Gallery Talk and Reception for Rebecca Allan: Fjord/Glacier/River

Rebecca Allan's ArtworkReception
April 2, 2015 | 5:30-7:30
Basile Gallery, Eskenazi Hall

Gallery Talk
April 2, 2015 | 6:30-7:00
Basile Gallery, Eskenazi Hall

Fjord/Glacier/River presents Rebecca Allan’s most recent paintings which have emerged from her travels in Norway. In Geirangerfjord, Allan made extensive drawings and studies of the waterfalls, rocks, and night skies that distinguish this majestic World Heritage site. These paintings reflect a response to the Norwegian landscape which is both exuberant and joyful but also reminds us of how urgent it is to preserve and protect our Earth’s natural resources, especially its water. Fjord/Glacier/River is presented by the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute ( and the Rivers of the Anthropocene Project (

Known for her richly layered and chromatically nuanced abstract paintings, Rebecca Allan has for many years concentrated on rivers and watershed environments as primary sources of investigation. Her work explores the ecology, meteorology, and geology of the Northeast, Pacific Northwest, and the Gulf Coast, among other sites. Working from a studio that overlooks the confluence of the Harlem and Hudson Rivers in The Bronx, Allan is inspired by a deep appreciation for the beauty of the natural environment overlaid with an awareness of its fragility and endangerment.

Exhibiting in the United States and abroad for more than 25 years, Allan’s most recent solo exhibitions were presented at Hudson Opera House Gallery (Hudson, New York), ArtLab78 (New York), The American Church in Paris, Ringling College of Art and Design/Longboat Key Center for the Arts; Seattle Art Museum Gallery; John Davis Gallery (Hudson, NY); and Gallery 2/20 (New York).  Allan has been a Fellow at the Hermitage Artist Retreat, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Dorland Mountain Arts Colony.  She received her MFA from Kent State University and BA from Allegheny College. From 2006 to 2014 she was Head of Education at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture in New York City.

Artist’s Statement

“My paintings are rooted in the dramatic cycles of nature as well as a deep curiosity about science, and the forces underlying what we observe on the surface of things. Even when it is grounded in the visible world, a painting is a sensual invention that conflates real and conjured experiences. Rivers, glaciers, and fjords are central to this dialogue with nature and culture. They are complex arteries of history, culture, commerce, and ecology. This exhibition explores my relationship to particular landscapes from Norway to the Atlantic Northeast.

My process involves mixing pigments and layer color over time, in response to observed and felt experience. The language of color is a sanctuary within which the questions and problems of artmaking — indeed, of life — are confronted. I work within a transcendental American landscape tradition that includes painters such as Frederic Church, Charles Burchfield, Joan Mitchell, and Neil Welliver but I also draw from the works of Renaissance masters such as Giovanni di Paola and Pieter Breughel in my desire to invent a new, cosmological landscape.”

Co-sponsored by the Herron School of Art and Design and Sun King Brewing.

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.

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.”

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.

Art 21 Season 7 Screenings

Leonardo Drew. Number 77, 2000. Found objects, paper, paint, and wood; 168 x 672 x 58 inches. Installation view: Directions: Leonardo Drew, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, 2000. Photo: Ansen Seale. Courtesy the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co. © Leonardo Drew.

Leonardo Drew. Number 77, 2000. Found objects, paper, paint, and wood; 168 x 672 x 58 inches. Installation view: Directions: Leonardo Drew, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, 2000. Photo: Ansen Seale. Courtesy the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co. © Leonardo Drew.

Herron School of Art and Design is proud to partner with PBS and Art 21 to once again provide screenings of some the upcoming episodes of the new season of Art in the 21st Century.

On Wednesday, October 22 we will screen Investigation and Secrets and on October 29 we will screen Legacy. Both screenings will start at 6:00 p.m.

The screenings are FREE and open to the public.

Limited parking is available in the Sports Complex Garage just west of Herron. Park in the visitor side of the garage and bring your ticket to the Herron Galleries for validation. Complimentary parking courtesy of The Great Frame Up.

Parking in the surface lot next to Herron School of Art and Design requires a valid IUPUI parking permit at all times.

Midwest meadows, Madrid, mapping influence October Herron exhibitions

UntitledBerkshire, Reese and Paul Galleries
Shawn Decker Prairie

Positioned at the intersection of music composition, visual art and performance, Chicago Artist Shawn Decker’s work uses physical and electronic media to investigate the natural and unnatural world.

By way of its most recent stop in Austria, his work Prairie will arrive at Herron School of Art and Design’s Berkshire, Reese and Paul galleries with an opening artists talk and reception on September 26 beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Prairie is a large-scale kinetic sound sculpture. This installation presents visual elements that mimic prairie grasses as well as sound elements that evoke sounds of the prairie—from insects to wind playing in the grasses. The irony of a human construction with digital programming that ends up producing a meditative, seemingly natural environment is not lost on the artist.

Basile Auditorium
Artists Talk: Shawn Decker and Lanny Silverman

Joining Decker for a discussion of the current state of contemporary and avant garde art forms will be independent curator Lanny Silverman, formerly curator of exhibitions for the Chicago Cultural Center Department of Cultural Affairs.

Marsh Gallery
Lost in Translation:
Student Work from Herron’s Summer Study Abroad Program in Spain

Professors Anila Agha and Stefan Petranek not only conducted a summer scholarly excursion to Spain, the two will curate a showcase of student sculptures, drawings and photographs compelled by student travel experiences in Madrid and Barcelona. Some of the works were exhibited at the Makers of Barcelona gallery in June 2014, but this exhibit will include work created since the students’ return. Participating artists are: Helen ArthBrianna Campbell,Devan HimstedtJessica KartawichCarolyn KypchikChristine (Jazz) LongMary McClungEvan RiceBrittany Rudolf andHadia Shaikh.

Basile Gallery
Reagan Furqueron

A solo exhibition will feature new works by Director of Foundation Studies and Assistant Professor Reagan Furqueron that explore the ideas of transition and mapping through a sculptural approach to making—a departure from Furqueron’s usual making mode.

Explore IUPUI’s public art collection

sculpture5_iIUPUI’s public art collection is high in quality and vast in subject matter. It includes sculptures from world-renowned artists such as Dale Chihuly and John Torreano, but is also privileged to feature artwork by IUPUI alumni.

As home to the only professional, accredited school of art in Indiana, the Herron School of Art and Design, IUPUI has access to a large community of creative and talented students. Their work can be seen throughout IUPUI’s public art collection. In the cooperative nature of public art, IUPUI has enabled students past and present to take part in the development of the campus’s public identity through these outdoor sculptures.

IUPUI’s public art collection functions not only to create points of interest, but also to provide students and the public with spaces to come together, have meaningful conversations and take part in campus life.

A fun way to start exploring public art at IUPUI is by visiting the Indianapolis Public Art website, which allows users to plan a public art walking tour through campus and the greater Indianapolis area.

This photo gallery is a small sample of a larger collection consisting of more than 30 works of sculpture located throughout the IUPUI campus. For more information, visit Wikipedia’s IUPUI Public Art Collection page, a project by an IUPUI Museum Studies class to promote research and conservation of the outdoor sculptures on campus.

by Emma Hernandez

IUPUI professor offers list of Top 10 favorite museums after visiting 54 in a year

eleew2-webWhether you are a motorcycle fan, a Civil War expert or a honeybee enthusiast, museums offer a place to explore ideas and objects that connect us with the rest of the world, said Elizabeth “Elee” Wood, associate professor of museum studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

“Museums allow us to look back in time and place to see what we’ve been as a society, but more importantly help us know where we might be going,” Wood said. “I love seeing and thinking about the objects that people left behind and what it can mean in our lives today.”

During the 2013-14 school year, Wood visited 54 U.S. museums while on sabbatical. She offers a list of her Top 10 museums as a guide for summer, as well as year-round fun, entertainment and education.

  1. Lower Eastside Tenement Museum, N.Y.-  A museum to help you think about the role of history in our contemporary culture. All tours are guided and promote dialogue and discussion about the life of the thousands of people who lived in the building over time.
  2. Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, Calif.- Art with fish. This is one of the most breathtaking examples of how a museum can build an emotional connection between visitors and animals. Exhibits highlight the important aspects of animal life and conservation.
  3. Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe, N.M.- The Collective Visions exhibit combines unique examples of folk art traditions from around the world in unusual ways. Wood said she loves the way the displays juxtapose different cultural depictions of life.
  4. Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee, Wis.- This is where Wood got her start in the world of museums, working as a youth volunteer in the museum she visited as a child. This museum has some of the best dioramas for both human and natural history.
  5. Kew Gardens, London- Lovers of botanical gardens should put this one at the top of their lists. The museum’s attention to the physical beauty of the plant world is integrated into how staff construct their labels and help you think about why plants matter.
  6. Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minn.- Wood said she appreciates how the museum connects visitors with ideas and issues in science. She said she particularly likes the ScienceBuzz blog that features an object of the month.
  7. Cleveland Art Museum, Cleveland, Ohio- The museum’s new Gallery One is a stellar experience, offering new ways to experience artwork both physically and intellectually. For example, a visitor can use facial recognition software to match the expressions on different works of art and in another area, visitors cast their vote on the meaning of different works of art.
  8. National Music Museum, Vermillion, S.D.- Those who like musical instruments of any kind will probably find them here. This museum is crammed full of interesting, strange and unusual instruments from around the world.
  9. Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience and the Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle, Wash.- Wood said she admires museums that draw on community expertise and experience as their primary focus. Both Wing Luke and the Nordic Heritage Museum have extensive involvement from members of the community.
  10. Indianapolis– “I’m going to cheat a little and say that a trip to Indianapolis will bring you to some of the absolute best museums in the country,” Wood said, referring to the city’s highly respected and award-winning museums. For example, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the world’s largest, is offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity this summer to see the Terracotta Warriors from China; and the Indianapolis Zoo’s new International Orangutan Center will blow you away with outstanding face-to-face interactions with apes. But the city also has so much more to offer: the Indiana History Center, Indiana State Museum, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Conner Prairie Interactive History Park and the Indianapolis Museum of Art, to name a few.

About the Author:
Elizabeth “Elee” Wood is the director of the museum studies program and an associate professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, with joint appointments in the museum studies program, IU School of Liberal Arts and IU School of Education. In addition, she serves as the public scholar of museums, families and learning in a joint appointment at the internationally renowned Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Her book, “The Objects of Experience: Transforming Visitor-Object Encounters in Museums,” co-authored by Kiersten F. Latham and published in 2013 by LeftCoast Press, discusses museum practices that foster the emotional and intellectual connections people have with museum holdings.

To reach Wood for interviews, contact Diane Brown by email or by phone at 317-274-2195

Herron School of Art and Design faculty, alumni to strut their stuff in August

Sax on the Rocks 12x12 oil canvas

Phil O’Malley,      Sax on the Rocks,  Oil on Canvas,      12” x 12”

The Biennial Faculty Show will kick off the fall gallery season at Herron School of Art and Design in Eskenazi Hall’s main galleries. This year’s exhibition will be 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.

Also opening in the Marsh Gallery August 1 is Print or Die an annual print exchange created and curated by Dominic Senibaldi (M.F.A. in Printmaking, 2013). Print or Die will showcase works from two years of the exchange, and illustrate the ideas behind the print exchange culture and its importance in contemporary printmaking. Artists from coast to coast participate.

In the Basile Gallery, also opening August 1, is 316: A Thesis Exhibition by Eric D. Johnson (M.F.A. in Printmaking, 2014). Johnson describes the concept for the exhibition as emerging from strain on the support systems of the modern world caused by mass production, consumption and waste, and observation of critical tipping points and cascading failures.

Works will be available for purchase on opening night.

Rounding out the month, opening on August 29 and continuing through September 19, will be solo shows by alumnus Phil O’Malley (B.F.A., ‘07) in the Marsh Gallery and Assistant Professor in Furniture Design Katie Hudnall in the Basile Gallery.

O’Malley has planned a “making of” exhibition, The Moment of Conception?, as a companion to the mid-August unveiling of his, 20’ x 40’ as yet untitled work, 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. O’Malley said the series was spurred by “several selections of popular music” from his formative years, translated via paint into vivid visual representations. “Now they’re laid out, varnished, nailed to their boards,” he said, “and placed in their four-sided coffins for their viewing. We’re so sorry, Uncle Albert.”

Hudnall’s exhibition of current work 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. “In the newest work, an interactive element is integral to experiencing the piece. The viewer might open and close a door, or a drawer might activate another section of the work, revealing intricate drawings that open like books, or umbrella-like forms that raise and lower out of the top of the piece. This exhibition raises questions about the notion of communication. Viewers may work together to operate a piece, making it something that a single viewer cannot fully experience on their own.”