A Visit to the Herron School of Art and Design Sculpture Studios

Herron School of Art and Design faculty and students were busy this afternoon when we took a visit to the sculpture studios on Indiana Avenue. For those of you who are familiar only with the Eskanazi Hall building, Herron has a 30,000 square foot facility on Indiana Avenue. In fact, it’s currently undergoing an expansion and will be rededicated as the Sydney and Lois Eskenazi Fine Art Center.

Robert Horvath-Braincandy
Robert Horvath. Braincandy. 2010

One of the faculty we met with is Robert Horvath, Assistant Professor at the Herron School of Art and Design. Horvath explores the world behind the glamour-obsessed contemporary world. What initially appears beautiful has a menace and decay to it. In his words, his imagery “forces a visual duality: the escapist pop culture youth can no longer hide from the horrors of reality.”

Today, Robert was busy working on his IAHI funded project, a new series of ceramics which pursue some of the themes that he has developed in his paintings.


Benjamin Horvath
Robert Horvath

For more about Robert Horvath and his work, see http://www.herron.iupui.edu/faculty/robert-horvath.



Benjamin Sunderlin
Benjamin Sunderlin


We also bumped in to Benjamin Sunderlin, a student of the Herron School of Art and Design. Sunderlin showed us the casts that he was making for the IAHI and Herron. The casts show reduced size sections of the Parthenon frieze, which were molded from casts purchased for the Herron School in the 1920s and 1930s. We’ll have more to say about his project in upcoming posts.


Herron School of Art and Design to debut Design and Thinking on September 12

Herron School of Art and Design will present Design and Thinking: a documentary on design thinking on Wednesday, September 12 at 7:00 p.m. in the Basile Auditorium of Eskenazi Hall.

The film (running time 74:11) entertainingly reveals the design thinking movement’s growing relevance to problem solving across business, culture and society.

The director, Mu-Ming Tsai, has won a Cannes Young Lion award for the film Wateraid for Dennis. In his first feature-length film, rather than create a paean to the beauty of design, he aims to bring forward the ambiguity, conflicts and messy process of how designers and other creative people think and do things.

Change-making organizations from a local bike shop to Coca-Cola provide real-world inspiration through design thinking in action. Thought leaders including David Kelley, Bill Moggridge, Roger Martin and Tim Brown share their belief that asking the right questions is more important than providing firm answers.

Pamela Napier and Terri Wada, faculty members in Visual Communication Design at Herron, agree that the time for such a movie is now. “With increasingly complex issues arising on multiple fronts in our current global economy,” said Napier, “design thinking has been gaining recognition as a powerful approach to creating effective and innovative solutions to many of the ‘wicked’ challenges that businesses, organizations, institutions and communities face today.”

“In places as close to Indianapolis as Chicago and as far as California,” said Wada, “creative design firms like IDEO and the design school at Stanford University have provided ample evidence of the power of design thinking applied to the creation of revolutionary objects and services.”

Herron became an early adopter of design thinking to provide real-world experiences and professional practice for its students. In its graduate degree program in visual communication design, which has had only four graduating classes, students have produced dozens of case studies where they and their faculty mentors have developed actionable solutions for real community challenges in collaboration with stakeholders. A Herron case study is featured in the new book by Andrew Shea, Designing for Social Change, published by Princeton Architectural Press.

“The inclusion of the Herron in Designing for Social Change is an acknowledgement of our contribution to this relatively young field. The fact that we’re listed among so many respected designers and design schools demonstrates Herron’s position within the leading edge of social design,” said Marshall Jones, Herron’s communication design specialist.

The September 12 event provides a unique opportunity for designers and non-designers alike to be inspired by what design thinking can do. Herron’s Visual Communication Design Graduate Studio will be open so that visitors can learn about some of the design thinking projects that are currently underway in Indianapolis.

This screening is being made possible by a generous donation from Wil Marquez, Creative Director and Owner of With Purpose  http://www.wpurpose.com/

2012 Herron Faculty Show

Herron Faculty Show 2012

Reese, Berkshire and Paul Galleries
August 10–September 12, 2012
Free Public Reception: August 24, 5:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

The biennial Faculty Show will kick off the fall gallery season at Herron School of Art and Design. This year’s exhibition promises to be eclectic, with 35 faculty members exhibiting from departments including art history, ceramics, furniture design, painting and drawing, photography and intermedia, printmaking, sculpture and visual communication design.

“All tenured and tenure-track faculty, lecturers and program technicians were invited to participate,” said Herron’s Gallery Director Paula Katz. “It’s always interesting to see who has work available to show and what the artists, designers and scholars in the show have been creating recently.”

Participants include: Anila Agha; Lesley Baker; Karen Baldner; Andrew Davis; Stephanie Doty; Ray Duffey; Valerie Eickmeier; Vance Farrow; Reagan Furqueron; Anita Giddings; Linda Adele Goodine; Stacey Holloway; Robert Horvath; Marc Jacobson; Lauren Kussro; Flounder Lee; Craig McDaniel; David Morrison; Eric Nordgulen; Kathleen O’Connell; Stefan Petranek; William Potter; Mark Richardson; Danielle Riede; Jacob Ristau; Eva Roberts; Jean Robertson; Cory Robinson; Helen Sanematsu; Lukas Schooler; Meredith Setser; Sherry Stone; Phil Tennant; Christopher Vice; and Andrew Winship.

Also opening in the Marsh Gallery August 3 and continuing through August 24 is Russian Posters, a sampling from a collection produced by 20 contemporary Russian poster artists and shown during Moscow Design Week to mark the 120th birthday of the Russian graphic designer Aleksandr Rodchenko.

Rounding out the season opener August 3 through August 24 in the Basile Gallery is a thesis exhibition by Amina Khazie, M.F.A. candidate in Furniture Design.


Clockwise from top left: Lauren Kussro, We held so tightly to each other, we became as one, detail, 2012, monotype and silkscreen on paper, thread, beads; Stephanie Doty, Alteration 1: Lift, Cut, detail, 2011, charcoal and graphite; Stacey Holloway, Take Heed, detail, 2012, mixed media; Karen Baldner, The Presence of Your Absence XXIV, detail, 2011, mixed media drawing on handmade paper with embedded horse hair.

Course Announcement: Public Art Painting, Fall 2012.

Super Bowl artist Pamela Bliss will teach this comprehensive class on Public Art Painting for fall, 2012.

Topics include:

  • Site selection
  • Interior and Exterior applications
  • Wall preparation and Material selection
  • Insurance
  • Design Scaffolding, boom lift and rappelling options

Course number: Her E220 33026
Title: Exploring Art/Mural Painting
Day Time: TR 9-11:30
Location: Herron 205 and off site locations

Fifth Annual Book Arts Exhibit Sponsored by IUPUI University Library

IUPUI University Library’s Herron Art Library has partnered with the Harrison Center for the Arts to sponsor Bookmark, an IDADA (Indianapolis Downtown Artists & Dealers Association) First Friday event. The exhibit opening reception is Friday, August 3rd at 6:00 p.m. at the Harrison Center for the Arts located at 1505 N. Delaware Street, Indianapolis. The artwork will be on view until August 29th.  Both the reception and exhibit are free and open to the public.

Bookmark builds on four years of successful collaboration between the library and the Harrison Center to promote local and regional book artists in the field of fine arts. Featured artists include Sara Brooks of Asheville, North Carolina (www.sarabrooksphoto.com), Joy M. Campbell from Santa Fe, New Mexico (www.joymcampbellbookartist.com), David Johnson of Muncie, Indiana (www.vampandtramp.com/finepress/a/amelia-press.html) and Indianapolis’ own Elyce Elder (http://www.discoverfountainsquare.com/merchant.cfm?id=136 ).  As in the past, the University Library will award a $400 prize to the best in show.

Also returning this year to give a hands-on talk about Artists’ Books are nationally recognized book arts dealers, Bill and Vicki Stewart of Vamp & Tramp Booksellers LLC.

The Herron Art Library will also have on exhibit recently acquired artist books from its Special Collection of Artists’ books and fine press books. These works will be on display at the opening night reception. The Herron Art Library, part of the IUPUI University Library, is located inside the Herron School of Art and Design and is home to a museum-caliber collection of artists’ books.

The Herron Art Library’s collection of artists’ books contains many forms of the book arts from fine press books illustrated by artists such as Mark Rothko to miniature books, some conveying powerful messages addressing social and family issues of personal significance to the respective book artist.  Artists’ books often become a very personal extension and means of expression of a significant event or issue of an artists’ life.

Significant book artists represented in our collection include Julie Chen, Ron King, Emily Artinian, Lois Morrison, and local book artists, Bonnie Stahlnacker, Paul Brown, Karen Baldner among many others. New additions to the collection can be seen in the Artist book Alcove by visiting the Herron Art Library on the IUPUI campus at 735 W. New York Street, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Any resident of Indiana is eligible for an IUPUI University Library card.  Our resources and librarians are also available on-line at http://www.ulib.iupui.edu. Browse our on-line collections to learn more about the road to Indiana Statehood, the history of the National FFA Organization, the writer James Whitcomb Riley and much more, or contact a librarian specialist for help with professional and school-related research.

“Jazz Masters of Indiana Avenue” Mural Dedication

Jazz Mural Dedication Flyer

The “Jazz Masters of Indiana Avenue” mural is being dedicated on Saturday, July 14 at 3:00 p.m. The mural is one of 46 murals that was painted for the 46 for XLVI mural program administered by the Arts Council of Indianapolis. The mural program was created as a part beautifying and preparing Indianapolis for the Super Bowl in February.

The mural was painted by Pamela Bliss who also painted another program mural called “My Affair With Kurt Vonnegut”.

Musicians Slide Hampton and Dr. David Baker, and photographer Duncan Schiedt, who are depicted in the mural, will speak at the event. FOX News Anchor Fanchon Stinger will emcee. The Serenade Jazz Orchestra and the IPS All Star Jazz Band and alumni will perform songs composed by David Baker and other jazz compositions. Some of the musicians may also perform at The Jazz Kitchen after the event.

The mural depicts musicians who played on the historic Indiana Avenue when the district was lively with music venues during the 50′s and 60′s. Most of the musicians in the mural developed their skills on the avenue and went on to great success and fame. Musicians in the mural include Wes Montgomery, Larry Ridley, Freddie Hubbard, J.J. Johnson, Dr. David Baker, Jimmy Coe, and David Young. Photographer Duncan Schiedt documented all of these jazz greats frequenting the avenue and supplied most of the photos for the imagery.
Many of the musicians in the mural, who would have been in their 70′s to 80′s, have passed away. Members of each family still live in the Indianapolis area. The mural was created to honor the Indianapolis jazz greats and continue their legacy. The Starr-Gennett Foundation will give each musician, or the surviving families, a recognition award for keeping Indiana’s jazz heritage alive. The foundation states that Indiana is “the cradle of recorded jazz”.

The mural and dedication is located on the south side of Musicians’ Repair and Sales at 332 N. Capitol Ave. For more information go call 317.631-3301 or go to www.indyarts.org or www.musiciansrepair.com. The dedication is free and open to the public.

The dedication is sponsored by Indy Jazz Fest, Indy Jazz Foundation, The Jazz Kitchen, The Arts Council of Indianapolis, Musicians’ Repair and Sales and Capitol Grille.

Bliss’s homage to Indiana Avenue musicians makes national news

Wes Montgomery and other jazz greats of Indiana are getting some larger-than-life recognition, thanks to a recent work by Pamela Bliss, a Herron adjunct faculty member known for her murals.

“I had wanted to paint a mural of Wes Montgomery somewhere in Indy for years,” said Bliss. When Indianapolis conceived the “46 for XLVI” project, to create memorable public art as a welcome for Super Bowl visitors, Bliss was one of the many artists commissioned to provide the 46 murals.

Indiana Avenue Jazz Masters was the second of two murals Bliss created for the project, the other being a 38-foot-tall likeness of Kurt Vonnegut. Jazz Masters is visible from its namesake street, appropriately ensconced on the south exterior wall of the Musicians’ Repair and Sales building on Capitol Ave. The mural is also visible from New York Street a few blocks east of Herron.

Although Montgomery died in the 1960s, a few weeks after the big game it so happened that the Jazz Kitchen in Broad Ripple was holding a record release party for him. The celebration launched a CD of newly-discovered Indianapolis recordings by Montgomery from the late 1950s.

Mark Sheldon, a local contributor to DownBeat, arranged for Bliss to sit with the editor of the magazine for the event. The editor visited the mural, and news of Bliss’s work went national in Bobby Reed’s “First Take” column in the April issue.

Chicago-based DownBeat has been covering the jazz scene since 1934 and is arguably the last word on Jazz and related musical genres.

Montgomery is in good company on the wall of Musicans’ Repair. J.J. Johnson, Freddie Hubbard and IU’s own David Baker are in the mural as well. Bliss is in the process of adding more figures to the work, which will be dedicated in mid-July.

“I have done several jazz-themed murals in Richmond, Indiana, documenting the legacy of the Starr Piano Company and Gennett Records,” Bliss said.

“Whenever I do a mural,” she continued, “especially one that honors or memorializes, I want to be as historically correct and appropriate as possible. Public murals are a very powerful way to communicate. The public is imprinted with an image directly and subliminally and it becomes truth to them after they live with it for awhile.”

Now the truth is there for all to see. Indiana Avenue has a jazz heritage worthy of continued celebration.

Bliss said, “I feel very small—no pun intended—in the wake of what these great people have accomplished. I feel very privileged to help recognize them.”

IUPUI professor will present keynote speech at conference in Nigeria

Bessie House-Soremekun, Ph.D., will present a keynote speech at the second Toyin Falola Annual International Conference on Africa and the African Diaspora today (July 2) in Lagos, Nigeria. The topic is “Rethinking the African Diaspora in the Era of Globalization: Building Economic Capacity for the 21st Century and Beyond.”
House-Soremekun is the director of Africana studies; the Public Scholar in African American Studies, Civic Engagement and Entrepreneurship; professor of political science and Africana studies; and the founding executive director of the Center for Global Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development, all in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI.

The Toyin Falola conference will take place at the Excellence Hotel and Conference Center and is being organized by the Ibadan Cultural Studies Group, University of Ibadan, in collaboration with the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization.

House-Soremekun’s activities also include delivering two public lectures during the trip to Africa. She presented “African American Entrepreneurship Throughout History: Implications for Africa” at the Federal University of Agriculture in Abeokuta, Nigeria, on June 29. She is to speak on “Enhancing Entrepreneurial Capacity and Sustainable Development Initiatives in Southwest Nigeria: A Pilot Study of Abeokuta (Ogun State) and Akure (Ondo State) in Nigeria” at the University of Ibadan on Thursday, July 5.

House-Soremekun is an award-winning author, inventor and entrepreneur, as well as an internationally recognized scholar, expert and advocate on entrepreneurship and economic development. She has made more than 100 public presentations that include public lectures, keynote speeches and workshops to academic and lay audiences in the United States and other countries, including Nigeria and Russia. The recipient of numerous honors, accolades and awards, she was recently honored for her exemplary public service activities and presented with the Distinguished Public Service Award at the University of Texas at Austin.

IUPUI Hosts International Research Conference For Linguists

IUPUI Campus Center

(INDIANAPOLIS)—International researchers in the field of linguistics and second language acquisition will be in Indianapolis August 9-11 for a conference sponsored by the Indiana Center for Intercultural Communication (ICIC), a language and cultural training center that is part of the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI.

The 7th Intercultural Rhetoric and Discourse Conference will feature speakers from China, Egypt, Mexico, Brazil, Iran, Japan, Turkey, Spain and Russia, noted Ulla Connor, Ph.D., ICIC Director.

Connor is considered one of the leading researchers in the field of contrastive rhetoric, which examines how first language and culture affect writing in English as a second language and applies research findings to language teaching and workplace management. She has published more than 80 articles, book chapters and books published on the subject. Her book, Contrastive Rhetoric (Cambridge University Press, 1996), is now considered a classic in the field.

Under Connor’s direction, ICIC helped to establish the first week-long Institute on Contrastive Rhetoric and Written Discourse Analysis in 2004, followed by the First Conference on Intercultural Rhetoric and Written Discourse Analysis in 2005 on the IUPUI campus.

“The conferences were created to further research in contrastive/intercultural rhetoric and intercultural discourse, and to create collaborations among leading research universities and organizations,” Connor said. “The conferences typically attract more than 100 participants from the U.S and abroad.”

Noted linguist Diane Belcher, from Georgia State University, will deliver the opening plenary address on entitled, “What We Need and Don’t Need Intercultural Rhetoric for: A Retrospective and Prospective Look at an Evolving Research Area.”

IUPUI professors Marta Antón, André Buchenot, Thomas Upton and Estela Ene and ICIC Visiting Scholars Xiaojun Zhang and Zhiqing Hu are also scheduled to give presentations during the conference. Additional information is available at:http://liberalarts.iupui.edu/icic/conference/.

Polis Center at IUPUI hosting NEH institute advancing exploration of space and maps

The Virtual Center for Spatial Humanities, a multi-disciplinary collaboration among Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Florida State University and West Virginia University, is hosting an advanced institute in spatial narratives and deep maps. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, this two-week intensive institute brings leading scholars from around the world to explore how deep maps can support relevant issues in spatial humanities.
These competitive NEH grants seek to increase the number of humanities scholars using digital technologies in their research and teaching. Fellows participating in the institute will explore spatial narratives and deep maps by engaging in existing projects as well as through production of a prototype deep map. At the end of the institute, the fellows will have the opportunity to present their work.
“As humans, we are place-bound,” said David Bodenhamer, executive director of The Polis Center at IUPUI and co-director of the institute. “We continually shape and reshape space to create places that have meaning for us — our homes, our communities, our environment. In this institute, we are exploring how to use powerful geospatial technologies to help us capture and understand a deep sense of place, as well as how to tell effective stories about the places that we study.”
The institute is being administered by the Polis Center in Indianapolis from June 18 to 29 and is led by Bodenhamer (history, IUPUI), John Corrigan (religious studies, Florida State University) and Trevor Harris (geography, West Virginia University). A second NEH advanced institute, Digital Cultural Mapping, is concurrently hosted by UCLA. Scholars from both institutes have the opportunity to learn from each other through video conferencing and shared publications.
For more information, follow daily blogs from the NEH Institute. You can also follow #PolisNEH on Twitter for updated information about the institute.


About the Virtual Center for Spatial Humanities
The Virtual Center for Spatial Humanities is a collaboration among IUPUI, Florida State University and West Virginia University to develop technologies and methods and to create a scholarly literature for the field of spatial humanities. It is a recognized leader in researching and developing methods to advance the use of geographic information systems in nontraditional fields. The specific focus of the Virtual Center has been religion in the Atlantic world.
About The Polis Center
The Polis Center is a self-funded research unit of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. It seeks to understand the communities in which we live through an entrepreneurial and innovative approach, finding practical, effective and cost-efficient ways for communities to enhance their capacity for meaningful change. Polis works with professional and scholarly communities, especially through application of digital technologies such as geographic information systems and other geospatial tools.