Herron art exhibit features the exchanges of pen pals with paint brushes

Art students Jessica Casey of Herron and Rachel DiCioccio of Youngstown State exchanged these paintings.

Art students Jessica Casey of Herron and Rachel DiCioccio of Youngstown State exchanged these paintings.

The official name of the exhibit running through Feb. 21 at Basile Gallery at the Herron School of Art and Design is “Material Muse.”

But perhaps “Pen Pals With Paint Brushes” more accurately describes the true inspiration behind the exhibit on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus.

The paintings on display are exchanges between students in professor Danielle Riede’s painting class at Herron and art students taught by Youngstown State University professor Dragana Crnjak.

Eighteen sophomores and juniors from Riede’s class were paired with Youngstown State students. They exchanged original paintings. As if they were pen pals conversing by letters, a Herron student would complete an original painting and mail it to her or his partner at Youngstown, who would in turn create and mail back an original piece in response.

“We wanted a way for our students to collaborate on paintings and didn’t have big enough budgets to take all of our students to each other’s campuses,” said Riede, associate professor of art at Herron.

“We also wanted students to explore the possibilities of painting as a medium,” she said. “Collaborating in this way also opens up students to risk, which is a necessary ingredient for growth.”

All the mailed paintings were between 2 and 5 inches square. Riede recommended her students create 10 pieces and then pick a favorite to ship to Youngstown in Ohio.

“At the time most of us had not worked on such small paintings.  I was excited to try something new,” student Amy Applegate said. “I ended up sending five of my 10 pieces — two works on cardboard, a small abstraction on canvas, a whited-out promotional button and a painting on a scrap of particle board.

“My response piece was another formal experimentation using bottle caps, magnets and acrylic paint. I pulled my color palette and natural iconography from the (Youngstown) piece I was responding to,” Applegate said.

While it was perhaps hard for her students to let go of their creations, “on the other hand, opening the works that had been shipped was a really fun experience,” Riede said. “The YSU students’ paintings felt like gifts for the (Herron) students; they were so curious to open the other students’ works.”

Herron student Jessica Casey was “super-excited about the idea of collaborating and working long distance with other students in the region.”

“I sent two small mixed-media collage pieces using paint skins, drawing materials, plastic, fabric and sewing,” Casey said. “My hope (was) to inspire the person receiving the work to create something with an array of materials.

“I received a large shell covered in paint; I altered it with wire and then on canvas did gestural drawings of the shell in chalk. I then used oil, acrylic, latex and melted wax to build up mass on the canvas and create an interesting depth on the surface,” Casey said.

The Basile Gallery is in IUPUI’s Eskenazi Hall, 735 W. New York St. Gallery hours are 10 to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Admission is free and open to the public.

Herron announces the Think It Make It Lab, where art, design and technology converge

The new Think It Make It Lab at Herron will include equipment and projects like these and more (clockwise): Art work from Herron's 2013 Undergraduate Student exhibition, printed with a 3-D printer; A Stratasys Objet 30 3-D printer; detail from a bench created by then Herron graduate student Vincent Edwards using a CNC router; an EZ Router CNC router. (images: Herron staff, Michelle Pemberton, Stratasys and EZ router)

The new Think It Make It Lab at Herron will include equipment and projects like these and more (clockwise): Art work from Herron’s 2013 Undergraduate Student exhibition, printed with a 3-D printer; A Stratasys Objet 30 3-D printer; detail from a bench created by then Herron graduate student Vincent Edwards using a CNC router; an EZ Router CNC router. (images: Herron staff, Michelle Pemberton, Stratasys and EZ router)

With the aim of merging technology with traditional creative processes, Herron School of Art and Design announces The Think It Make It Lab, a new physical space that will help art and design students, and others on the IUPUI campus, become better informed about the broad applications of design, production and fabrication in a variety of fields.

“We are so excited at the prospect of providing a collaborative environment for research and experimentation at the intersection of art, design, technology and culture,” said Herron’s dean, Valerie Eickmeier. “Centers like this are common in Silicon Valley, but there are few housed in schools of art and design and they are scarce in the Midwest.”

“The Think It Make It Lab promotes the creative use of new technologies in a collaborative environment for research and experimentation. The Lab expands Herron’s capability to educate students to work on concept design and prototyping using a variety of digital fabrication methods. Students and faculty working in this lab engage in research, design, digital fabrication and production methodologies that will be invaluable to their own creative and professional development and to 21st century industry,” she said. “It will also be interesting to see how the center helps to foster collaborations between programs on the IUPUI campus.

“Herron already has formed solid partnerships on campus with the IU School of Medicine, the Fairbanks School of Public Health, the School of Informatics and Computing and departments such as motorsports engineering. We look forward to seeing how this lab accelerates exploration and furthers the appreciation of art and design expertise across many types of applications.

“The resources and practices of the Think It Make It Lab will enhance the fundamentals Herron already teaches in its studio concentrations. The Lab will also equip Herron students with the knowledge to design and make, guided by an informed literacy about technology and a skill set that is in very high demand in the job market.”

Eickmeier said that associate vice president for learning technologies at IUPUI, Anastasia (Stacy) Morrone, Ph.D., was instrumental in bringing Herron’s vision for the Think It Make It Lab to life. “She grasped how our vision meshed with her mission of transformative teaching through the innovative use of technology. She advocated for the commitment of important startup funding.”

Morrone said, “This lab will be a new kind of learning space for students, and the first of its kind at Indiana University. A huge part of IU’s mission, and the mission of University Information Technology Services (UITS), is to provide the technology that our faculty and students need to learn, innovate and discover—key tenets of the maker culture. We are pleased to have played a part in ensuring that IUPUI students and faculty will have access to these exciting technologies.”

Recent additions to Herron’s equipment—a 3-D scanner, 3-D printers and a CNC (computer numeric control) router—started the ball rolling, quickly making a significant impact on the curriculum and training of Herron students.

The Lab will add a new design studio with the newest computers, cameras, scanners and printers—adjacent to a digital fabrication lab containing equipment including large-format CNC routers and laser cutters, plasma cutters and milling machines.

This combination, housed in Herron’s Eskenazi Hall in close proximity to the Basile Center for Art, Design and Public Life, will accelerate exploration of digital production techniques, rapid prototyping and people-centered design research for undergraduates and graduates alike. The faculty and students currently using digital design and fabrication processes understand that the possibilities and applications in industry are boundless.

The Purdue School of Engineering and Technology on the IUPUI campus already has identified several courses that will benefit from the Lab. The School’s dean, David Russomanno said, “It will give students the ability to design for manufacturability, test their prototypes and become familiar with this equipment much earlier in their college careers. The faculty are seeking closer collaboration between research in engineering design and art. Aesthetics play an important role in mechanical design.”

The Think It Make It Lab also is expected to serve as a catalyst for visiting artist workshops, regional symposia and community based lectures and demonstrations, all of which will help establish connections that may spark exciting new partnerships with industries. Visiting speakers will be chosen from a diverse range of fields including art, architecture, engineering and manufacturing. These industry experts and scholars will expand the dialogue surrounding contemporary issues at the intersection of aesthetic expression, culture and emerging technologies.

Herron’s Community Learning Programs, which offer educational experiences to the general public, will also use the Think It Make It Lab to provide opportunities for teens to have project-based learning experiences in art and technology—experiences that help make connections to post high school careers and education.

“The space is under construction now. Faculty are very excited and they are developing curricula for fall,” said Peggy Frey, Herron’s assistant dean for fiscal and administrative affairs. “Some of the courses will be cross-listed with other schools. Additional equipment will begin arriving in January. We anticipate completion of the Think It Make It Lab by the end of the spring semester.”

The initial costs of the Think It Make It Lab are estimated $1.3 million and the project is Herron’s highest fundraising priority in 2015.

Alumnus Jason Ramey selected for $12,000 fellowship as 2014-2015 Jerome Foundation Emerging Artist

Jason Ramey welcomed his daughter, Eva Rae, on December 5. Other recent creations include It's Not Bulletproof. OSB siding, paint, found furniture. 60"x24"x70", 2013. (images courtesy Jason Ramey)

Jason Ramey welcomed his daughter, Eva Rae, on December 5. Other recent creations include It’s Not Bulletproof. OSB siding, paint, found furniture. 60″x24″x70″, 2013.
(images courtesy Jason Ramey)

Life’s been proceeding at a fast pace for Jason Ramey (B.F.A. ‘08 in Furniture Design) since he left Herron. He moved to the University of Wisconsin, Madison to complete a master’s degree and currently teaches furniture design and 3-D foundations as a visiting full time faculty member at the Minnesota College of Art and Design (MCAD).

In 2014, Ramey discovered that he is among a five-person cadre of Minnesotans named to a 2014-2015 Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artists. The honor comes with a $12,000 award for each recipient. (To round out the year, his daughter Eva Rae, all eight pounds and 20 inches of her, chose to make her arrival on December 5. He may be a little sleep deprived of late.)

According to MCAD’s website, the Jerome Fellows “…were selected out of a pool of 252 applicants by a panel of arts professionals that included Candida Alvarez, artist and professor in the painting and drawing department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Shannon Fitzgerald, curator, writer and executive director of Rochester Art Center; and David Norr, independent curator and writer currently based in New York City.

Art Critic Michelle Grabner has described Ramey as admirably staking out “…. a psychological landscape taut with existential metaphors and personal narratives. At the same time, he unflinchingly confronts the problematic historical debates between the visual arts and crafts, furniture and props, display and architecture by employing the tropes of these dichotomies in his work”—the sorts of debates that occasionally can be found in the furniture design studios at Herron.

Ramey’s artist’s statement attributes his work to his youthful curiosity “about who might have constructed the walls in my family home, and what type of people they were. … These walls weren’t just inane parts of my childhood home, they were my childhood,” he said. His current work still explores these and other domestic themes as it binds up memory “in the space that enfolds our material world.”

Ramey characterizes Herron as “a huge part of my development as an artist. “I had very little experience before coming to Herron,” he said, “I was lucky to work with Cory Robinson, Phil Tennant and David Lee on the basics of design and fabrication. I continue to be amazed at the work I see coming from Herron students.”

In addition to a Jerome Fellows group show at MCAD in the fall, Ramey also has solo exhibitions in Cleveland and the Weber Gallery at Winona State University in the works for late 2015.

Ganci’s study of ubiquitous computing attracts Springer Family Innovative Faculty Award

Aaron Ganci was selected by his peers for the 2015 Springer Award.(image: Herron staff)

Aaron Ganci was selected by his peers for the 2015 Springer Award.(image: Herron staff)

Whether you’re resentful of being monetized by your apps or unconcerned about the data you provide with your every keystroke, Aaron Ganci’s research findings will likely be relevant to you.

Ganci, assistant professor of visual communication design, has been chosen by his peers as the 2015 recipient of the Frank C. Springer Family Innovative Faculty Award. The award is Herron School or Art and Design’s most prestigious and largest faculty research prize.

Ganci’s specialty is experience design—a subset of visual communication—that he weaves into his students’ coursework. His curiosity led him to propose a research project that will examine the potential of ubiquitous computing, that is, the integration of data gathering technology into everyday objects, to “enable extremely powerful interaction experiences and a new breed of smart digital interfaces,” he said.

The burgeoning capability to gather data about users and their actions “will enable designers to achieve new levels of engagement, personalization and usefulness through digital interfaces,” Ganci predicted.

It is those kinds of interfaces that enable the bookseller on your device to make recommendations on what you might like to read, based on the types of titles you have already ordered, comments you have made about them and people with whom you’ve shared them.

Ganci said ubiquitous computing will impact many more facets of our lives. “Smart environments are growing exponentially. As this technology becomes more available in the mass market, connected environments—virtual and physical—will become much more prevalent.” A big part of what Herron Visual Communication Design graduates will be creating in the next five or ten years is experience design for all manner of digital interfaces.

Thanks to the Springer Prize, Ganci will do a deep dive into what this means for tomorrow’s designers through a very specific project that he was inspired to undertake by fellow faculty members Craig McDaniel and Jean Robertson.

In their soon to be published book, McDaniel and Robertson assert that a standardized alphabet has outlived its usefulness for expressive visual communication through text. They propose that people should have the ability to customize their own personal alphabet to better align with their communication needs.

Ganci will use this assertion as the basic premise for his work, integrating ubiquitous computing into a user interface that will make alphabetic translations passive and seamless. “This project is an important first step in understanding how and why designers might use this technology to create more engaging, personalized or useful experiences,” he said.

In the experiment, text translated into a personalized alphabet identified with a specific individual will be displayed on a smart wall in a room that can sense who is present. When the smart wall senses an individual is near, it will translate the displayed text to that person’s personalized alphabet. As more people begin interacting with the wall, only the area nearest them will translate. This will create a public-yet-personalized experience that would be impossible without ubiquitous computing technology.

The Springer family created the award to inspire Herron faculty members to expand their artistic, creative and scholarly work in memory of Frank C. Springer Jr., a long-time friend to Herron and beloved Indianapolis philanthropist.

Technology and Art Team’s website design contributes to spike in student visits at the Math Assistance Center

from left: Kevin Berkopes, Levi Hadley, Kelly Nauert, Josh Ragsdell, Miriah Remy and Patrick Burton in the MAC. (image: Herron staff)

from left: Kevin Berkopes, Levi Hadley, Kelly Nauert, Josh Ragsdell, Miriah Remy and Patrick Burton in the MAC. (image: Herron staff)

When a visitor walks into the IUPUI Mathematics Assistance Center—the MAC—housed in Taylor Hall at IUPUI’s University College, math anxiety does not come to mind.

It kind of looks like a party is going on at the United Nations. The place is full. Students are grinning and playing with markers on wall-to-wall white boards. There’s lots of excited conversation. Upon closer examination, it becomes apparent that the white boards are full of formulas and math problems and that some of the students are teaching their peers.

This is a fresh approach to getting math help—not textbook driven, hierarchical, isolated or intimidating.

Of course the MAC’s executive director, Kevin Berkopes, Ph.D., looks for employees with high mathematical abilities to be the center’s mentors and tutors. He also makes hiring decision based on their personalities and communications skills. There are 22 countries represented by the 95 students he has on his payroll.

Berkopes is smart enough to know when he needs expertise he does not possess. He recognized that the MAC’s branding should convey its welcoming atmosphere, expressed in part through website design. He turned to students for help, in part to provide them with professional practice experiences, a hallmark of IUPUI.

He hired Herron School of Art and Design students Levi Hadley, Kelly Nauert and Miriah Remy—all juniors majoring in Visual Communication Design—and computer science students Patrick Burton and Josh Ragsdell. The five formed a team called META—MAC Experience: Technology and Art—to focus on the look and feel of MAC services, including the redesign of its website.

“Kevin is hiring mentors and tutors from across programs as well, in the hopes that their presence will make IUPUI students more inclined to seek academic support if they need it,” said Shannon McCullough, Herron’s director of admissions and student services. “Art and design is very mathematical, but a lot of art students fear it. He is really making efforts to ease that, and the MAC gets positive reviews from Herron students who go there.”

Not only that,” McCullough continued, “but for our students to have gained experiences in design and branding for a client, including building a website, as sophomores, what a resume builder!”

Berkopes said the team that brought his branding vision together, as well has his army of tutors and mentors is “a group of kids that are phenomenal in what they do.”

Remy characterized the website and other design projects thus far as “exciting and almost overwhelming at times. It is incredible to be able to say that I’m part of creating something that did not exist before. I have had a good time collaborating with Kelly and Levi on the design of the project. Working with Josh and Patrick to implement the design is great. I believe we have the perfect set of skills combined into one group.”

“As a designer, I judge almost everything I see, especially websites,” she said. “I want our interface to be the best that the users have seen. Overall, I have loved the opportunity to participate in such an interesting project, and I look forward to continuing it.”

Launched in summer 2014, the new website went a long way toward creating a virtual space that complements the MAC’s physical space and personality. Over a short time, the MAC has improved its service overall through a variety of initiatives, including synchronous online tutoring through the website. As of last semester, student visits had increased from 9,000 to 40,000.

Artist brings his brand of war to IUPUI campus

'OH YEAH!' Tank

‘OH YEAH!’ Tank

Artist Chris Dacre

Artist Chris Dacre

Mixed media artist Chris Dacre will bring his humorous, yet satirical depiction of the complexities of war to the IUPUI campus in January.

His “OH YEAH!” solo exhibit, featuring soft sculptures of military personal and equipment, screen-printed, surplus army tents, drones-printed kites, videos and audio recordings will run Jan. 16 to Feb. 16 at the Herron School of Art and Design.

Exhibit visitors in their 30s and 40s could have flashbacks to Saturday mornings spent watching “G.I. Joe” and other cartoons interrupted by commercials featuring the Kool-Aid Man breaking through walls and uttering “Oh yeah!”

In the Herron exhibit, “a big, soft sculpture tank and its driver — has replaced the Kool-Aid Man, breaking through a wall into a young boy’s room . . . while outside the room, life-sized sculptures of soldiers wage war,” Dacre said during a phone interview.

The subject of war has always fascinated the Denver-based artist who spent eight years in the U.S. Air Force before earning a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and a master of fine arts degree in studio art and printmaking.

“What interests me most about war, is the way that we recruit for, stockpile and wage it around the globe, oftentimes in the name of freedom and liberty or some other guise,” wrote Dacre in an online artist statement.

His goal for his art is to spark conversation about the realities of war and the military-industrial-entertainment complex which surrounds it.  While he isn’t an expert in military history, his art, along with talks he gives based on his research, provide food for thought for exhibit goers.

“My job is to disseminate information that most people won’t get in everyday news. My art exhibit can become a platform to have a discussion about these issues,” Dacre said.

For example, the tank and its driver bring to mind the hundreds of inflatable tanks crafted for use in World War II. It provides an opportunity to discuss the little known history of the Ghost Army, a secret unit of soldier artists — including then budding fashion design Bill Blass — who employed the tanks and recorded sound effects to deceive enemy soldiers.

And many of the images of soldiers aren’t human in form. For example, the tank driver resembles a cartoon wolf. Making the players less human, serves to reduce the emotionalism often inherent in dialogue about war and violence, Dacre said.

“I try to take the human element out of it,” Dacre said. War “is a very depressing subject.  I am trying to make it lighter . . . I am trying to make it easier for us to talk about it.”

While viewers could come away from the exhibit thinking that Dacre is either pro-war or a pacifist, the artist believes that those who are willing to come “with an open-mind and take some time to figure it out, they can see what I am trying to say.”

Part of the exhibit’s message is that in a world where wars are often fought over the rights to natural resources needed to fuel our transnational consumer culture, we all play a role in world conflicts, Dacre said.

Dacre’s work is in the permanent collections of Denver Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; National Palace of Culture, Sofia, Bulgaria; Brazilian American Institute, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Museum of Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX; and several other museums.

He has held exhibitions at numerous galleries and universities, including the Ohio  University Art Gallery, the University of Wisconsin, and the LuLuBell Toy Bodega and Gallery, Tucson, Az., just to name a few.

“War will be a topic for me for a long time,” Dacre said. “I’m always learning something new that I can share.”

Herron offers hands-on experiences for prospective undergraduate students

Herron Discovery Day

Herron Discovery Day

What is it like to create art as an undergraduate student working alongside internationally recognized faculty in nationally acclaimed studios?

Herron School of Art and Design faculty and current students invite prospective students and their parents to discover first-hand what awaits them as the school opens its doors for tours, hands-on workshops and information sessions.

The art school, on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus, will host Discovery Day 2015 from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22. Registration for the event has been extended through Jan. 15.

Morning sessions include tours of the Herron buildings — Eskenazi Hall,  735 W. New York St., and Eskenazi Fine Arts Center, 1410 Indiana Ave.  — and presentations by students and faculty.

Afternoon workshop projects include building simple wooden boxes in the Herron Furniture Design Lab;  creating a small sculpture in an intro to welding session; creating a print using the basic techniques of monotype;  and constructing a miniature book from beginning to finish, to name a few.

As an alternative to attending workshops, Discovery Day attendees may choose to attend actual classes and shadow current students throughout the day.

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.