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.

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.

First Herron Open: Mini Golf Mega Art an unqualified success

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(r to l) IUPUI alumnus Carlos Knox, player development with the Indiana Fever; Herron Dean’s Advisory Board member Conrad Piccirillo; his daughter, Caitlyn Piccirillo; and Indiana Fever star forward Tamika Catchings enjoying the Herron Open. Image John R. Gentry Jr.

The first Herron Open: Mini Golf Mega Art, which took place in early June, was an unqualified success. Nearly 200 attendees were on hand to play the nine-hole miniature golf course inside Eskenazi Hall, created by teams of Herron students and faculty. The Herron Alumni Association designed a hole, too. It won the People’s Choice Award. The Sculpture Department’s hole, which came complete with students dressed as moles, won the Chairs’ Choice Award.

The event netted more than $30,000 in new scholarship support for Herron students.

Herron Open: Mini Golf Mega Art was selected as a NUVO Top Pick of the Week and featured in the Indianapolis Star’s 10 Things To Do. It was also covered by the Indianapolis Recorder, WTHR’s sports reporter Rich Nye, and mentioned on WFYI’s The Art of the Matter.

One thing is for sure (although at press time we don’t know exactly when) the event will return!

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

Even major works of art need dusting, including Chihuly’s masterpiece at IU School of Medicine

dna towerIt rises 19 feet from the atrium floor of one of the busiest laboratory and classroom buildings on the Indiana University School of Medicine Indianapolis campus. This unique sculpture created by renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly is, well, dusty; it needs cleaning.

The luminous structure composed of more than 1,000 glass spheres in shades of blue, green, mauve and yellow can’t simply be vacuumed or spritzed with window cleaner and buffed with paper towel. The process is more complex, and only one firm in the United States is authorized to handle the maintenance and cleaning of Chihuly’s artwork. These professionals from Denny Park Fine Arts travel the globe delicately and skillfully disassembling, cleaning and reassembling Chihuly’s masterpieces.

Denny Park Fine Arts has been commissioned to clean the IU School of Medicine DNA Tower, modeled after the so-called blueprint for life. They will be working on the project June 1 and 2 in the Morris Mills Atrium of the VanNuys Medical Science Building on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus.

The sculpture was installed in 2003 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the IU School of Medicine and the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the DNA molecule by IU alumnus James D. Watson and colleague Francis Crick. The DNA Tower was unveiled Sept. 30, 2003, and this will be its first thorough cleaning.

 

2014 M.F.A Exhibition

Herron MFA pic

L to R: detail, Lauren Davis (Photography and Intermedia), Musgave; Steve Baker (Furniture Design), Unity; Michael Helsley (Sculpture) untitled; Stephanie Kristen Erin Wichmann (Ceramics), Business As Usual.

The Annual Honors and Awards Ceremony for undergraduate students and their families kicks off the day’s celebration at the IUPUI Campus Center, 420 University Blvd., beginning at 4:00 p.m on May 1. All are welcome. The exhibits will be available for viewing until May 22.

Herron School of Art and Design is recognizing the achievements of Herron’s graduating master’s degree candidates with the M.F.A. Exhibition. Graduates work will be displayed in all the galleries in Eskenazi Hall and the Eskenazi Fine Arts Center. The candidates represent Ceramics, Furniture Design, Painting, Photography, Printmaking and Sculpture.

Exhibiting at the Eskenazi Fine Arts Center will be Steven Baker, Michael Helsley, Christopher Martin, John Collins McCormick, Colin Tury and Stephanie Kristen Erin Wichmann.

In the Basile Gallery in Eskenazi Hall will be Samuel R. Ladwig.

In the Marsh Gallery in Eskenai Hall will be Melissa Michelle Hopson and Southard Freeland.

In the Berkshire, Paul and Reese galleries in Eskenazi Hall will be Denise Conrady, Lauren Davis, Margaret Elizabeth Ingram, Sarah Kasch, Hillary Russell, Marna Lee Shopoff, Bridgit Stoffer, Elizabeth Wierzbicki and David Woolf.

When: May 1-22, 2014
Where:
Indianapolis, IN

For more information visit the event site.

Herron exhibition in•ter•sect /ˌintƏrˈsekt/ combines arts of performance, video, sound, sculpture

Herron Galleries offer a breath of fresh air at the intersection of live performance, video, sound and sculpture

The end of March at Herron will offer a breath of fresh air in the Basile Gallery through in•ter•sect /ˌintƏrˈsekt/, an exhibition opening March 28 that encompasses live performance, video, sound and sculpture.

Visiting artist Daniel Cosentino, who is currently exhibits internationally from his homes in Kosovo and New York, draws upon philosophy to make artworks that accentuate the double meanings introduced by these media. His work includes references to antiquity and historic iconography. He’ll be joined by special guests from Herron’s Advanced Digital photography class, under the direction of Herron Professor Stefan Petranek.

in•ter•sect /ˌintƏrˈsekt/ will include pre-, live and post-opening components that explore intimacy and emotional memory expressed through electronic and physical aspects of modern interpersonal relationships. The exhibition runs through April 17.

Herron Professor Robert Horvath presents new exhibition of sculptures

New is Better, on view from November 1 – 27, 2013
Gallery 924
924 N. Pennsylvania St
Indianapolis, IN  46204

Robert Horvath, Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing at Herron School of Art and Design, is primarily known for his high-gloss and refined, large-scale oil paintings that represent our cultural obsession with the appearance of luxury, celebrity, and consumption. In his practice, he begins with an abstract, almost other-worldly sculpture that then serves as inspiration for the resulting highly polished and detailed painting, often mistaken for a digital image.

His most recent body of work explores these sculptures with greater depth and detail. Horvath has now escalated his practice of creating a preliminary sculpture by using more substantial materials. Through the use of porcelain, his sculptures have become more permanent and thus represent works in their own right instead of simply a preliminary work or reflection of the grander oil painting. A large collection of his new porcelain sculptures at Gallery 924 have never been seen before outside of his studio.

Grilled cheese at the center of the newest IUPUI University Library sculpture

In a playful sculpture of floating cartoon-like images, artist Michael Helsley chooses a favorite comfort food — grilled cheese — to take the edge off his grief, represented by five rocks and a bear. The mobile-style sculpture, installed in the University Library atrium, tells of Helsley’s journey of discovery following a personal time of grief.

Helsley’s sculpture is the newest installation in an annual art competition the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis University Library sponsors for Herron School of Art and Design students. As this year’s winner, Helsley received funding to create the large-scale sculpture. It has been installed in the second-floor atrium in the University Library for display for one year.

Helsley’s art draws in its viewers as the images simultaneously appear and disappear, reflecting the movement of the five stages of grief outlined by Dr. Kubler Ross. Helsley constructed the images from rigid foam sheets, using commercially printed material salvaged from billboards and repainted by hand. The Herron student cast an astronaut as himself, part explorer, part cowboy, among the boulders, a bear and the grilled cheese sandwich as he floats and sometimes falls during his journey of exploration of both the past and the future.

The size and flatness of the images allows them to simultaneously disappear in one location while appearing to a viewer in another location. The act of “revealing” themselves relates directly to the act of discovery, whether it is new or as it relates to memory.