Herron Welcomes master printmaker Kenneth Tyler, showcasing his collaborations with iconic artists

INDIANAPOLIS — This fall, the Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI presents a survey of collaborations between Herron alumnus Kenneth Tyler and 11 of the 20th century’s most iconic artists in the Galleries at Herron Sept. 19-Nov. 10 in conjunction with IUPUI’s 50th-anniversary celebrations.

Kenneth Tyler, left, and Terence La Noue examining proofs from the “Ritual Series,” Tyler Graphics Ltd. artist studio, Mount Kisco, New York, 1987. Photo by Marabeth Cohen-Tyler

With a “no rules” mantra, master printer Kenneth Tyler worked with dozens of artists from 1966 through 2001 to create prints that redefined the medium of fine art printmaking. “Kenneth Tyler: The Art of Collaboration” offers an intimate view into Tyler’s visionary partnerships with Joseph Albers, Helen Frankenthaler, David Hockney, Terence La Noue, Roy Lichtenstein, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, John Newman, Steven Sorman, Frank Stella and John Walker.

In addition, the exhibition brings together artwork on loan from the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, including the printing matrix for Frank Stella’s “Juam”; archival photographs taken in the Tyler Graphics Ltd. workshops during the time of the partnerships; and eight documentary films by Frank Cantor.

“Tyler is a distinguished alumnus of Herron School of Art and Design who graduated with a Master of Art Education in 1963 and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from Indiana University in 2005,” said professor and former Dean Valerie Eickmeier, who was integral to bringing the Tyler exhibition to Herron. “I am honored to welcome Ken back to the school and highlight works of art from his extraordinary personal collection in the Galleries at Herron.”

“Kenneth Tyler: The Art of Collaboration” is made possible by the generous support of the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation and the Sam Francis Foundation. In-kind support for the opening reception is provided by Sun King Brewery. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated 44-page booklet containing Tyler’s personal reflections and an essay by Jane Kinsman, head of international art at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

Also on view in the Galleries at Herron Sept. 19-Dec. 12:

  • In the Marsh Gallery: MacArthur Award “Genius Grant” recipient Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley’s “The Minotaur Trilogy,” a trio of videos that bring a feminist perspective to the Greek myth of the minotaur, using punning wordplay, handmade costumes and sets, and bawdy humor to riff on classical mythology and pop culture.
  • In the Basile Gallery: “Stuff(ed),” an exhibition featuring the work of five contemporary artists who explore the playful, subversive power of sculpted fabric to transform and reimagine mass-market commodities and bric-a-brac from everyday life. Participating artists are Jessica Dance, Gil Yefman, Andrea Pritschow, David Gabbard and Natalie Baxter.

A public talk with Tyler will occur during the opening reception for all three exhibitions from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19, at Eskenazi Hall, 735 W. New York St. The Galleries at Herron, located in Eskenazi Hall on the IUPUI campus, are free and open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesdays.

Parking is free, courtesy of The Great Frame Up Indianapolis with validation from the Herron galleries. Visitors may park in the Sports Complex Garage adjacent to Eskenazi Hall or on levels 5-6 of the Riverwalk Garage. Visit HerronGalleries.org for more information.

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Fantasy coffin designer Paa Joe bringing his brand of underground art to IUPUI, IU Bloomington

Revised: All events with Paa Joe have been cancelled as of 9-13-18

Many artists put their heart, soul and passion into their work for the world to see. For Ghanaian artist Joseph “Paa Joe” Ashong, however, his art is dedicated to the individual passion of his client and is typically seen by the world for only a short time.

Paa Joe stands with a fantasy coffin shaped like a lion. Photo courtesy of Benjamin Wigley, director of “Paa Joe and the Lion”

Paa Joe is a master craftsman who creates fantasy coffins, part of Ghana’s tradition of abebuu adekai, which started in the 1950s with artists creating custom coffins for priests and chiefs. These functional coffins are most often in the shape of animals but can be nearly anything the client dreams. Paa Joe and his team have made coffins as varied as lions, shoes and a baby grand piano. As one of the most well-known fantasy coffin makers, Paa Joe has had his work displayed in and commissioned from locations around the world.

Next week, Paa Joe, his son and a former apprentice will bring their expertise and the intricacies of this Ghanaian tradition to the campuses of IUPUI and Indiana University Bloomington. Paa Joe will work with students and faculty at the Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI during a nine-day workshop that will highlight Ghana’s traditions and the artistry involved in the making of fantasy coffins. In Bloomington, Paa Joe will be honored at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, which currently has an exhibit of fantasy coffins, and participate in a discussion and screening of a film documenting his work at IU Cinema.

“Paa Joe is an internationally respected artist and recognized leader in his field within Ghana,” said Greg Hull, professor and interim chair of fine arts at the Herron School of Art and Design. “It’s an honor to be able to host him on our campus thanks to a grant from the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute. It is our hope that through his visit and workshops, everyone will gain insight into a uniquely different creative process and world culture.”

In addition to this work with students at Herron, Paa Joe will host several fantasy coffin work sessions that are open to the public at the Eskenazi Fine Arts Center as well as a public talk at 5 p.m. Sept. 12 in Eskenazi Hall’s Basile Auditorium. Before leaving IUPUI, Paa Joe will lead and orchestrate a live performance demonstrating the Ghanaian funeral ceremony and celebration of life from 5 to 6 p.m. Sept. 14. The performance is open to the public, and attendees are invited to participate in the event.

Following his time at IUPUI, Paa Joe and his team will travel to IU Bloomington to view and discuss an exhibit on the Ghanaian tradition of fantasy coffins at IU’s Mathers Museum of World Cultures.

The exhibit, “Shapes of the Ancestors: Bodies, Animals, Art and Ghanaian Fantasy Coffins,” is part of the Bloomington campus’s Themester and was curated by Kristin Otto, a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology.

Otto, who studies African art, was a research associate at the Mathers Museum in August 2017 when the museum received a one-of-a-kind donation of an airplane-shaped fantasy coffin. Given her background and research interests, Otto was asked to research and curate an exhibit on this unique Ghanaian tradition. She spent two weeks in Ghana visiting Paa Joe’s workshop, learning about the process and interviewing the people who work there.

“I was really, really lucky to be able to do this research,” Otto said. “I was able to get a sense of the artists, their technical skills and artistry. I got to see them work on a series of ocean-themed coffins as well as an ear-of-corn-shaped coffin that was to be used for a funeral.”

The exhibit features four full-size coffins: the airplane, a pink fish on loan from IU’s Eskenazi Museum of Art, a hen on loan from the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and a Nike shoe also on loan from the Children’s Museum. In addition, visitors can view five mini/collectible coffins: a rooster, lion, eagle, beer bottle and Coca-Cola bottle.

The exhibit also focuses on Otto’s research in Ghana, including how the fantasy coffins are made, the process and the people behind the work. Visitors to the exhibit will also find information on the cultural uses of these coffins both within Ghana and around the world.

“These craftsmen just have an intuitive sense of the material and shape; they don’t draw or sketch anything,” Otto said. “They’re really skilled at this, and it’s an incredible honor for Paa Joe to come here.”

Otto’s exhibit is on display at the Mathers Museum through Dec. 16, and a reception honoring Paa Joe will take place from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 16 at the museum. Otto will also moderate a discussion with Paa Joe following the screening of the film “Paa Joe and the Lion” at IU Cinema. The documentary follows Paa Joe and his son, Jacob, on their journey to re-establish their workshop. Tickets to the 4 p.m. screening Sept. 16 are free and available through IU Cinema.

“This project is an intentional effort to broaden international programming on our campuses and continue strengthening Herron’s connection with the larger university,” Hull said. “For our students, having access to engage and work with professional artists provides insight that can’t be simulated in the classroom and shows them that there are many diverse paths that can be taken in pursuit of their own professional practice.”

Read the original article from IU News

 

Meet first-year student Carly Butz

Carly Butz will continue her family’s teaching tradition during her IUPUI career.

Carly Butz, a first-year Herron School of Art and Design student in the Honors College, looks to be a third-generation teacher while enhancing her art skills. Photo by Tim Brouk, Indiana University

As an art education major within the Herron School of Art and Design, she will follow in the footsteps of grandfather Bruce Butz and mother, Heather Butz, as educators. But first-year student Carly Butz will combine her passion for working with kids with her art prowess.

An impressive portfolio of paintings, drawings and ceramic pieces has her locked into studio classes, starting with two- and three-dimensional design this semester. The talent will help in the classroom, which will be greatly enhanced thanks to Herron’s many resources.

“They have an awesome woodworking area,” said Butz, a Fishers native. “The Think It Make It Lab: I’ve never been able to work with 3D printers at all, so it will be really cool to learn how to use those.”

Butz is a new member of the Honors College after receiving the Bepko Scholarship along with a Herron scholarship and a Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship, which goes to students who will their teaching careers in Indiana.

“I love working with kids,” said Butz, who worked as a camp counselor at Conner Prairie this summer. “I’ve had teachers inspire me, and I’ve seen how much teachers can make a difference in students’ lives.”

Butz sees high school or junior high school as her destination to teach art. After absorbing the love of education from her family and the expertise from Herron faculty, she will be ready to mold the next generation of young artists.

Read the original article from IUPUI News’ Tim Brouk

IU’s Hilltop Garden and Nature Center Celebrates Shakespeare

When Indiana University Hilltop Garden and Nature Center volunteer LindHeath first learned about the Shakespeare gardens being grown across America a few years ago, she sprang into action.

The Shakespeare Garden at Hilltop. Photo by James Brother, IU Communications

With the help of Hilltop Garden coordinator Lea Woodard, IU landscape architect Mia Williams and Monroe County master gardeners Charlotte Griffin and Bob Baird, Heath began a journey to create IU’s own garden full of plants mentioned in Shakespeare’s literature and grown during the era in which he lived and wrote.

The team created a master list of plants from the Shakespeare Gardens at Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Northwestern University. Then they chose which of the plants would adapt and flourish in Bloomington’s climate. When deciding the garden’s layout, they referred to the book “Plant-Lore and Garden-Craft of Shakespeare”by Henry Ellacombe.

They broke ground on the garden in 2014. Since then, Heath has worked constantly to maintain the space with new plants every season.

As she walked around the garden recently, she explained each plant’s significance and its suitability to Indiana’s climate.

Hilltop Garden volunteer Linda Heath. Photo by Eric Rudd, IU Communications

Each plant bears a label indicating the scientific name, size and blooming period, its sun, shade, soil and water requirements, and quotes about the plants from Shakespeare’s literature. Some examples of the wide range of plants being grown are sweet peas and carnations, which were popular in Shakespeare’s time and are mentioned in his work, “The Winter’s Tale.”

“Creating this garden became a wonderful learning experience,” Heath said. “We wanted to make it extremely educational, so we created these labels so that when people come, they have the ability and knowledge to grow these plants in their own garden.”

Heath said her dream of creating the garden wasn’t necessarily from an interest in Shakespeare himself or his literature but stems from a love of the plants that grew during the time period. She gained a deeper knowledge of his literature through growing the garden and believes that others can as well.

Heath enjoys hearing what her visitors, including preschool classes, have to say about the garden.

A radiant pasque flower that’s featured in the garden. Photo by James Brosher, IU Communications

“I once had visitor who was so excited to find out that Hilltop had a Shakespeare Garden,” she said. “He had just visited New York and told me his father went to the Central Park Shakespeare Garden every single day.”

The garden at Hilltop is still expanding today. The Bloomington Garden Club recently awarded a grant to purchase a wooden archway that will be placed at the entrance of the garden. It is surrounded by numerous other visitor-friendly gardens, such as the Shade Garden and the Edible Campus Garden.

“It’s like an oasis in the middle of a busy campus,” Heath said.

Read the original article from IU News written by Grace Stryker

The Veterans’ Storyteller

Thirty-three years after he returned from service in Vietnam, Media School professor emeritus Ron Osgood felt proud to be a veteran for the first time.

Professor emeritus Ron Osgood has directed two documentaries on Vietnam veterans and is producing an oral history website that tells their stories. (Courtesy photo)

It was 2005, and he had returned to his hometown of Chicago for the dedication of a Vietnam veterans memorial.

“There were hundreds of people, many of which were Vietnam veterans wearing a cap that said, ‘Vietnam veteran’ or a shirt that said ‘First Cavalry,’ or something to represent themselves as a veteran,” Osgood said. “There were so many veterans, and I saw how proud they were.”

Simultaneously, decades-old anti-war group Vietnam Veterans Against the War was supporting an Iraq War protest. The juxtaposition of the two events piqued Osgood’s interest.

At the protest, he heard impassioned speeches by two young men, both still on active duty. Afterward, he approached one of them and acknowledged his “courageous” speech. The man told him his father, a Vietnam-era veteran who supported the Iraq War, had all but disowned him for his opposition.

“I left and drove back to Bloomington with this emotion of feeling proud to be a veteran and sad that this young man who would soon be a veteran spoke out with his beliefs, and his father would not accept him,” Osgood said.

That, to Osgood, emphasized the generational aspect of the Vietnam and Iraq wars and inspired his first war documentary, My Vietnam, Your Iraq.

“That became the catalyst for my next 13 years of work with veterans’ projects,” he said.

Osgood is a veteran and a veterans’ storyteller, though the stories he tells are rarely his own. Rather, they’re the experiences and memories of countless other veterans he’s spoken with throughout the production of two documentaries: My Vietnam, Your Iraq and Just Like Me: The Vietnam War — Stories from All Sides, and a sprawling online multimedia project he’s developing called Vietnam War Stories.

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Read the original article from IU News, written by Chris Forrester

Art students commissioned to create downtown mural

KOKOMO, Ind. — On the side of a downtown business, a vision of Kokomo 1,000 years into the future is taking shape, under the hands of talented Indiana University Kokomo artists.

IU Kokomo Students courtesy of IU Kokomo

On summer evenings, the five students in Minda Douglas’s community arts projects class bring their mural to life, showing a futuristic view of the City of Firsts, after an alien invasion. While there are familiar sights, such as the Kokomantis, the Kokomo Municipal Stadium, churches, and other current buildings, there are also brightly-colored aliens scattered throughout the 120-foot-long and 20-foot high painting, designed by student Janet Meeks.

The whimsical design fits the parameters set out by representatives of Bucheri McCarty & Metz for their new downtown office, when they commissioned the project.

“They wanted something fun, something colorful and interactive,” said Douglas, associate professor of fine arts. “Janet did a great job with all of those things. They didn’t want something that already exists in Kokomo. They wanted something different, something new, and she met that criteria well.”

The interactive portion of the mural is a seek-and-find game, with a drawing near Main Street showing aliens seekers can look for along the wall, Meeks said.

The Logansport resident enjoys seeing the design she sketched on paper take shape on the wall. She’s dreamed of being a professional muralist since painting one with a friend at Columbia Middle School while she was a student there.

“This project has given me confidence that I can make a living as an artist,” she said. “There are always a lot of calls for mural artists, and now I have experience creating one as a professional.”

The class is a way to fulfill community requests, while allowing students to earn credit for completing the work, Douglas said.

Each student drew a proposal and presented it to the clients, who selected their favorite. They all agreed to paint whichever design was selected, putting in 120 hours each, and will work beyond the end of the summer session as needed to finish it.

Painting began in the dark, with students projecting the image onto the side of the building, and sketching it with a wax writing tool. Then, they started painting, using high-quality exterior paint meant to last, doing the work in the evening to avoid the July daytime heat.

Fine arts major Alissa Krieg said it was her first time painting a mural, and she looks forward to seeing it completed.

“I feel like with this project, I’ve done something to benefit Kokomo on a local level,” said Krieg, from Michigantown. “I think it’s important for artists to participate in beautifying their community. It’s been a good experience working with actual clients, and seeing how much this type of art costs.”

Douglas called it a valuable real-world experience, going through the submission process, buying supplies, and seeing how much time it takes to complete a large-scale project.

“They’ve learned how they could possibly go ahead and do something like this on their own, and how to market themselves and price that work,” she said.

It’s also a confidence boost, Douglas said.

“This is something they’ve done for their community that will be here for a long time, something they can be proud of,” she said.

Jon Hendricks, manager at Bucheri McCarty & Metz, appreciated being able to partner with IU Kokomo in their vision to contribute to downtown.

“Our firm’s hope is to contribute to the ongoing revitalization,” he said, which is why they opened a second office on North Main Street. “Murals are a great way to improve urban space, and we were really excited they wanted to work with us. The class has been incredibly professional and impressive.”

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Read the original article from IU News

Pirates and spiders inspire Herron furniture designer

One of Katie Hudnall’s two pieces in the current Herron School of Art and Design Biennial Faculty Exhibition had nightmarish inspiration.

“I moved into a place that was infested with brown recluses, which are poisonous spiders as it turns out,” said Hudnall, an assistant professor in furniture design at the Herron School. “In an effort to make friends with the population, I built them a table.”

Katie Hudnall, an assistant professor in furniture design at the Herron School of Art and Design, manipulates her new creation, “The Seeing Machine.” Photo by Liz Kaye, IU Communications

After calling the exterminator, Hudnall sketched out “Spider Leg Lamp,” which stands on eight spindly legs. The thin pieces of reclaimed wood for the lamp were extracted from a mahogany pallet. The base was from an old, destroyed piano.

“Spider Leg Lamp” and many more pieces can be viewed in the faculty exhibition through Aug. 29 in the main gallery of Eskenazi Hall. A public closing reception will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 29.

Hudnall’s drawing talents were cultivated before her first time at a table saw. But once she tried to build the whimsical creations from her sketchbook, she was hooked.

“When I realized that I could literally build the way I was drawing things, everything made sense,” she said. “My drawing practice and my building practice came together for the first time.”

In most of Hudnall’s work — including her second piece in the exhibition “Side Table, Red” — she prefers to show the fasteners, screws, nails and hinges. The articulation adds to the overall texture and mood of the work.

Many of her furniture creations also feature glass “portholes.”

“I like making them in cabinets in particular because there is the public exterior and the private interior,” she said. “I like to give people a surprise, and I like to hint at that surprise.

“It makes you want to know what’s going on inside. It’s like an invitation to go into the piece. So that’s where that comes from. That and a love for pirates.”

Hudnall’s art is in galleries or collections across the nation. The latest, “The Seeing Machine,” was shipped to the Contemporary Craft gallery in Pittsburgh this summer. She has been featured in magazines and conferences, but participating in the Biennial Faculty Exhibition proves to her students that she can practice what she teaches.

“We show the students that we’re working artists,” Hudnall said. “We go home at night and work just as hard as they do to get our work made and to get it shown.”

Read the original article from IUPUI New’s Tim Brouk

Indiana University and Uffizi Gallery unveil website featuring first set of 3D, digitized artifacts

FLORENCE, Italy — As a result of a collaboration between Indiana University and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, it’s now possible to view some of the world’s most admired ancient artifacts and sculptures in 3D without traveling overseas. A newly launched website, www.digitalsculpture-uffizi.org, was unveiled Tuesday  in a ceremony at the historic Uffizi Gallery attended by IU Vice President for Research Fred H. Cate, as well as other IU faculty. The site currently contains over 300 digitized sculptures and fragments from the collection.

A sculpture at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, is scanned as part of the process to digitize the art in 3D. Photo by Indiana University

The project was announced in 2016 at the Uffizi Gallery in a joint presentation by IU President Michael A. McRobbie and Uffizi Gallery Director Eike Schmidt.

“As we accomplish the goals set forth in this unprecedented and enormously ambitious project, the unveiling of this new website marks a first major milestone in a collaboration that will generate unparalleled opportunity for scholarly engagement with materials housed in one of the world’s oldest and very finest galleries,” McRobbie said. “By leveraging IU’s scholarly expertise in ancient art and culture, as well as our extensive technological capabilities, this collection of magnificent, inspiring and irreplaceable classical antiquities can now be viewed and studied in an entirely new and fascinating way by scholars, museum professionals, students and the general public.”

In summer 2018, the IU team digitized 61 statues in the Uffizi and in the Villa Corsini, the complex where the Uffizi stores works of ancient art not on display in the galleries. The team is led by Bernard Frischer, IU professor of informatics, director of the university’s Virtual World Heritage Laboratory and one of the world’s leading virtual archaeologists. A key partner on the project has been the Politecnico di Milano, under the direction of professor Gabriele Guidi.

“I am very pleased by the progress of our work on this five-year project both in terms of quantity and quality,” Frischer said. “We’re about halfway through the project and are on target to finish the job, as foreseen, in 2020.

“We have already digitized more works of classical sculpture than has ever been done in a single museum. Even more impressive than the quantity of my students’ work is its quality. I have shown the models they have made to many museum professionals in the United States and abroad. They have been uniformly impressed, and this has led to invitations to undertake new projects of digitization at the Getty Villa in Malibu, Palazzo Altemps in Rome and the National Archaeological Museum of Naples.”

The digitization project includes training IU informatics and art history students in the techniques of 3D data capture, digital modeling and interactive online publication; creating a limited number of 3D restoration models of works of interest to individual project participants; and publishing the 3D models on several online sites, including the Italian Ministry of Culture’s internal conservation database, the Uffizi’s public website and the Virtual World Heritage Laboratory’s publicly available Digital Sculpture Project.

IU’s part of the digitization project is funded by the Office of the Vice President for Research as part of its New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities seed funding program, which supports faculty members in path-breaking programs of scholarly investigation or creative activity. The project is receiving technological support from University Information Technology Services.

“It’s exciting to see the progress of this ambitious project,” Cate said. “Not only does the website offer first-of-its-kind opportunities to a broad audience, ranging from scholars and museum professionals to students and the general public, but we’re creating a replicable model for other museums and institutions to use in digitizing their own collections.”

The Uffizi Gallery, adjacent to the Piazza della Signoria in central Florence, houses some of the world’s finest masterpieces, including works by Botticelli, Caravaggio, da Vinci, Fra Angelico, Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian. It is among the most visited museums in Italy, with more than 1.5 million visitors each year.

Read the original article from News at IU.

Massive Work of Sentient Art Unveiled

Philip Beesley reaches up to activate sensors in “Amatria.” Photo by Amelia Herrick and Chris Meyer, IU Communications.

A living, protected space of vales, canopies, and membranes composed of hundreds of thousands of microprocessors, prototype cells, and gently swaying Mylar fronds.

This is the language used by Canadian artist and architect Philip Beesley to describe the enormous, seemingly living sculpture, “Amatria,” recently installed under the sunlit glass atrium on the fourth floor of Luddy Hall, the new home to most of the departments and programs in the IU School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering.

View the original article by News at IU‘s Kevin Fryling.

The school officially unveiled the work of “sentient art” before a crowded audience at sunset April 11. The reveal, which featured flashing lights, dramatic music and comments from the artist and school leaders, took place during LuddyFest, a weeklong celebration that culminated in the building’s dedication ceremony April 13.

“Just like the Sample Gates are iconic of IU Bloomington, we expect ‘Amatria’ — with its unique combination of art, computing, architecture and technology — to become a symbol of our school and ‘renaissance engineering’ at IU,” said IU Distinguished Professor Katy Börner, who played the key role in bringing Beesley’s work to campus after meeting him at a conference in 2015.

It’s that vision of engineering — as a field that blends scientific and technical skill with creative thought and a foundation in the arts and humanities — that attracted Beesley to IU. An internationally known architect whose work has been featured at the prestigious Venice Biennale, as well as many other sites across the globe, Beesley is renowned for the use of cutting-edge technologies and materials — sensor arrays, 3-D printed materials and Internet-connected objects — to create enormous works of art that gently move or react as people pass near or through them.

“When people walk into the environment of this kind of sculpture, some reactions are quite anxious,” Beesley said. “But then the work starts to respond back — with small ripples of vibration and movement or gentle rustling sounds and billowing light — and those reactions quickly turn into a kind of curious and wondering conversation. People are invited to simply explore [the art] and discover their own relationships with it.”

During the past few years, Beesley has paid several visits to IU Bloomington to participate in behind-the-scenes preparations related to suspending a high-tech work of art composed of hundreds of thousands of custom parts from the glass atrium atop a four-story building. Most recently, he and colleagues from his Toronto-based studio were on-site to oversee the work of IU students and community volunteers, who played a key role in the sculpture’s creation and installation. IU students helped assemble the sculpture’s many highly intricate physical parts, wire electrical components and code systems that control how the work interacts with its environment.

Among the volunteers was Clara Fridman, a junior in the School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering who participated in several sessions assembling various small pieces of the sculpture. A fan of Beesley’s work, she also took the opportunity to hear him and members of his studio speak at previous several visiting lectures at IU.

“I was thrilled to contribute to this amazing piece for our school,” she said. “Each small part of ‘Amatria’ is so complex that it takes the work of many people. Everyone was very helpful, and there were so many different tasks we could always switch things up. The whole experience was a great exercise in teamwork.”

Katherine Shanahan, a graduate student in the IU School of Education, also volunteered on “Amatria,” assembling the plastic “whiskers” with fluid-filled glass bulbs that hang in the work’s “grotto” area.

“I was excited to volunteer because I’m very interested in the intersection of art and technology in my graduate studies,” she said. “The notion of sentient and responsive architecture that mimics natural, biological and chemical systems is fascinating.”

By playing a role in the sculpture’s creation, Beesley said, IU students gained experience in wireless technologies, robotics, artificial intelligence, sensors and other cutting-edge subjects. His studio has also designed software developer kits so students can create external components that interact with the art or visualize its activity.

Börner added that “Amatria” will convert the fourth floor of Luddy Hall into an “Internet of Things laboratory” as students learn to program devices that wirelessly communicate with the sculpture’s light, motion and sound sensors and the loudspeaker and motor actuators. By working on these projects, students will gain hands-on experience writing code that utilizes data from wireless-enabled devices — a highly applicable skill in today’s internet-connected world.

In addition to creating an artistic focal point for the building, the position of “Amatria” at the top of the central staircase in Luddy Hall is significant since the fourth floor houses the school’s intelligent systems engineering program. A hub of technology and creatively, the floor is also home to a large “maker space” with 3-D printers, circuit board soldering stations and other advanced fabrication tools. The sculpture’s presence in the center of the action will serve as a continual reminder of program’s guiding mission to create the “engineers of tomorrow,” fluent in art, science and technology.

“IU Bloomington is a leader in arts and humanities education, and the IU School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering is inventing, implementing and optimizing the next generation of intelligent systems, such as smart cars, health devices and brain interfaces,” Börner said. “We hope the magnificent architecture of Luddy Hall, in combination with ‘Amatria,’ will inspire arts and humanities scholars from campus and beyond to visit our school, and fully engage with its faculty, staff and students.”

What’s In Your Bag?

Jordan Nelsen. Photo by Tim Brouk, IU Communications.

When Jordan Nelsen was a small child, she picked up a pencil and paper and began to draw, just like any kid.

Read the original article from News at IUPUI‘s Tim Brouk.

A few years later, Nelsen began drawing with a pen-shaped stylus, pen tablet, and laptop computer. Since elementary school, Nelsen has balanced digital drawing with “analog.” Now a senior in the Herron School of Art and Design and the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI, Nelsen still carries a paper sketchbook, but the digital equipement takes up more room in her backpack.

With her left hand on hot keys for erasing and choosing different brushes in programs like ZBrush, Geomagic Design X, and Photoshop, Nelsen’s digital work has brought her high praise at Herron. She has assembled a portfolio of figurative fantasy pieces aimed at the video game industry.

Nelsen’s ability to translate her designs into 3-D pieces was honed through her classes as a Media Arts and Science (MAS) major at the School of Informatics and Computing (SoIC), and through research projects under the guidance of Zebulun Wood, co-director of the MAS undergraduate program.

The anatomical foundation of her art talents has led to life-enhancing opportunities for dental patients. A summer-school informatics and computing class with School of Dentistry maxillofacial prosthodontics resident Dr. Travis Bellicchi led to more than a dozen facial prosthetic designs the last couple of years. A 2017 nose for a cancer patient, which took her only four hours to produce, made regional news.

“Depending on the case, they can take months to complete,” Nelsen explained. “But we scanned him, we designed it, and we had it on the 3-D printer ready to go for him the next day. It happened a lot quicker than everyone thought. It was a good feeling to get that done in an unprecedented amount of time.”

After seeing the widely spread pictures of the patient wearing her prosthetic design, Nelsen had a revelation on what her skills could do.

“It’s one thing to paint something for myself and feel really good about it,” said Nelsen. “It’s an entirely alien feeling to be able to say, ‘I made this thing that somebody is wearing to help improve their way of life.’ There is no feeling that’s like that.”

Set to graduate in May, Nelsen hopes to still pursue both gaming and prosthetics.

“I like to find a nice balance between the two,” Nelsen said, “from helping people and painting for myself as well.”

While she only needs three pieces of equipment to create a new video game character or new dentures to be installed into the zygomatic bone of a School of Dentistry patient, Nelsen’s backpack carries her latest work and her future career — or careers.