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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Award-winning novelist Randa Jarrar will conclude the fall Rufus & Louise Reiberg Reading Series with a presentation at the Herron School of Art & Design Basile Auditorium as part of the Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here Symposium at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
Jarrar’s reading at 7 p.m. Nov. 17 is free, but registration is required .
Jarrar grew up in Kuwait and Egypt and moved to the United States after the first Gulf War. Her first novel, “A Map of Home,” was published in half a dozen languages and won a Hopwood Award and an Arab-American Book Award. Barnes and Noble Review named it one of the best novels of 2008.
In 2010, the Hay Festival and the Beirut UNESCO’s World Capital of the Book named Jarrar one of the Beirut 39 — the 39 most gifted writers of Arab origin under the age of 40. Her work, which includes short stories and essays, has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Utne Reader, Salon.com, Guernica, The Rumpus, the Oxford American, Ploughshares and Five Chapters.
IUPUI is hosting the inaugural Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here Symposium on Nov. 17 and Nov. 18 at University Library, 755 W. Michigan St. In conjunction with Jarrar’s reading and the symposium, Herron is exhibiting its “Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here” collection.
On March 5, 2007, in the middle of the Iraq war, a car bomb killed dozens and injured more than 100 people. The bomb also devastated al-Mutanabbi Street, a busy avenue of cafés and bookstores that had served as a meeting place for generations of writers and thinkers.
In response to the attack, San Francisco bookseller Beau Beausoleil rallied a community of international artists and writers to produce “Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here,” a collection of letterpress-printed broadsides (poster-like works on paper), artists’ books (unique works of art in book form) and an anthology of writing focused on expressing solidarity with Iraqi booksellers, writers and readers.
“Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here” includes 260 artists’ books, a publication titled “Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here: Poets and Writers Respond to the March 5, 2007, Bombing of Baghdad’s ‘Street of the Booksellers,'” plus 130 broadsides — one for every person killed or injured in the 2007 bombing of al-Mutanabbi Street.
The Herron Art Library at IUPUI will serve as one of only three repositories in the world — and the only U.S. location — to permanently host the complete Al-Mutanabbi Street collection. The symposium is the first of three biennial conferences IUPUI will sponsor to explore the themes and implications of the collection through papers, panels, posters and presentations.
Visitor parking for Jarrar’s reading is available in the North Street Garage, 819 W. North St.; the Vermont Street Garage, 1004 W. Vermont St.; and the Sports Complex Garage, 875 W. New York St.
The reading is co-sponsored by the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute in collaboration with the Reiberg Family and several IUPUI academic units: Herron School of Art & Design, the IU School of Liberal Arts, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, the Office of Academic Affairs, University College and University Library.
A dash of color and an artistic flair have given an underpass just south and west of the IUPUI campus a new lease on life, thanks to the Mano en Mano service project linking the IUPUI campus with a group of neighborhoods that comprise the Near Westside Collaborative.
Mano en Mano — literally “Hand in Hand” — was a partnership between IUPUI and the Immigrant Welcome Center of Indianapolis that took place Sept. 13 during National Welcoming Week, a national campaign that encourages cities to improve the quality of life and economic potential for immigrants and foster unity with members of the U.S.-born community.
Cindy Gil of IUPUI’s Office of External Affairs said Mano en Mano was the latest collaboration between the campus and the Near Westside Collaborative, which represents neighborhoods of Haughville, Hawthorne, Stringtown and We Care and promotes Indianapolis as a “welcoming city for all,” Gil said.
Jennifer Hutchinson, a clinical study technician in the Division of Endocrinology in the School of Medicine, designed the mural. Hutchinson paints under the name Jennifer Delgadillo and graduated in 2010 from the Herron School of Art & Design.
IUPUI has built ties to the Immigrant Welcome Center, located in the John H. Boner Community Center on the city’s east side, as part of the campus’s ongoing internationalization efforts. Last year, IUPUI hosted more than 1,800 international students from more than 140 countries; this year, the numbers have topped 1,900 students from approximately 150 countries.
Besides recruiting students for the project from the Office of International Affairs, Mano en Mano also is connected to the campus through the Center for Service and Learning and through the Community Learning Network.
Volunteers from Service and Learning’s iServe project primed the underpass walls that feature Delgadillo’s work during that service-learning project, also in September. The mural covers roughly 100 feet in width and is located near an IndyGo transportation facility southwest of the campus. The public transportation company supported Mano en Mano by providing parking for the IUPUI volunteers, Gil added, support that has pleased area merchants.
“When we spoke to local businesses around the mural, they all agreed that the project was much needed due to graffiti problems in the underpass,” Gil said. “Now that the mural is complete, the merchants said it brings a new image to the surroundings and helps encourage business in the area.”
The Community Learning Network contributed to the campus-neighborhood partnership by developing a survey published on the Near Westside Collaborative website to more fully identify area needs in education, training and workforce development.
Earlier this year, IUPUI, city officials and neighborhood leaders announced plans for $30 million in improvements to the IU Natatorium, as well as city streets, lighting and crosswalks.
“Our hope is to continue to be not only an institution of learning, but a bridge to potential resources that will add to the social and economic development of our surrounding neighborhoods,” Gil said.
by Ric Burrous
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 email@example.com.