Tag Archive for Indiana State Museum

Herron well-represented in upcoming Indiana State Museum’s exhibit “Fearless Furniture”

photo herron faculty furniture

Nearly 85 percent of Indiana’s dentists were trained on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus. Nearly half of the state’s lawyers have their legal roots on the IUPUI campus. Now an upcoming museum exhibit reveals many of the state’s “best of the best” furniture artists also have IUPUI academic roots.

The “Fearless Furniture” exhibit opens Oct. 5 and runs through May 2014 at the Indiana State Museum, just south of Eskenazi Hall, Herron School of Art and Design’s main academic building and home to its furniture making department.

Hundreds of furniture craftspeople either born, trained or living in Indiana submitted proposals to have their works displayed in the exhibit. Eleven of the 24 artists have ties to Herron: Six are students or graduates; one is faculty/staff; and four are both.

“So many of the people who submitted pieces were Herron graduates. … When you look at how many (Herron graduates) were accepted, it is pretty much obvious Herron has an exceptional program,” said David Buchanan, the museum’s curator of decorative objects and furniture.

The selected artists include recent students as well as graduates from as early as 1982, reflecting Herron’s history of success in training students over the years. “Herron’s built an incredible furniture design program. It’s at the very pinnacle now,” Buchanan said.

The exhibit’s name reflects a trait considered essential for anyone making a career of designing and building furniture in a studio. “We were commenting on the idea that people who do this must have a strong sense of fearlessness. They are creating one-of-a kind pieces and trying to make a living,” Buchanan said.

Cory Robinson, associate professor and fine arts department chair at Herron, is one of three artists the museum invited to anchor the show. Robinson, also a Herron alumnus, was chosen “because of the program Herron has built and the direction it’s going,” said Meredith McGovern, the Indiana State Museum’s arts and culture collections manager.

Another show anchor is Laura Drake, assistant professor of industrial design at Purdue University. Drake, also a Herron alumna, was chosen because of Purdue’s industrial design program and its furniture component, the museum said.

In addition to Robinson and Drake, Herron-related artists in “Fearless Furniture” are Erin Behling, BFA ’99; Ray Duffey, MFA ’11 and Herron shop technician; Reagan Furqueron assistant professor and director of foundations; Matt Hutton, BFA ’99; James Lee, BFA ’82; Phillip Tennant, retired professor; Steven Sander, BFA ’12; Robert Sibley, completed foundation studies at Herron; and Colin Tury, second-year MFA degree candidate.

Fifty-eight artists submitted a total of 139 pieces for the juried component of the exhibition. Wendy Maruyama, professor emerita of woodworking and design at San Diego State University, juried “Fearless Furniture.” Maruyama will present a lecture at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, at the Indiana State Museum, followed by a reception celebrating the opening of the exhibition. Museum admission tickets are not required to attend the lecture or reception, which are free and open to the public, but seating is limited. To reserve seats for Maruyama’s talk, call the museum at 317-232-1637.

Regular museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Regular admission tickets, which include admission to the “Fearless Furniture” exhibit, are $5.50 each for children 12 and under; and $10 each for adults.

Alison Bechdel, Graphic Artist and Novelist, to Speak in Indianapolis

Alison Bechdel

The IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute Lecture Series and The Rufus & Louise Reiberg Reading Series present:

Alison Bechdel

February 28, 2013; Dean and Barbara White Auditorium, Indiana State Museum; 7:00 pm

Tickets: free to the public; available here

Sponsored by the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute, The Rufus & Louise Reiberg Reading Series, Office for Women, Office of Housing and Residence Life, Office of Student Involvement, IUPUI Women’s Studies Program, IUPUI Department of English, IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI

Alison Bechdel is the creator of the long running comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For.  Judith Levine in Ms. Magazine called Bechdel’s work, “one of the preeminent oeuvres in the comics genre, period.”  In 2008, Dwight Garner of the New York Times reported that the weekly comic strip, published for over 20 years, “has been as important to new generations of lesbians as landmark novels like Rita Mae Brown’s “Rubyfruit Jungle” (1973) and Lisa Alther’s “Kinflicks” (1976) were to an earlier one.”

In 2006, Bechdel published the graphic memoir Fun Home, hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by numerous sources, including The New York Times, amazon.com, The Times of LondonPublishers Weekly, salon.com, New York magazine, and Entertainment WeeklyTime named it the best book of 2006, calling it ”a stunning memoir about a girl growing up in a small town with her cryptic, perfectionist dad and slowly realizing that a) she is gay and b) he is too. … Bechdel’s breathtakingly smart commentary duets with eloquent line drawings. Forget genre and sexual orientation: this is a masterpiece about two people who live in the same house but different worlds, and their mysterious debts to each other.” Fun Home was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award in the memoir/autobiography category.

Bechdel released her second graphic memoir, Are You My Mother?, in May 2012.  Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Everything is Illuminated called the book “a work of the most humane kind of genius, bravely going right to the heart of things: why we are who we are. It’s also incredibly funny. And visually stunning. And page-turningly addictive. And heartbreaking.”

In her work, Bechdel is preoccupied with the overlap of the political and the personal spheres. Dykes to Watch Out For was an explicitly community-based and politically engaged project. But in her deeply intimate memoirs about her father’s life before the gay rights movement and her mother’s life before the women’s movement, she turns a microscopic lens on the internal mechanisms of oppression and liberation.

Bechdel edited Best American Comics 2011. She has drawn comics for Slate, McSweeney’s, Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times Book Review, and Granta. Her work is widely anthologized and translated.

In the spring of 2012, Bechdel was a Mellon Residential Fellow for Arts and Practice at the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center at the University of Chicago. She is also the recipient of a 2012-13 Guggenheim Fellowship.

The IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute was founded in 2012. Its mission is two-fold. First, it serves as a liaison between IUPUI and the greater Indianapolis community, supporting collaborations and running public programs such as lectures and performances. Secondly, it fosters interdisciplinary faculty research and creative activity in the arts and humanities at IUPUI.

The Rufus & Louise Reiberg Reading Series is presented by the Department of English in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. It was founded in 1997 in honor of former English Department chair Rufus Reiberg and his wife, Louise. The Series annually brings national and regional writers to the IUPUI campus to present their work.