Herron art professor is in the healing business, bringing hope to veterans and others

Juliet King

Juliet King

Juliet King has never spent a day in military service during war or peace times.

But the Herron School of Art and Design assistant professor and licensed art therapist has taken up the fight to improve the lives of veterans facing emotional adjustments after their time on the battlefield.

Most recently, King, director of Herron’s art therapy program, signed on as the point person for the “Veterans Coming Home” campaign at the art school on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus. The school has joined forces with WFYI Public Media and the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library for the yearlong multimedia, arts-focused awareness campaign to support Indiana’s veterans and their families.

Veterans Coming Home,” was funded with a $25,000 Corporation for Public Broadcasting grant and includes WFYI broadcasts of the stories of veterans such as Andrew Schneiders, Kris Bertrand and others.

In a Richard L. Roudebush Indianapolis VA Medical Center pilot group art therapy project spearheaded by King and Dr. Brandi Luedtke of the Veterans Affairs, Schneiders has found healing power in “illustrating his troubled Iraq experiences with art” and then talking with fellow vets, according to a WFYI report.

And as part of an arts intervention program, Bertrand, who was sexually assaulted while serving in the Navy 25 years ago, found an emotional salve in throwing clay on a potter’s wheel.

“That’s because art is inherently therapeutic,” King said in a “Veterans Coming Home” broadcast, now available online.

“Engaging in the creative process is something that typically is going to be a life-enhancing experience for you,” King said. “It gets your blood moving; it gets your brain working in different ways. It helps you relax, it helps you get distance from what it is that you might be living with in your life at the time.”

King’s hope is that the success stories of Schneiders, Bertrand and others will raise the awareness of the value of art therapy in helping soldiers and others deal with trauma.

The ultimate goal is to draw the support of lawmakers and service providers who can both advance the licensing of art therapists across the state and promote the employment of such professionals as clinical counselors. Female veterans would in particular benefit from an expansion of art therapy services since they have traditionally voiced a reluctance to attend co-ed therapy groups and cited the lack of art therapy services for women.

Art therapists hold master’s degrees in art therapy and are eligible for licensure as clinical mental health counselors who are trained to use art to help clients find ways to express things they might not be able to say with words, King said. Art therapy is an effective treatment intervention for helping anyone facing issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, which can affect not only war veterans but also victims of rape, torture, child abuse, car accidents and natural disasters, she said.

“We need more licensed art therapists,” King said. “(‘Veterans Coming Home’) is one way we are going about raising awareness. Hopefully people at the state level will pay attention and see the need.”

King is available for media interviews discussing her art therapy work with veterans. For interviews with King, contact Diane Brown 317-274-2195 or habrown@iu.edu.

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.

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.”

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.

Daniel Grant, 2014 Jordan H. and Joan R. Leibman Forum on the Legal and Business Environment of Art

Image courtesy Daniel Grant

Image courtesy Daniel Grant

Daniel Grant, whose frequent reporting on the visual arts appears in ARTnews Magazine, Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal, will speak at Herron School of Art and Design in Eskenazi Hall’s Basile Auditorium on November 5 at 6:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Grant will present What Collectors Want: The Business, Law and Art of Art Sales as
the 2014 speaker for the Jordan H. and Joan R. Leibman Forum on the Legal and Business Environment of Art. His talk will focus on how artists may communicate—in person, in writings and online—with collectors, dealers and curators in ways that will help lead to exhibitions and sales.

“The key is to for artists to be entrepreneurial,” said Grant, “looking for ways to advance their own careers rather than relying upon someone else. For many up-and-coming artists, the goal is to get into a gallery. That is not necessarily synonymous with selling one’s work or supporting oneself from those sales. It is easy to get lost in the idea that a gallery equals prestige, art world acceptance and a ready group of buyers.

Grant has quoted studies that have shown a high percentage of artists are able to support themselves through their art and related skills—often flying in the face of preconceived notions about an arts education. What’s more, these studies have revealed artists to be happier with their lives than many others in higher-paying professions, at least in part because of their autonomous decision-making.

“A growing number of artists are looking at galleries as just one part—or, perhaps, not even a part at all—of their plans to show and sell work,” he said. “These artists are aware that they can speak for their art better than any third party and that, in fact, many collectors are eager to speak with the artists directly rather than with a gallery owner.”

Grant is the author of books including The Business of Being an Artist, Selling Art Without Galleries, and The Fine Artist’s Career Guide. He will take questions from the audience on all facets of being an artist or acquiring art. His books will be available for sale and autograph during the reception following the lecture.

The Leibman Lecture is a joint project of IU’s Kelley School of Business, the Robert
H. McKinney School of Law and Herron School of Art and Design—all on the campus of IUPUI. Past Leibman Lecture topics have ranged from The Art of The Steal
and The Monuments Men to U.S. Department of Treasury engraving practices and
wearable intellectual property.

Parking: 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, compliments of The Great Frame Up.

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.

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

unnamed

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.

More Hospitals Use the Healing Powers of Public Art

PJ-BW614_INFORM_G_20140818180034

‘Mike Kelley 1,’ video art by Jennifer Steinkamp at the Cleveland Clinic. The Cleveland Clinic Center for Medical Art and Photography

.

Researchers are learning more about the precise ways paintings and other works of art help patients and families in the healing process. With studies showing a direct link between the content of images and the brain’s reaction to pain, stress, and anxiety, hospitals are considering and choosing artworks based on the evidence and giving it a higher priority than merely decoration for sterile rooms and corridors.

“These are not just accoutrements or aesthetics anymore,” says Lisa Harris, a nephrologist and chief executive of Eskenazi Health, affiliated with the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis.

With a $1.5 million budget from donors, she says, the health system commissioned 19 artists to create original works to support “the sense of optimism, vitality and energy” for the Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital, which opened last December. “This is right down the fairway of what we need to be doing to promote health,” Dr. Harris says.

“Paths Crossed,” by Maine artist Aaron T. Stephan, is a large, spiraling wooden sculpture composed of six intertwined ladders suspended from the ceiling in the hospital’s two-story main concourse.

To Dr. Harris, it is a visual representation of the hospital’s approach to care, with “lives intertwined as we go from health to sickness and back to health again,” she says. People have reacted differently, she notes. “Some see it as DNA, and some see it as a roller coaster.”

Anne Berry, 81, says, “It makes me think of flying.” She visits the hospital for procedures and tests such as a mammogram and always takes time to look at the artworks. She has “white coat syndrome,” which makes her nervous about going to a doctor, but she says, “I have found the art and the environment at Eskenazi makes it less stress-inducing for me.”

Close to half of hospitals have arts programs, which include art therapy classes and musical performances, according to a 2009 report from the Society for Arts in Healthcare, now known as the Arts & Health Alliance.

Permanent art displays are most prevalent, and the trend continues to grow, says Steven Libman, outgoing executive director and now a consultant for the nonprofit.

Though many hospitals are in a budget crunch, funds for art are often provided by philanthropy, or built into construction budgets of new facilities.

For help with choosing art works, consultants, hospital curators and art committees turn to studies such as those gathered in the nonprofit Center for Health Design’s “Guide to Evidence-Based Art.”

Research suggests patients are positively affected by nature themes and figurative art with unambiguous, positive faces that convey a sense of security and safety.

Some studies have found that patients are likely to respond negatively to art with negative images or icons. Abstract art also often rates low in patient preferences compared with representational art.

One 1993 study found that patients exposed to a nature image experienced less postoperative anxiety and were more likely to switch to weaker painkillers than those who viewed an abstract image or no image.

A 2011 study found that nature images helped calm restless behavior and noise levels in two Texas emergency department waiting rooms.

A 2012 review of neuroscience studies published in the Health Environments Research & Design Journal found that images of fearful or angry faces, ambiguous subject matter, high novelty and unfamiliarity, lack of realism and sharp contours elicit negative emotional responses in the brain and suggested they should be avoided.

Hospitals aren’t shying away from art whose content is open to interpretation or might make patients reflect. In the spring 2014 issue of the same journal, the Cleveland Clinic reported that patients surveyed on its contemporary collection—which includes abstract and nonrepresentational imagery by some prominent artists—reported a significant positive effect on their experience and on mood, stress, comfort and expectations.

The study suggested patients may respond positively to the diversity of the collection and to other types of art in addition to nature art.

Still, says Iva Fattorini, a dermatologist and global chairwoman of the Cleveland Clinic’s Arts & Medicine Institute, the focus is on art that is “not disturbing, but uplifting and diverse.” The aim “is to take your mind away from the disease and replace the time you are losing inside hospital with some beauty.”

Some patients in its survey reported they were motivated to get out of bed to view the artwork. Patients with post-traumatic stress disorder and generalized anxiety disorder reported the most significant positive improvement in mood.

One popular piece is “Mike Kelley 1″ by artist Jennifer Steinkamp; an illuminated video installation of a large tree that cycles through the seasons, changing color and moving as if in a breeze.

Heather Kreinbrink says when her daughter Allison had a stroke at age 12 in 2010 and was hospitalized for a week, she and her husband, Rod, found looking at the installation outside the children’s wing provided a sense of calm amid their fear and exhaustion.

“It ended up being something we would go to every day for peace and to come to terms with what was happening,” she says.

When Allison was discharged, her parents brought her to see it. “It made me think as I saw other kids being pushed in wheelchairs by their parents, how awesome it is to be able to have something like that to take your mind of everything you are going through,” says Allison, now 16. Each year when she returns for a checkup, she poses for a picture in front of the tree.

Jeffrey Rothenberg, an obstetrician and gynecologist and chief medical officer at Indiana University Health’s University Hospital, says he learned to make glass art himself as a stress reliever. He is chairman of a public art committee for Indiana University School of Medicine’s Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute that called on artists with ties to Indiana to create works for a building devoted to vision.

“People sent in a lot of great pictures, but some of them were blurry or misty mornings”—not the best visuals, Dr. Rothenberg says, for “people getting their eyes dilated so they can’t see.”

The committee has chosen a range of works aimed at promoting healing and providing comfort, mostly purchased and some donated after the works were selected, including a glass wall sculpture and mobile by Dr. Rothenberg that he donated. Images in health-care settings shouldn’t be shocking, Dr. Rothenberg says, yet “at the same time you don’t want something so boring and generic that people walk away.”

The Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., chooses art to create a “healing environment,” says Chrysanthe Yates, director of its Lyndra P. Daniel Center for Humanities in Medicine.

Despite artistic merit, not all works fit the bill. For example, the hospital passed on an option to display a show of works about the Vietnam War, “which were beautiful but very stark and for obvious reasons not appropriate,” she says.

Mayo also exhibits pieces on loan from Jacksonville’s Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens. The institutions are collaborating on a program for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients and their caregivers, who meet at the museum for conversations about art works as a means of soothing and relieving stress. A research study is planned to measure those effects.

Write to Laura Landro at laura.landro@wsj.com

 

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

406081_w296

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.