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.”

Work from IU students, alumni featured at Heartland Film Festival

IUPUI alumni Matt Spear and Selena Hubbard

IUPUI alumni Matt Spear and Selena Hubbard

Two of the three “Indiana Spotlight” movies at the Heartland Film Festival feature works by IU alumni and students.

“Three Months,” by alumni filmmakers from the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI, and “We’ll Be All Right,” by IU Bloomington undergraduates, will be shown during Indiana’s largest and longest-running independent film festival. The festival is showcasing more than 130 independent films from filmmakers around the world from Oct. 16 to 25.

Three Months” is a 20-minute film created by Matt Spear of Martinsville and Selena Hubbard of Greenwood. Both Spear and Hubbard studied media arts and science at IUPUI, with an emphasis in video production, and graduated this year. Hubbard and Spear co-wrote the film. Spear also directed and served as executive producer. Hubbard is a cast member and served as film producer.

“Three Months” tells the story of a man who puts off his dream. Now, after a cancer diagnosis, it may be too late. This film follows the themes of pursuing dreams and not pushing them off for another day.

The pair created the film for their senior year capstone project. With a few minor changes, they then submitted the film to be shown in the Heartland Film Festival, one of more 1,600 films submitted for consideration.

As they began working on the film, Hubbard and Spear decided they wanted the film to be about something that was personal and something to which they could relate.

One of the big themes in the films is about not being afraid to pursue your goals, because the time everyone has to do that is limited, Spear said. “We hope our film can be an inspiration to those students to take the risks needed to reach their biggest goals.”

“The cancer diagnosis is a way for the main character to realize you don’t have forever,” Spear said. “It is about life being short and you shouldn’t hold back on anything,” Hubbard said.

We’ll Be All Right” is an 11-minute documentary by seniors Barton Girdwood of Lebanon, Ohio, and Carissa Barrett of South Bend. They completed the project as part of Susanne Schwibs’ documentary filmmaking class last spring in the Department of Communication and Culture, now in The Media School, at IU Bloomington.

“We’ll Be All Right” shares the story of Frankie Presslaff, his unique family and his extraordinary mother, Mimsie.

When Girdwood first pitched Mimsie to his film class, Barrett was hooked. “I knew immediately I wanted to be a part of it. It’s just not something you hear about every day, and I wanted a chance to help tell this family’s remarkable story.”

This particular family is what Girdwood describes as “thicker than blood.” Together, Presslaff and his longtime partner Kelly Compton are dads to eight adopted children.

“We really wanted to capture the emotions we felt while making the film and share with audiences the life, love, and wisdom Mimsie offered her family and the Bloomington community,” Barrett said. “This is a small slice of Bloomington culture that needed to be told for many reasons, but mainly to preserve the memory of Mimsie through the lives of her children and grandchildren.”

The Heartland Film Festival will screen “Three Months” and “We’ll Be All Right” as part of its “Indiana Spotlight” program at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 24 at AMC Traders Point Theater 7.

Read more about “Three Months” and filmmakers Hubbard and Spears on the School of Informatics and Computing website.

Read more about “We’ll Be All Right” and filmmakers Girdwood and Barrett on the Viewpoints blog.

IUPUI alumna receives Kennedy Center leadership award for arts accessibility program

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Kristina Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS — An IUPUI alumna recently received a prestigious national award for a project helping to open the world of cultural arts to people with disabilities.

Kristina Johnson, a 2013 museum studies graduate in the School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, is the recipient of a Kennedy Center Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability Award in recognition of her work with AcessIndy.

Part of IUPUI’s Cultural Heritage Research Center, AccessIndy is a program designed to unite museum and cultural arts professionals as they work toward improving access and inclusion within their organizations. In addition to developing a Web-based resource library, AccessIndy has been offering a series of roundtable discussions for museum and cultural professionals about access and inclusion in the Indiana arts.

“I had discovered NYC’s Museum Access Consortium at the (2012) LEAD conference and used that group as a model for what we’re doing in Indianapolis,” Johnson said. She also credits conference presentations by Betty Siegel, president emeritus of Kennesaw State University, and Lynn Walsh, manager of guest access and inclusiveness at Chicago’s Children Museum, as inspirations for AccessIndy.

Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability Awards are given to “outstanding arts administrators and institutions whose leadership and work furthers the field of accessibility.” Johnson was one of four recipients honored during the 14th annual LEAD conference held Aug. 1 to 6 in Chicago.

“To the extent that a LEAD Award recognizes not just impact in the community, but outstanding professionals in the field, I can think of no more deserving recipient than Kris Johnson,” said Elizabeth Kryder-Reid, associate professor of museum studies and director of the Cultural Heritage Research Center. “Her work in Indianapolis is a classic example of what happens when seeds are planted in fertile ground. … It has been a catalyst for sharing information across institutions and for individual organizations to build their capacity to be more inclusive and accessible to all audiences.”

Johnson launched AccessIndy in November 2012. She plans to expand the program as a statewide resource for all cultural arts professionals in Indiana and continue promoting the program as a model for other regions across the U.S.

The LEAD Award “is probably the most meaningful award I could have received because it’s a big ‘thumbs up’ from people whom I deeply admire and validates that I’m on the right track in my career,” Johnson said. “That being said, I’m not doing this work all by myself. I have the support of the Cultural Heritage Research Center, the museum studies program, the Indiana Arts Commission and many museum professionals in Indianapolis. I see this award as a spotlight on Indy as an emerging epicenter of progress in the movement to broaden access and inclusion in the cultural arts.”

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAINDIANAPOLIS — Sheila 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.

 

Jane Pauley to discuss new book

Former NBC “Today” show host Jane Pauley will bring inspiring stories of mid-life reinvention featured in her new book to the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus on March 14.

A familiar face on morning, daytime and prime-time television for more than 30 years, Pauley, an Indiana native who graduated from IU Bloomington, will sit down with fellow IU alumna Megan Fernandez, Indianapolis Monthly executive editor, to discuss her new book, “Your Life Calling: Reimagining the Rest of Your Life.”

Pauley has become one of broadcasting’s most respected journalists — most recently, for the award-winning “Your Life Calling” segment (now titled “Life Reimagined Today”) on the “Today” show. In recent years, Pauley has crisscrossed the country meeting and profiling men and women in their 50s and older who see the future as an opportunity for reinvention rather than retirement.

Since the first episode, “The Joy of Socks,” aired in 2010 on NBC, Pauley has profiled 25 remarkable people whose personal reinvention informs and inspires. Now she brings these stories to the page, looking to inspire others to imagine their own future in powerful and positive ways.

“The people Jane writes about exemplify the spirit of the liberal arts tradition,” said Larry Singell, executive dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington, where Pauley received a degree in political science in 1972. “When students prepare, in the liberal arts tradition, to question critically, act creatively and live ethically, they are ready to succeed at any number of careers and at any juncture in life.”

The event will take place at noon on March 14 in Room 450 at the IUPUI Campus Center, 420 University Blvd. A light lunch will be provided. Pauley will sign copies of her book after the interview.

The event, sponsored by the IU College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Board, is free to Indiana University Alumni Association members and $10 for non-IUAA members. Registration is required, and attendance is limited to the first 150 people who register.