This house is a very fine art project

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Professor Laura Holzman and the 2017 House Life Project house

For six months, an abandoned, boarded-up house, one of several on North Tacoma Avenue in the Near Eastside neighborhood, was transformed into a hub for an array of art forms by Herron School of Art and Design faculty and graduate students, along with Indianapolis residents and artists. The one-story structure was home to the 2017 House Life Project.

From May to October, the house hosted drawing, painting, and creative writing sessions; meals; workshops; and weekly porch parties with the goal of “public creation and discovery, resulting in tangible outputs such as dialogical artworks and interactive art installations.” Much artistic exploration has gone on inside and in the yard of the old house. While most neighboring houses are long abandoned, the 2017 House Life Project brought in more than 100 kids, veteran artists, and everyone in between.

“It’s really a neighborhood-driven, community-oriented project,” said Laura Holzman, an IUPUI assistant professor of art history and museum studies, curator for House Life Project, and public scholar of curatorial practices and visual art. “We had at least 120 people come to the (Aug. 26) open house. On a week-to-week basis, we usually had 15, 20 people here including kids with their families and neighbors who show up and participate.”

The House Life Project concept was created in 2015 by Meredith Brickell, a local artist who lives on the Near Eastside.

There is no running water or electricity in the house, but when it was open, it brimmed with life. One of the first transformations made to the former home was via the boarded-up windows. Project volunteers attached hinges and locks to the window frames. The boards that were once meant to keep things out became small doors of light all season long. Of course, the boards are colorfully painted by local artists Zavier Garth, Bernny Owens, and Christopher Williams. Garth and Williams became involved with House Life Project in 2016, when they lived next to a previous project site. The many portals of natural light activate fresh creations by artists like Andrea Jandernoa, a Herron graduate student with an emphasis on integrated studio work and social practice.

Jandernoa was one of the first artists to respond to a spring callout to help with House Life Project. The community-minded initiative fit perfectly with her passion of using art to build and help communities. “I see myself almost as a public servant,” said Jandernoa, who previously taught art at Emma Donnan Middle School. “To me, as a social projects artist, it’s really important to situate yourself within a community where you are creating ‘with’ and ‘for’ and ‘because of.'”

Now, House Life Project has moved out of 605 N. Tacoma Ave. The tables, chairs, art supplies, magazines and other creations made within the old walls are packed up. The painted boards and siding remain, and so does the legacy of the work Holzman, Jandernoa, and the rest of the project’s team and neighbors put in for the name of community fellowship and creativity.

“To an outsider, this street might look abandoned,” Holzman said. “But it’s really about saying ‘There is community that exists. There is creativity that exists here.'”

Even now that the front door is padlocked, the work isn’t finished. Print materials are planned to document and discuss what went on for six months at 605 N. Tacoma Ave.  “We want to share the work our writers have been doing and to share more broadly the art we’ve created,” Holzman said. “We’re based in a house, but we’re nomadic in nature.”

IUPUI hosts sci-fi master Ray Bradbury artifacts, awards in Cavanaugh Hall

The original article can be found here.

Bradbury Center Director Jon Eller stands in recreation of Bradbury’s office

In a lower level of Cavanaugh Hall, one of the most prolific and renowned 20th-century American science fiction writers’ memory – and his many, many works – are preserved in impressive and sometimes spooky detail.

The Center for Ray Bradbury Studies is packed with the author’s publications, awards, personal artifacts and many Halloween-worthy souvenirs, like a grotesque and demonic mask that is displayed on one of the author’s many bookcases. The mask was used in conceptual work for the character Moundshroud for the 1993 Hanna-Barbera animated version of “The Halloween Tree.”

The mask is one of thousands of artifacts Professor Jonathan Eller, Director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies and Chancellor’s Professor of English, and the School of Liberal Arts have stored and displayed in the center, which also curates a re-creation of Bradbury’s basement office that he maintained for decades in his Los Angeles home while creating masterworks like “Fahrenheit 451,” “Something Wicked This Way Comes” and “The Illustrated Man.”

The Center opened in Cavanaugh a decade ago and has since become an October hub for annual Bradbury commemorations. IUPUI pays tribute to Bradbury every October with exhibits on campus. Last month, many of the center’s space-related artifacts were on display in the new “Infinite Voyages: Ray Bradbury and the Space Age” exhibit in the Campus Center’s Cultural Arts Gallery.

From the moon to Mars, Bradbury was enthusiastic for space exploration, according to Eller. The Bradbury expert said 1930s sci-fi pulp magazines like Amazing Stories, Wonder Stories, and Astounding had the future author often looking to the skies in wonderment. By the 1940s, his stories began to appear in the same magazines, and in many others as well. Many of Bradbury’s personal copies of these magazines are on display in the center.

In the 1960s, Bradbury helped keep his fans interested in NASA’s developments. “Ray Bradbury loved the Apollo missions and all of the manned space missions that followed,” said Eller, noting Bradbury’s collection of awards and mementos given to him by NASA. “He also got behind the space shuttle program; he worked to promote the program and knew a number of the key players and crews.”

NASA paid tribute to Bradbury shortly after the Curiosity rover landed on Mars in August 2012. The rover, which is still collecting data from the Martian surface, touched down at Gale Crater, just south of Mars’ equator. The site was renamed Bradbury Landing on Aug. 22 to coincide with what would have been the author’s 92nd birthday. Bradbury had died just months before, on June 5, but had lived long enough to see the launch of this landmark achievement in Martian exploration.

Bradbury’s classic 1950 novelized collection of short stories, “The Martian Chronicles,” will forever link the author to the Red Planet, and now the planet is linked to the legendary writer. Some of the “Martian” tales are eerily prophetic and carry much impact, according to Eller. “Curiosity has told us that Mars is a little bit like what Ray Bradbury always thought it would be,” he explained. “We have planetary dynamics in evidence. We have evidence of earlier times of water. All of these things that Ray Bradbury hoped for and dreamed of might have been there at one time.”

In 2016, Eller represented the Bradbury family at the Hugo Awards ceremony. It was a momentous occasion for Eller, as Bradbury was given posthumous awards for his work that predated the Hugos, which honor the top works in science fiction and fantasy.

Eller earned the distinction to accept the award as he and Bradbury struck up a decades-spanning friendship after meeting when Eller was an English professor at his alma mater, the United States Air Force Academy, in the late 1980s. Bradbury was a guest speaker at a weeklong science fiction convention, and then-Major Eller was his host. Over time, Eller learned Bradbury’s “stories behind the stories,” eventually publishing three books on the author.

“Pretty much for the last 15 years of his life, I interviewed Bradbury in depth,” Eller said. “He was a great inspiration for people who loved to write, loved to read and loved to put their finger on the pulse of the human heart.”

While the Martian stories ring with some prescience, “Fahrenheit 451” continues to inspire on Earth’s soil. Proponents for freedom of speech and anti-censorship still look to the classic dystopian tome. Through science fiction and terror tales, Bradbury’s words helped teach millions of eyes to read and millions of brains to think.

“He was a great defender of the freedom of imagination,” Eller said. “He was always a protector of libraries and the precious gift of literacy.”

IAHI Conference yields “An Anthropocene Primer”

The IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute and the Rivers of the Anthropocene project is proud to announce the official launch of An Anthropocene Primer, Version 1.0 on October 23, 2017. An Anthropocene Primer is an innovative open access, open peer review publication that guides learners through the complex concepts and debates related to the Anthropocene, including climate change, pollution, and environmental justice.

This born-digital publication (www.anthropoceneprimer.org) is a critical and timely resource for learners across multiple fields from academia, to industry, to philanthropy to learn about issues and topics relating to the Anthropocene, a framework for understanding environmental change that highlights human impact on earth systems.

An Anthropocene Primer was created to provide learners in museums, schools, non-profits, and formal research institutions with an entry point into some of the big concepts and debates that dominate discussions about the Anthropocene. The primer is not intended to be comprehensive (this is, after all, An Anthropocene Primer, not The Anthropocene Primer), nor is it intended to be didactic. The primer is a framework to guide individual and collaborative learning from the beginner to advanced levels.

Version 1.0 of An Anthropocene Primer is available for open peer review from October 23, 2017 through February 1, 2018. Open peer review allows users to contribute to and engage with fellow readers and the authors as the editors develop it for a final print and open access ebook version. A video tutorial on how to participate in open peer review is available at www.anthropoceneprimer.org/index.php/videotutorials/.

Edited by Jason M. Kelly and Fiona P. McDonald, An Anthropocene Primer emerged from the “Anthropology of the Anthropocene” workshop (http://www.anthropologyoftheanthropocene.org) hosted by the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute in May 2017. The participants from this workshop make up list of authors: Jason M. Kelly (IUPUI, USA), Fiona P. McDonald (IUPUI, USA), Alejandro Camargo (University of Montreal, Canada), Amelia Moore (University of Rhode Island, USA), Mark Kesling (The daVinci Pursuit, USA), Ananya Ghoshal (Forum on Contemporary Theory, India), George Marcus (University of California, Irvine, USA), Paul Stoller (West Chester University, USA), Dominic Boyer (Rice University, USA), Serenella Iovino (University of Turin, Italy), Rebecca Ballestra (Artist, Monaco/Italy), Eduardo S. Brondizio (IU, Bloomington), Jim Enote (A:shiwiw A:wan Museum and Heritage Center, Zuni, USA), Ignatius Gutsa (University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe), Cymene Howe (Rice University, USA), Sue Jackson (Griffith University, Australia), Phil Scarpino (IUPUI, USA). This workshop was funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the IU New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities grant program.

Poet, essayist, and critic Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib will speak at IUPUI

The IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute and the IUPUI English Department are pleased to present the Rufus and Louise Reiberg Reading Series featuring poet and essayist Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib. Willis-Abdurraqib will read from his collected works at the Basile Auditorium on November 16th at 7:30pm. Free tickets are available at willis-abdurraqib.eventbrite.com.

Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. His poetry has been published in Muzzle, Vinyl, PEN American, and various other journals. His essays and music criticism have been published in The FADER, Pitchfork, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. His first full length collection, The Crown Ain’t Worth Much, released in June 2016 from Button Poetry, was named a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book prize. His limited edition chapbook, Vintage Sadness, was released in summer 2017. His first collection of essays, They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us, will be released this winter. He is a Callaloo Creative Writing Fellow, an interviewer at Union Station Magazine, and a poetry editor at Muzzle Magazine. He is also a member of the poetry collective Echo Hotel with poet/essayist Eve Ewing.

Additionally, he is a columnist at MTV News, where he writes about music and fights to get Room Raiders back on the air. He thinks poems can change the world, but really wants to talk to you about music, sports, and sneakers.

Support for the Reiberg Reading Series is provided by the Reiberg family, the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, the IUPUI University Library, the IUPUI Office of Academic Affairs, and the IUPUI Division of Undergraduate Education.

Professor Barbara Mills will speak at the IAHI next month

As part of the 2017 Midwest Archaeological Conference, Barbara Mills invites you to her lecture, “Current Debates in the Archaeology of the Chaco World.” The talk will be held at the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute on October 19th at 7pm. Mills is the Professor of Anthropology and American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona and Curator of Archaeology at the Arizona State Museum.

Chaco Canyon’s dense concentration of monumental architecture, along with the millions of objects that have been excavated, pose challenges to traditional models of Southwestern societies. The ways in which archaeologists interpret regional systems of interaction like Chaco’s has led to a number of debates. Some of these are about Chaco’s origins, while others focus on its most extensive “Classic” period, and still others consider Chaco’s reorganization and fragmentation. The questions asked are as hotly debated as their answers. This presentation will outline several important debates about inequality, historical memory, economy, migration, and religious ritual that are guiding exciting new research on Chaco.

This event is sponsored by the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute and The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in collaboration with the 2017 Midwest Archaeological Conference.

Free tickets are available at barbara-mills.eventbrite.com.

About the Speaker
Professor Mills is an anthropological archaeologist with broad interests in archaeological method and theory, especially (but not exclusively) as applied to the North American Southwest. Her work has focused on ceramic analysis and, more broadly, material culture as a tool to understand social relations in the past. She is interested in the way depositional practice can be used to understand memory, materiality, and relational logics. Her research on ceramic technology, craft specialization, and accumulations research has led to a series of papers and edited volumes on social inequality, identity, feasting, and migration.

Mills’s interests were fostered by more than a decade of work in the Silver Creek area of east-central Arizona, including a multi-year collaborative project with the White Mountain Apache Tribe. She also has field and research experience in a number of other areas of the Southwest, including Zuni, Chaco, Mimbres, Grasshopper, and most recently the Greater Hohokam area. Outside the U.S. she has research experience in Guatemala (Postclassic Maya), Kazakhstan (Bronze Age), and Turkey (Neolithic). She is currently a lead researcher on the Southwest Social Networks Project, which brings together data and a talented group of scholars to apply social network analysis (SNA) to archaeological data from the Southwest.

The Reiberg Reading Series will feature poet Maggie Smith this October

The IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute and the IUPUI English Department are pleased to present the Rufus & Louise Reiberg Reading Series featuring poet Maggie Smith. Smith will read from her selected works in the IUPUI Lilly Auditorium on October 11th at 7:30pm, with a Q&A session and book signing to follow.

Smith is the author of three books of poetry: Good Bones, which is making its debut on shelves on October first; The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison, winner of the Dorset Prize and the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards Gold Medal in Poetry; and Lamp of the Body, winner of the Benjamin Saltman Award. The poem “Good Bones,” after which her new book is titled, went viral internationally. It was called the “Official Poem of 2016” by the BBC/Public Radio International and has been translated into nearly a dozen languages. Advance praise for Good Bones (the book) says it is written “with such a clean, aching clarity of lyricism that I discover now frequently exhausted human touchstones freshly, with real surprise.”

Support for the Reiberg Reading Series is provided by the Reiberg family, the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute, the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, the IUPUI University Library, the IUPUI Office of Academic Affairs, and the IUPUI Division of Undergraduate Education.

Tickets are available through Eventbrite.

IUPUI Professor Andrea Jain named editor of Journal of the American Academy of Religion

The original press release is available here.

Professor Andrea Jain

Andrea Jain, an associate professor of religious studies in the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, has been appointed editor of the prestigious Journal of the American Academy of Religion. With around 9,000 members, the American Academy of Religion is the largest organization of religious studies scholars in the world, and its quarterly journal is the most prestigious in the field.

Jain is a leading scholar of South Asian religions and yoga studies. Her 2014 book, “Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture,” was published by Oxford University Press and is a top seller in the field of comparative religions. She has co-chaired the Yoga in Theory and Practice unit of the American Academy of Religion, and her work is featured regularly in newspapers, magazines, and the scholarly blog Religion Dispatches. Her areas of interest include contemporary spirituality and the history of modern yoga; the yoga industry’s relationship to capitalism and consumer culture; the intersections of gender, sexuality, and yoga; religion and politics in contemporary society; and methods and theories in the study of religion.

“I am honored to serve as editor of such an important journal and look forward to helping share the work of colleagues around the world while fostering important conversations,” Jain said. “I am also grateful to work with so many talented scholars at IUPUI, all of whom have made our department a valuable asset to the campus and to the field of religious studies.”

The IUPUI religious studies department will serve as the journal’s editorial office, which is also noteworthy for IUPUI, the School of Liberal Arts, and the department. The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research at IUPUI has allowed release time for Jain’s work as editor, while the Office of the Vice President for Research at Indiana University is contributing funding for two IU Bloomington graduate students to serve as editorial assistants.

“These collaborative investments are foundational to the first-rate humanities scholarship recognized by professor Jain’s selection as editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion,” said Thomas J. Davis, dean of the School of Liberal Arts. “The journal will continue to be a key publication in religious studies, and we’re delighted that IUPUI will have such a significant role.”

A celebration of Jain’s appointment, in conjunction with Indiana Humanities, will take place from 4 to 5pm on October 10th in Room 409 of the IUPUI Campus Center. IUPUI Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Kathy Johnson will speak along with Davis, while Jain will speak about her vision for the journal and for humanities research at IUPUI.

TEDxIndianapolis: Scale It Up

The IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute is proud to be one of the presenting sponsors of this year’s TEDxIndianapolis. On April 25, 18 incredible speakers from around the world will share big ideas from the stage of the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts at Butler University. Get your tickets today.

This year’s theme — Scale It Up — is all about how ideas, efforts, approaches, and programs may start small but shift and expand, replicate, multiply, innovate, and drive positive change. Topics will range from education reform to brain hacking to Latin American cinema. Don’t miss it!

As you may have experienced in one of our first four conferences here, TEDxIndianapolis is a day of cross-pollination featuring local and national speakers and performers; passionate, unique, and captivating people sharing ideas from the fields of technology, business, education, art and design, and more.

The Schrott Center is a one-of-a-kind community-focused facility. With 454 seats, the venue is designed to optimize acoustics and sightlines, and is equally suited for music, dance, and theatre. And attendees will enjoy experiencing the Butler campus during lunch.

Visit TEDxIndianapolis.com for more. And get your tickets quick!

BRUNSWICK, BACK FOR SECONDS, CHOOSES GRANT KEENEY’S DESIGNS AS TOP PICKS FOR TABLE TENNIS PROJECT

Grant Keeney, May graduate (B.F.A. in Furniture Design), went for playability and style in herron_posterhis designs when Brunswick Billiards asked for a new approach to table tennis. The purveyor of home game room products came back to Herron on the heels of its successful 2014 venture through the Basile Center for Art, Design and Public Life to create version six of the iconic Gold Crown billiards table. The winning design, by Colin Tury (M.F.A. in Furniture Design, ’14), is slated for production in 2017.

Keeney’s two concepts wowed Brunswick with their angles, clean lines and Mid-Century forms. “The legs fold up and the table folds in half, but you won’t want to put it away,” Keeney said, as he presented his prototype of the extruded aluminum “CL-1” table with soft-close accessory drawers for stowing the net, paddles and balls. His second design, the “Cornerstone,” features 360 degree pivoting casters built into the legs, and a low-slung, arched base. “There’s nothing out there like it close to this price point,” he said. “These designs target Millennials and everyone else.”

In addition to Herron faculty members, Brunswick representatives Brent Hutton (B.A. ’79 Bloomington), LifeFitness vice president of global consumer sales; John Kazik, vice president of business development; and Greg Tennis, manufacturing and sourcing engineer, were on hand for the April presentations from the six students who took on the challenge. Eighteen students had attended a March call for proposals where Hutton described the project in detail and called on them to bring their creativity to bear.

Brunswick also chose designs by seniors Ben Sallee and Vance Wilson as second and third place winners. The finalists earned $1,500, $1,000 and $500 awards, respectively, and each student who presented earned a stipend for their materials and time.

Cory Robinson, chair of the Department of Fine Arts at Herron, said, “For fine art and design students this kind of project is gold. Real professional practice that comes from working with an established company like Brunswick is not the same as a simulation.”

For this project, the school again brought in special expertise from Glen Fuller, who ran a customized class for the students who created designs for Brunswick. “Glen brings work experience as a professional industrial designer. He’s coming from a place of authority and put the students through their paces conducting in-depth market research on trends and competition in the leisure sports industry,” Robinson said.

Robinson encourages businesses that want to partner with Herron to begin the conversation well in advance. “The ideal situation is for us to accept a new project in the spring semester, so that we can use the summer to work on it as well, and then complete the assignment and present in the fall,” he said. “The businesses that partner with us seem very pleased and energized by the experience. They are learning something new, too.”