer Center in New York. While there, he helped develop new techniques to predict and classify genetic mutations and liposarcoma subtypes based on clinical and gene expression data. “Brian has made impressive strides early in his career,” said Paul Carlin, professor of economics. “He has been and remains a strong supporter of the Department of Economics’ mission.” Denton currently works as a computational statistician for Eli Lilly and Co, and serves on the Liberal Arts Dean’s Advisory Council.

IUPUI students and faculty debut virtual games and a new design major

logo PopConPop culture will take center stage when Indy PopCon is launched May 30 through June 1. The first-of-its-kind event is expected to attract 400 artists and exhibitors and 15,000 to 20,000 visitors to the Indiana Convention Center.

Among those on hand for the inaugural event will be the representatives from the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI, one of PopCon’s title sponsors, and the Herron School of Art and Design. Students, faculty and staff from both schools — along with casual fans from the campus community and their counterparts from across the state — will have an opportunity to greet celebrity guests, renowned comic artists and media personalities who will sign autographs, interact with fans and absorb life in the Hoosier capital.

The result is a comic and popular culture convention that is a springtime companion to the well-established summertime gaming convention, GenCon. PopCon has more than 300,000 square feet of space in the convention center for the event, and organizers plan to bring education to the forefront.

School of Informatics and Computing faculty and students plan to showcase the new augmented reality game “Return of Aetheria: War of the Realms,” the follow-up to “Return of Aetheria,” which was unveiled at GenCon in 2013.

Conventions “are a wonderful place for people to share their passions,” said Mathew Powers, a lecturer in media arts and design in the School of Informatics and Computing. “Our main goal is to get our school out there, help students show off the things they’ve done. PopCon is a great grassroots way to do that.”

For example, Powers noted, a new game called Windfall, developed as an informatics and computing capstone project by the husband-and-wife team of students Brendon and Kathryn Steele, will be represented to show an example of the potential influence on career-minded students.

Powers expects popular culture events to continue to grow. “People don’t realize just how much ‘geek’ is out there,” he said with a chuckle. “Fantasy, gaming, role-playing — it’s all popular now. It’s part of the way students learn. And PopCon especially is focused on those areas.”

The convention offers institutions of higher education the chance to recruit students to such fields as gaming programs and design, as well as the role of artistry and imagination to make online games come to life.

Herron representatives, for example, will help potential students learn more about the school’s new drawing and illustration major, as well as career opportunities. On Saturday, a panel discussion will feature alumni Joseph Crone and Lowell Isaac, along with Vance Farrow, sharing first-hand experiences and challenges facing those who want to break into businesses that rely on artists for success in fields closely tied to popular culture.

Farrow believes Herron’s new major is an example of how potential art students will use their imagination and abilities in a unique approach to both disciplines. He believes that approach will weave “the fine art concerns of drawing with the applied art methodologies of illustration.”

Herron dean Valerie Eickmeier believes the new program “will be a powerful blend of courses in a collaborative environment for anyone who wants to research and experiment where expressive arts, visualization and creative technologies merge.”

That intersection, she added, “will enhance our students’ skill sets for greater employment opportunities in a variety of fields represented at PopCon.”

For more information, visit PopCon’s event page here

What: First Annual Popular Culture Convention- PopCon
When:
May 30-June 1, 2014
Where:
Indiana Convention Center

By Ric Burrous