From here to Helsinki, Herron’s Visual Communication Design faculty operate in the vanguard

Presenters including Youngbok Hong (front row, second from right) and Aaron Ganci (back row, left) at NordDesign 2014, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland Image courtesy Maria Solovjew

Presenters including Youngbok Hong (front row, second from right) and Aaron Ganci (back row, left) at NordDesign 2014, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland
Image courtesy Maria Solovjew

Assistant Professor Aaron Ganci and Associate Professor Youngbok Hong recently traveled to Finland to presented findings about the senior capstone course in Visual Communication Design they team-teach at Herron. They made their remarks during the NordDesign 2014 conference at Aalto University in Helsinki. Their scholarly trip was made possible by Herron Travel grants.

The central theme of the conference was innovation, said Hong. “In the area of innovation, design and product development, we quite often seem to know that something works in practice, but might lack understanding of the theoretical foundations of why. NordDesign 2014 organizers were looking for evidence-based academic work on topical issues of design, development and innovation to strengthen both our theoretical understanding and the connection between theory and practice.”

Hong focuses on Service Design and Ganci’s specialty is a subset called Interaction Design. They have identified these two fields as important to moving the design of new products forward and are using their experiences in these fields to design the coursework at Herron.

“Twenty years ago, products were physical objects that were mostly created by engineers, not designers,” Ganci said. “Today, we have a more diverse understanding of a product. It can be software or even a service experience. So this conference was a great place for us to share our ideas on how to prepare design students for 21st century careers in product design.

‘We’re trying to create an experience that better resembles the professional work that Visual Communication Design students might be doing. We recognize that you can’t make objects in isolation anymore,” Ganci said. “We’re predicting that the integration of several tracks into one is where the future of the visual communication design teaching lies. What we shared at this conference was the approach we are taking to help explain our vision of the design profession to our students.”

Ganci said this approach works well at Herron because “we are rooted in design thinking and people-centered design.”

Herron’s Visual Communication Design senior capstone provides a base of knowledge that can be applied to many different types of things a designer might make,” Ganci said. “We ask students to solve problems with a broad, integrated set of solutions, sometimes called touchpoints. We want our students to know how to identify these touchpoints and then design them at a high level.”

“Designers are great at seeing things through the eyes of the user,” he said. “A skilled visual communicator is a an asset when it comes to understanding and documenting an experience in order to improve it.”

In addition to traditional forms of visual communication design, Hong and Ganci believe “experience design is primarily what our students will be doing in the next five to 10 years.”

Read more about Hong and Ganci’s work and see examples of student projects here.

Wein Artist Prize of $50,000 goes to Herron alumnus Samuel Levi Jones

Samuel Levi Jones  image by Tressa Pack

Samuel Levi Jones
image by Tressa Pack

“Sam Jones (B.F.A. ’09 in Photography) is an artist with a dream,” said Professor Linda Adele Goodine, who teaches photography and intermedia at Herron. “He has followed his vision to graduate school and now, the larger art stage. It’s an infinite plan to create and bring wonder and curiosity to the public by making art that begs us to look at who we are and where we come from.”

Goodine’s assessment was not lost on those who bestow the Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize, which for nine years has been awarded to an African-American artist “who demonstrates great innovation, promise and creativity.” George Wein created the $50,000 prize in memory of his wife. It is given each year by the Studio Museum in Harlem. The prize was announced on October 27.

“I remember Sam Jones vividly,” said Professor Jean Robertson. “He was a student in several of my art history classes, and a complete pleasure in every way. He was always engaged in class and eager to learn and discuss. He was particularly interested in documentary photography that shone a light on the situation of impoverished and disadvantaged people. Sam has a strong sense of social justice, and wanted to use his art to make a difference in the world. Clearly he was a young man who was going to be a success, given his dedication and commitment.”

As for Jones, he said he was at home in the San Francisco Bay area when he got the fateful phone call. “I was really surprised. I never imagined getting this award.” His website describes his art making as “…an attempt to address identity within the modern world upon the existence of exclusion.” He describes his first class in photography as a life changing experience even though his work has evolved into additional mediums.

Work by Jones will be featured in Black White Thread, a solo exhibition opening on November 8 at Papillon in Los Angeles.

Volunteers’ actions still reverberate more than a decade on

The John Herron Society's namesake File image

The John Herron Society’s namesake
File image

A handful of enthusiastic volunteers inspired Dean Valerie Eickmeier to create the John Herron Society. Because of their vision 13 years ago, more than 100 society members support the school’s mission with annual, unrestricted giving at a minimum of $1,000. Many give much more.

While the numbers demonstrate the commitment of individuals in our community who value the arts, it is what happens because of their support that matters most.

The John Herron Society provides for student success, academic programs, community outreach and new opportunities and initiatives. This kind of private support is critical for Herron to compete on a national level as a premier school of art and design.

“I’ve enjoyed engaging with our community as individuals step forward with support to the John Herron Society,” Dean Eickmeier said. “Each year, it’s exciting to welcome new members and thank current members for their ongoing support. I also make it a priority to keep members informed throughout the year regarding what their support is making possible.”

One of the school’s priorities for this academic year is to enhance the learning and social environment for Herron’s students. Eskenazi Hall is dotted with new furniture—providing a space to build community. A student emergency fund is being established and a new mentoring program is being developed. Each of these initiatives helps ensure student success by giving students the resources and experiences needed to reach their educational goals.

Two of the newest members of the John Herron Society, Dr. David Crabb and his wife, Ellen, “believe the support of art, and Herron in particular, is important for several reasons,” said Dr. Crabb. “We both are involved in creative activities in art and design. Our children have been deeply involved in and benefitted immensely from deep and broad exposure to the arts— a common culture we share with them. Perhaps most importantly, learning about art opens our eyes to worlds we might simply miss, were it not for the training of perception and insight that art gives us.”

Herron is pleased to announce a challenge gift from Drs. Jane Fortune and Robert R. Hesse, who will match up to $10,000 of new John Herron Society gifts during the 2014-2015 academic year. Their generous support is meant as an incentive to recruit new donors, who are so important to Herron for a strong future.

John Herron Society members enjoy private receptions and dinners, behind-the-scenes experiences and unique interactions with students and faculty. Most importantly, members can be confident that their investment in the lives of others is an important contribution toward fulfilling Herron’s educational and artistic mission.

To learn more about becoming a member of the John Herron Society, contact Kim Hodges, Office of Development, at 317-278-9472 or kshodges@iupui.edu. To give online, visit www.herron.iupui.edu.

Mural design by Sichuga and Hankins enables volunteers to create on Lilly Global Day of Service

A group of Eli Lilly and Company employees painting a section of mural on October 2. The 2,600 square foot design was created by Herron senior Andrey Sichuga and alumnus Chad Hankins. Image courtesy Andrey Sichuga

A group of Eli Lilly and Company employees painting a section of mural on October 2. The 2,600 square foot design was created by Herron senior Andrey Sichuga and alumnus Chad Hankins.
Image courtesy Andrey Sichuga

A mural designed by two Herron School of Art and Design buddies, alumnus Chad Hankins (B.F.A. in Sculpture, 2013) and Andrey Sichuga, a senior majoring in painting, sprang to life when Eli Lilly and Company Global Day of Service volunteers painted it on October 2.

Eli Lilly and Company’s Global Day of Service benefits people around the globe wherever the pharmaceutical manufacturer has facilities. Indianapolis was no exception in this, the seventh year of the massive effort. More than 8,400 local Lilly employees fanned out across Indianapolis this year to complete hundreds of tasks—from pulling weeds to conducting fitness assessments in more than 150 individual projects.

One group of about 30 people busied itself with painting more than 2,600 square feet of underpass and columns at Harding Street and I-70 where a giant mural depicts a fantastic scene of flora and fauna.

The design was the brainchild of two Herron School of Art and Design buddies who estimate that they spent about three months all told developing the design and preparing it so the volunteers could accomplish their goal. The two were on site to direct the painting.

Their design collaboration happened by accident when they ran into each other in August at a creative placemaking event put on by Reconnecting Our Waterways and hosted by the Eiteljorg Museum. They heard about the project there.

The duo submitted separate designs to Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, a local Day of Service project manager. Ultimately Sichuga’s design prevailed. “He’s loose, I’m tight, he’s natural, I’m industrial,” said Hankins. “My design was somewhat political, his went for beauty.” Hankins and Sichuga decided to partner early on because of the sheer size of the area they had to cover.

Hankins tried to research iconic images from the west side—such as a long-gone rocket slide that was a favorite piece of playground equipment for generations in Rhodius Park, but he found it difficult to get ideas from the community about what they’d like to see. He said he felt that as good as the Harding Street mural is, the project would have been even stronger with more input from the people who actually live in the neighborhood.

“At first I thought it would be really easy—most murals are three or four colors,” Hankins said. “But our design needed 51 colors. Sherwin Williams donated the paint. It was like being a kid in a candy store when we walked in there. Keep Indianapolis Beautiful wrote the checks.”

“A project like this is not a walk in the park,” Hankins continued, noting that it had its share of challenges, including a giant pile of mulch that he and some friends had to move in order to transfer the paint-by-number design onto an underpass surface. He also had to borrow a generator to power a projector and trace the outlines in waning daylight, which made the cars whizzing by more of a concern.

“It’s the kind of job you take to build a portfolio,” he continued. “Design and scale-wise, we’ve had quite a learning experience.” In the end, watching the volunteers bring the perspective-driven design to life “was worth it.”

Sichuga said the experience of watching the volunteers was akin to watching “a garden blossom.” As an artist, he’s spent considerable time thinking about how to act upon society’s problems and make a “positive influence” through his work. “This project,” he said, “provided a glimpse of one way to go about it.”

Korean War veteran and Herron alumnus Paul Rickey leads an art-full life

Paul Rickey with his artwork Image courtesy Paul Rickey

Paul Rickey with his artwork
Image courtesy Paul Rickey

Herron alumnus Paul Rickey has traveled far and wide and hosted broadcasts on radio and cable television about the visual arts in both California and Oregon since his days at Herron. “I attended Herron from 1949 to 1951 prior to enlisting in the Navy during the Korean War,” he said, noting that he studied with Garo Antreasian. He counts Antreasian, Robert Indiana (know then as Robert Clark, two years ahead of Rickey at Tech High School) and Herron alumnus Hale Woodruff among his “most admired artists.”

“After the Navy, I graduated from New York University with a bachelor’s degree in art education, and I studied at the Art Students League in New York,” he said. Now a resident of Corvallis, Oregon, he teaches and exhibits locally at the Pegasus Gallery and through the Corvallis Art Guild, favoring landscape, portrait and still life work rendered in felt pen, colored pencil, pastels or water color.

He estimates that he’s interviewed “about 150 artists all told, counting years in California and Oregon. “I wanted to support the arts. I wanted to give a place for artists to speak of their concerns about the arts,” he said. “I talk about art movements, famous artists and local art exhibitions.”

His California show, The Arts Scene, was the only one on air in all of northern California” at the time, he said. It ran on Wednesday evenings on KKUP-FM for 642 shows from 1994 to 2001 and online for another five years. The cable Channel 29 show, Focus on Art, is his Corvallis outlet.

Still, after all this time, Rickey fondly insists that he owes “much of my art success to my early training at Herron.”

Deborah Butterfield will present on opening night of undergraduate student exhibitions

Deborah Butterfield, Cascade, 2014 Image courtesy Deborah Butterfield

Deborah Butterfield, Cascade, 2014
Image courtesy Deborah Butterfield

Iconic artist Deborah Butterfield partly credits her birthdate on the 75th running of the Kentucky Derby as inspiration for her life size, sculptural horses. Each of her in-demand and internationally collected works takes three to five years to make. Butterfield will appear at Herron as the 2014 Jane Fortune Outstanding Women Visiting Artist lecturer on November 12 at 6:00 p.m., in the Basile Auditorium of Eskenazi Hall.

It is the generosity of Jane Fortune—author, cultural editor, art historian, art collector and philanthropist—that brings Butterfield to Herron. “I want to make an impact on the community that surrounds me and help make the arts accessible to our residents,” Fortune said. This is the seventh lecture in the series, which has welcomed artists including Judy Chicago, Polly Apfelbaum, Judith Shea and Maria Magdalena Campos Pons to Indianapolis.

Butterfield appears in conjunction with the opening of the Undergraduate Student Exhibition, which this year will take place in both Eskenazi Hall’s Berkshire, Reese and Paul galleries and in various spaces of the Eskenazi Fine Arts Center. Shuttle service will be available between buildings. This year’s jurist will be Dr. Patricia Y. Paik, curator of contemporary art at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. In a typical year, the jurist must select from more than 300 strong submissions across a wide variety of media. The exhibition continues through November 29.

Also opening will be On the Blink, a show of photography, video, performance and installation works by Photography and Intermedia seniors.

New to the mix this year will be a graduate studio crawl. With more than 60 master’s degree students—in two buildings—the studio crawl will give students and visitors alike a chance to peek behind the curtain of spaces that are normally not seen by other students or the public.

In the Marsh Gallery, the FACE Pets Show, a group exhibition, continues with works available for purchase to benefit the Foundation Against Companion Animal Euthanasia. In the Basile Gallery, view selections from a rare collection of artists books and broadsides representing the free exchange of ideas in the wake of a 2007 car bombing in the center of Bagdad on al-Mutanabbi Street. These shows continue through November 19.

Herron art professor earns unprecedented $300,000 in prizes at sixth annual ArtPrize competition

Anila Quayyum Agha

Anila Quayyum Agha

Herron School of Art and Design professor Anila Quayyum Agha has won the two top prizes at ArtPrize 2014, earning a record $300,000 in the international art competition held in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Her entry, titled “Intersections,” earned the ArtPrize 2014 Public Vote Grand Prize of $200,000 and split the Juried Grand Prize of $200,000 in a tie with “The Haircraft Project,” by artist Sonya Clark of Richmond, Va.

Agha’s wins mark the first time one entry has won both the ArtPrize grand prize awarded by popular vote and the grand prize awarded by a jury of international art experts. Her total prize is also the highest amount given to one individual in the competition, which awards the world’s largest art prize.

The professor’s unprecedented success was no surprise to Susan Scarafia, a 1983 IU Kelley School of Business graduate who traveled to Grand Rapids to join the thousands of visitors — including Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder — who viewed the entries on display at venues within the three-mile square art district in downtown Grand Rapids.

“I thought Anila would win from my first look at ‘Intersections,’” Scarafia, who has attended the past four ArtPrize competitions, said Sunday in an email interview. “There was buzz about it online. … once I got to the city, ‘Intersections’ was the piece others recommended most when I asked what I should see.

“But the way I knew, really knew, that ‘Intersections’ would win was that I could see that everyone who saw it was so involved with it. They weren’t just passing by or taking a quick picture. They walked into the room, stopped talking, looked up, looked around and kept looking from different angles. It seemed to me that this art really hooked into people.”

The “hooked” included one man who, while viewing “Intersections,” dropped to his knees and surprised his girlfriend with a marriage proposal, according to a news report.

Agha is associate professor of drawing and foundation studies at Herron, the art school on the IUPUI campus.

The professor’s “Intersections,” completed under a 2012-13 New Frontiers Research Grant from Indiana University, is composed of a 6.5-foot laser-cut wooden cube created using Herron’s new computer numeric control router.

When illuminated by the single bulb installed inside, the wooden frieze casts patterns of light and shadows inspired by the geometric patterning of Islamic sacred places as found in the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. During the 19-day ArtPrize exhibit, which ended Sunday, the entry was on display at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

“This is a wonderful and well-deserved award for Herron professor Anila Agha,” Herron Dean Valerie A. Eickmeier said. “Her prize-winning installation presents a perfect example of how our new digital technology equipment has assisted the creative work of our faculty. Anila teaches drawing, and her artwork is usually made on paper or fabric. This is the first work that she has created with Herron’s new computer numeric control router. Anila’s achievement provides an excellent example for Herron students as well.”

A smaller version of Agha’s winning entry was on view in the Frank and Katrina Basile Gallery at Herron last fall.

ArtPrize 2014, an independent competition open to anyone 18 or older, included 1,536 entries representing 51 countries and 42 U.S. states and territories. Entries were submitted in 2-D, 3-D, time-based and installation categories.

The contest, which drew 400,000 visitors last year, awarded two grand prizes totaling $400,000 and eight awards in the four categories worth a total of $160,000. ArtPrize has a parallel awards structure, with half of the awards decided by public vote cast by mobile devices or online and half by a jury of international art experts.

“Intersections” was chosen for the popular grand prize by the 41,109 registered voters who cast 398,714 votes.

After three days of deliberation over the 20 finalists selected by category jurors, the grand prize jury of Susan Sollins, Leonardo Drew and Katharina Grosse decided to split the $200,000 prize between “Intersections” and “The Haircraft Project.”

“By the end of our adventure here and after much, much discussion, we came to the conclusion that there were two artists of equal caliber and talent who had risen to the top of our list,” Sollins said. “We felt strongly that both artists had to be recognized equally. In short, there was nothing for it but to declare a tie.”

The winners were announced in Hollywood fashion during an ArtPrize Awards ceremony Oct. 10 at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre. A town hall recap of this year’s competition takes place Wednesday, Oct.15.

Agha’s acceptance speech is included in awards ceremony television coverage posted online.

An after-show interview on Grand Rapids television is also available online.

Popular Combat Paper workshops return to Herron School of Art and Design in November

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Paper making at a combat paper workshop Image courtesy of Combat Paper project

This November, Drew Cameron will return to Herron School of Art and Design with his internationally successful Combat Paper workshops, where veterans or anyone touched by war may bring uniforms or other cloth to be turned into paper and then made into works of art.

Established in 2007, the Combat Paper Project has grown from its San Francisco base to an international phenomenon that has helped to heal war-torn people from Canada to Kosovo.

In his own post-combat search for meaning, Cameron, the project’s co-founder, discovered that papermaking could be a transformative process that broadens “the traditional narrative surrounding the military experience and warfare.” The workshops are returning to Indiana at the urging of Juliet King, director of Herron School of Art and Design’s Art Therapy Program.

With the support of faculty and students from bookbinding, other fine arts programs and art therapy, the workshops will take place on Thursday and Friday, November 6 and 7, at the Eskenazi Fine Arts Center, 1410 Indiana Avenue, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Lunch will be provided from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Attendance is free, but reservations are required. Anyone interested in attending the workshops may reserve a seat by contacting Juliet King at kingjul@iupui.edu or 317-278-5466 by October 30.

Cameron also will be providing a lecture series to graduate art therapy students where they will engage in an interactive discussion on the similarities and differences between therapeutic art experiences such as Combat Paper and the clinical profession of art therapy.

Herron alumnus’ paint hits the wall at Clowes and in exhibit at his alma mater

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Sax on the Rocks, Deep Down Series, Artist:Phil O’Malley, Oil on Canvas, 12″ x 12″

INDIANAPOLIS — An upcoming solo exhibit at Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI includes a multimedia chronicle of the making of the “jaw-dropping” monumental painting going on display at Clowes Memorial Hall.

The Herron show, “The Moment of Conception?” features the work of Herron alumnus and Clowes artist-in-residence Phil O’Malley and runs Aug. 29 to Sept. 19 in the Marsh Gallery of Herron School of Art and Design, 735 W. New York St., on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus.

The Herron show is a companion exhibit to O’Malley’s “Finding Your Way: From Wander to Wonder,”the 40-foot-tall by 20-foot-wide wall art that will hang in the front lobby of Clowes Memorial Hall, on the Butler University campus. The painting is available for public viewing during regular business hours for two years, beginning today.

“‘Finding Your Way: From Wander to Wonder,’ is the apex to my series of paintings known as ‘Deep Down,’” O’Malley said. “This series consists of paintings that are individual abstract visual representations of that amazing personal journey one experiences by going deep down inside to find the strength or the courage that it takes to accomplish something, get through something, or grow beyond something.

“Going deep down into all that muck, chaos and confusion can be an intimidating endeavor, but when we do, that journey can be beautifully awakening to yield incredible growth,” O’Malley said of personal experiences captured in “Finding Your Way” and other “Deep Down” pieces.

O’Malley earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Herron. He also studied interior design in the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI.

His “Deep Down” series was spurred by selections of popular music from his formative years, translated via paint into vivid visual representations, the artist said.

Three videos chronicling the making of the Clowes painting will play continuously as part of the Herron show. The Clowes wall project is also being documented by local PBS station WFYI.

The Herron show also includes a sculpture, timeline sketches and drawings of parts of the painting. Herron alumni artists C. J. Martin, Naylor Musko and Steve Smolinski assisted with professional art production for the exhibit co-curated by O’Malley and Martin.

O’Malley created “Finding Your Way: From Wander to Wonder” on the stage at Clowes Hall with the support of the Clowes staff. Martin and Musko also were assistants on the Clowes project.

“We used 800 square feet of canvas, 20 gallons of acrylic primer and one dozen gallons of oil paints,” O’Malley said.

“The process included poured paint, sprayed paint, squirted paint, drawn paint, mopped paint and even some brushed paint. At times the canvas was tied on a batten and flown in (onto the stage) and flown back out (off stage) to assist with the application and flow of the paint.”

The result is “jaw dropping” both in terms of the sheer scale of the canvas and O’Malley’s “inventiveness to start with small sketches and synthesize and scale up and adapt to the viewer’s experience of the work from different angles and levels,” said Glennda McGann, Herron’s assistant dean of development and external affairs.

“This is a prime example of an artist’s ability to problem solve,” McGann said. “He even had to collaborate with crew members and invent a way to hang this huge painting.”

O’Malley estimates he has spent about 500 hours making both the Clowes piece and the art for the Herron exhibit.

Herron Galleries host reception Friday, August 29

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Herron School of Art and Design

A public reception will celebrate the beginning of the new academic year and the three shows filling the galleries at Herron School of Art and Design on Friday, August 29 from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Continuing through September 10th in the Berkshire, Reese and Paul galleries is the 2014 Faculty Exhibition. This year’s exhibition is an exercise in eclecticism with faculty members exhibiting from a variety of departments. All tenured and tenure-track faculty, lecturers and program technicians were invited to participate

The Moment of Conception? is in the Marsh Gallery through September 19th. Phil O’Malley, B.F.A. ’07, has planned a “making of” exhibition, The Moment of Conception?, as a companion to the mid-August unveiling of his, 20’ x 40’ Finding Your Way: From Wander to Wonder, a monumental installation which will hang in the front lobby of Clowes Memorial Hall. The work is the pinnacle creation in a series called Deep Down. Its creation and installation is also being documented by local National Public Broadcast Service station, WFYI.

Katie Hudnall’s exhibition of current work, in the Frank and Katrina Basile Gallery through September 19th, blurs the lines between woodworking and furniture techniques and media and those of sculpture and drawing in a search for new and compelling ways to reach the audiences for these forms.

“The language of furniture, and of utilitarian objects in general, has greatly influenced these hybrids as I search for ways to directly interact with my viewers,” Hudnall said.