Fritts Center Sculpture Perfect for Fall — And For Its Student Artist’s Spring Forward

Jesús Nava stands under his sculpture “Changing of Seasons,” which was installed in the Dr. Lloyd and Jan Hagedorn Main Street common space of the Fritts Clinical Care Center at the School of Dentistry. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

Like the fortune of finding the perfect autumn leaf on the ground, budding careers can be shaped by chance.

Sculpture senior Jesús Nava considered leaving his Herron School of Art and Design program before a phone call regarding his recent piece “Changing of Seasons” reignited his artistic drive.

A year ago, the new James J. Fritts, DDS Clinical Care Center at the Indiana University School of Dentistry was looking for some art for a large common space. John Hoffman, assistant dean of development for the dental school, saw Nava’s work coming down after being on display for months in University Library and inquired about the sculpture, which consists of 11 5-foot-by-5-foot aluminum-sheet maple leaves curled and hung from the ceiling. The piece has been in the Fritts Clinical Center since September.

“Before John Hoffman reached out, I was taking a break from school and planning on not returning,” Nava revealed. “I didn’t think my work was strong enough, and I didn’t think people appreciated it. He got me to come back to school and finish my career here.”

This detail shot shows five of the 11 aluminum-sheet maple leaves created by sculpture senior Jesús Nava. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

“Changing of Seasons” now dangles from the ceiling of the Dr. Lloyd and Jan Hagedorn Main Street common space, the first-floor area that connects the Fritts Clinical Center to the older dentistry building.

Hoffman said most of the artwork in the Fritts Clinical Center was curated and donated by alumnus Dr. R. Stephen Lehman, a Carmel prosthodontist, photographer and respected art collector. Photographs from Lehman’s collection were installed throughout the Fritts Clinical Center. But the Main Street area that has become the spot for receptions, reunions and other School of Dentistry events needed one more piece.

“We wanted art in here, but we didn’t want to clutter the walls. We wanted to keep it open,” Hoffman said. “We wanted to do something in here to warm it up and make it inviting. Frankly, I’ve noticed more students congregating in here since these went up.

“I’d like to drive traffic through here for purposes other than dentistry, just to highlight the building.”

One marvelous maple leaf

Trying to fulfill a sculpture class assignment, Nava only had to look to the sidewalk of his southside Indianapolis neighborhood to find inspiration. A holder of an associate degree in photography, he discovered the “perfect” maple leaf, took a picture and worked on a design using Photoshop while balancing a full-time job and class load.

For the first leaf, Nava projected his digital design to an aluminum sheet. He cut out the shape with a handsaw before creating texture on the metal with sandpaper. He curved parts of the leaf and its stem to mimic the curling of a crunchy autumn leaf.

Lastly, he designed how the leaves would “fall” by hanging them at different angles. The collection of leaves looks different from every angle, and it successfully evokes the calmness of falling leaves.

“I’m trying to bring nature inside the building,” Nava explained. “Everyone can relate to nature in a way.”

Fantastic in Fritts

Hoffman said he had no idea about Nava’s wavering university experience. He simply happened to be passing through University Library last December when “Changing of Seasons” was being taken down.

“When I saw them, I said, ‘I have the perfect place for those,’ ” Hoffman recalled. “I knew the silver scheme would match the tones in here. It’s a great enhancement for the area and the building.”

With the Fritts Clinical Center opening in early 2018, Hoffman quickly saw the need for some three-dimensional art in IUPUI’s newest building. The sculpture looks at home, whether viewed from underneath, from above through a second-floor window or from outside in the building’s courtyard.

The honorarium from the “Changing of Seasons” purchase has gone to Nava’s remaining tuition, and the sculpture will hang in the Fritts Center for many seasons to come.

“I fall in love every time I walk in here,” Nava said with a smile.

Read the original article from IUPUI News’ Tim Brouk

Devastation Documented: ‘Life and Limb’ Shows Civil War Toll

English professor Jane E. Schultz stands at the “Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War” exhibit in the Ruth Lilly Medical Library. She will give her talk, “Surgical Silences: Civil War Surgeons and Narrative Space,” at noon Wednesday, Dec. 5, in the library. Photo by Tim Brouk, Indiana University

“No tongue can tell, no mind conceive, no pen portray the horrible sights I witnessed.”

The quote is from an unnamed wounded soldier in 1862 during the Civil War, and it is among the horrors of the war presented in a visiting exhibit, “Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War,” from the National Library of Medicine. The six panels will be displayed through Dec. 29 on the first floor of the Ruth Lilly Medical Library.

The display effectively reinforces the toll and sheer numbers behind the devastation of the Civil War.

“For certain regiments, out of 1,000 people, only 150 came back,” said Jane E. Schultz, a professor of English at IUPUI with expertise in 19th-century American literature, culture and medicine.

“Life and Limb” features rare drawings and photos from the Civil War. Images courtesy of the National Library of Medicine

An on-set consultant for the PBS series “Mercy Street,” Schultz will give a talk, “Surgical Silences: Civil War Surgeons and Narrative Space,” at noon Wednesday, Dec. 5, in the Lilly Medical Library.

Complementing the “Life and Limb” exhibit, Schultz’s talk will focus on surgical interactions. According to the National Library of Medicine, the number of wounded was about the same as the number of casualties throughout the war — about 500,000.

Localized pieces from the library’s archives are displayed on the third floor of the library in conjunction with “Life and Limb.” An authentic surgical kit featuring amputation knives and handsaws in a small carrying case sits next to the Jan. 9, 1906, issue of the Indiana Medical Journal, which features early Indianapolis physician Dr. William H. Wishard’s account of his Civil War experience.

“What I’m looking at are the ways surgeons wrote about their experiences with patients,” Schultz said. “They change from a clinical register if they’re talking to their colleagues to a far more personal narrative if they’re keeping written documents for their wives to read later. This material is recorded in letters and diaries at the National Library of Medicine, the National Archives and the Library of Congress.”

Dispelling myths

Images courtesy of the National Library of Medicine

While movies and television shows have successfully captured the brutality of the war and the bravery of the soldiers and surgeons, the medical lens is sometimes blurred. Sue London, Lilly Medical Library’s research librarian, cringes for more than one reason at movie scenes in which a Union or Confederate soldier is about to get a limb amputated without real anesthetic, usually held down by a fellow soldier for dramatic effect.

“Not the case,” she countered. “Ninety-five percent of the time, they used chloroform or ether. They were dosed lightly, as the operations were brief. The light anesthesia, not pain, caused the patients to move about while insensible.”

Photography and artists’ renderings of such scenes were often staged, Schultz added. Research has shown that war operations were private matters, giving the patients dignity and allowing the surgeons to concentrate on their harrowing work.

‘Honorable scars’

The panels from the National Library of Medicine display rare photos from the front as well as portraits of survivors, who are usually missing a limb or two. The exhibit shows surgical methods and the advancements in prosthetics and products created for the hundreds of thousands of men who were wounded. One example: A combined fork-and-knife eating utensil was made for those missing an arm.

According to the exhibit, veterans were given $50 toward a prosthetic arm and $75 for a leg from the federal government.

Postwar innovation

Images courtesy of the National Library of Medicine

The years following the Civil War saw the establishment of the nursing profession. Schultz, who taught a Civil War literature class last spring, has studied women’s roles in the war, namely assisting surgeons and caring for the wounded post-surgery. Gangrene and other diseases were responsible for many more deaths than were bullets and cannon fire, she said.

“As people understood the enormity of the problem, more and more women were needed,” Schultz explained. “They would take care of the soldiers at the bedside, feed the soldiers and bring medicine. Occasionally they would help on some kind of operation.”

Many soldiers suffered after the war, but some wounded veterans were able to live full lives after surgery with the help of prosthetics. Their bravery helped them earn jobs, and some even held elected office.

The survivors also spurred the government to establish welfare and war veteran financial assistance. Because the pensioning system was not standardized until after the war, most disabled veterans had to wait for the assistance that could have helped them sooner.

Scholars like Schultz are still researching one of America’s most brutal eras. The estimated 60,000 surgeries that occurred during the Civil War are still bringing interest and visceral reactions 150 years later.

“Studying this aspect of the war really helps us see advancements in medical technologies in the era,” Schultz said. “People might have occasionally seen what amputation saws looked like, but the pictures of the amputees, the crutches, the human factor of this, I think, effectively conveys the traumatic impact of the costs of war.”

Read the original article from IUPUI NewsTim Brouk 

Steel to Robotics: The Evolution of David Bowen’s Sculptures

David Bowen. Courtesy of David Bowen

For this month’s alumni spotlight, we check in with David Bowen (B.F.A. Sculpture ’99), an associate professor of sculpture and physical computing at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

Bowen’s creations engage elements of the natural world with autonomous machines through robotics, open source data, and custom software.

In the nearly two-plus decades since graduating, he has tracked government-owned buoys to visualize the surface of distant oceans; detected the flight patterns of houseflies to operate blimps and compose tweets; and measured the growth of plants for responsive circadian drawings. Today, he’s preparing an installation for the Minnesota Museum of American Art that captures real-time wave videos from locations all over the world.

Here, Bowen talks about the evolution of his creative practice, teaching young artists to incorporate technology in their work, and staying busy in the studio.

HERRON: What kinds of work did you make as a Herron student?

DAVID BOWEN: At that time, I was doing a lot of steel fabrication – welding, grinding, and assembling steel sculptures. Towards the later part of my career at Herron I became interested in kinetic sculpture – making things that have moving parts in simple analog ways with switches that would turn things on or cranks that were interactive. It was really simple kinetic sculpture. I also got a job at a bike shop and that influenced what I was doing with the mechanisms by integrating a lot of repurposed bike parts.

HERRON: What themes or concepts were you exploring in your work?

BOWEN: I think a consistent thing I looked at then and even now is combining natural and mechanical elements within my work, at least as a starting off point. As I got into later work and using robotics, I started to realize that maybe that contrast was not so clear.

David Bowen, “5twigs,” 2017. Courtesy of David Bowen

I’ve always been fascinated by nature. In fact, as a young person growing up in Indianapolis, my grandparents had a pet shop in Irvington and I spent a lot of time there. Being with the animals and the elaborate systems my grandfather would create to keep tropical fish alive was always very fascinating to me. So, this combination of a mechanism designed to maintain a living thing is where a lot of that interest came from.

HERRON: Conversely, how has your work evolved into the realm of data-driven sculptures?

BOWEN: I attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis for my M.F.A. and chose that program to work with a particular kinetic sculptor. His name was Guy Baldwin. He was a great resource for analog kinetics, such as on and off switches and motors.

As a graduate student at this big research university, part of my thesis requirement was to seek out faculty outside of the art department. I was fortunate enough to find a mechanical engineering professor who was interested in working with me and introduced me to programmable microcontrollers, which are basically little computers that you can plug into your laptop or desktop computer and program to input data from various sensors, or output data like movement or light.

That really opened up the possibilities with the kinetic systems I made and gave me the ability to integrate more complexity into the way that these systems would respond to natural inputs. So, at that time I became a coder. I’m not classically trained but I’ve been using coding in my work ever since.

HERRON: In 2009, you had a show in the Herron galleries titled “if/then.” Tell us about that work and how you incorporated housefly movements to activate the installation.

BOWEN: The title was taken from computer language called BASIC, using if-then statements. If the fly does this, then the mechanism does that.

For the installation at Herron, I had a piece titled “swarm.” That piece was commissioned in 2008 by a gallery that’s no longer around called Exit Art in New York. They had an open call and were looking for works about the brain. I sold those curators on the idea of 500 living houseflies inside a 10-inch-diameter acrylic sphere as the brain of an autonomous robot.

So, inside of this sphere were flies and food and water to keep them happy and healthy, as well as some sensors that would detect their movements. Data from the sensors was then mapped or scaled to output, basically drive motors, so if a fly was landing on a sensor or flying past a sensor, that data would then be mapped to a motor. Essentially, the flies were driving the rover around the gallery space.

There was a black-taped ring on the floor and the device had some sensors that would look down and detect the ring and keep it within that space. But occasionally it would bounce off of the ring, kind of like a fly bouncing off the inside of the sphere or on a window.

HERRON: How did you utilize data for “tele-present water?”

BOWEN: With a lot of my recent work, I’m getting data from what’s happening from distant locations and collecting movement from the surface of the water. You can do that relatively simply with an accelerometer – a thing that measures movement of X, Y, Z. – and map that data to various outputs.

I wanted to get some water movement data, so I needed to make a sealed, waterproof container that has batteries, an accelerometer, a remote controller, and maybe cellular output so that it could pipe that data to the piece. It was working through this technical conundrum of making this thing work and making it last, when a friend of mine – a technician at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) where I’m now teaching – mentioned NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and they’ve already done that.

David Bowen, “tele-present water,” 2011. Courtesy of David Bowen

They’ve made bouys that collect all kinds of data and they’ve done a way better job than I could ever do. I checked out NOAA and it turns out that these data are free for anybody to use. At that point, it was just a matter of writing some custom software that would pull data from a particular buoy. It was the simplest solution rather than trying to make my own thing.

HERRON: There are a lot of free data sets out there that you can be incorporated into artwork.

BOWEN: Absolutely. That was back in 2011 and it’s really blown up with the Internet of Things and connectivity. There are even weather apps from which you can grab data on your smartphone. I’m working on a project right now where I can plug in some GPS coordinates and get a satellite photo from the other side of the world of the clouds and the ocean. It’s right there at your fingertips.

HERRON: What challenges have arisen with using data to inform your work and how have you adapted your workflow?

David Bowen, “tele-present wind,” 2018. Creative Commons image courtesy of Ars Electronica on Flickr

BOWEN: Things seem to be ever-changing and there are technical challenges. For example, maybe one of the buoys is down, so you have to have a plan-B in place or switch over to a different buoy.

Faces of IUPUI: James Kendrick

 

James Kendrick organizes the stacks in University Library, where he has been on staff for more than 30 years. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

James Kendrick has been on staff at University Library for more than 30 years, during which he earned his bachelor’s degree from the School of Science and is now pursuing a master’s degree from SPEA.

As the library’s stacks manager, Kendrick has touched thousands of books in its vast collection, which totals more than a million volumes. Over three decades, he has kept the library’s collection orderly and accessible to generations of IUPUI students, faculty and staff.

In addition to his integral role as stacks manager, Kendrick is the library’s United Way ambassador as well as a unit ambassador for the IUPUI Campus Campaign.

Read the original article from IUPUI News

5,000 Hoosier Volunteers Needed for Study to Find New Treatments for Bone and Muscle Disorders

INDIANAPOLIS — Researchers at IUPUI need 5,000 Hoosiers of all ages to take part in a study that will help advance the diagnosis and treatment of bone and muscle disorders, the leading cause of disability in the United States.

It takes about an hour to participate in the study, which includes performing physical tests, providing a blood sample and undergoing bone mineral density scans — known as DEXA scans — to determine body composition and bone health. The physical tests include walking for six minutes and having walking speed, balance and grip strength measured.

Volunteers in the study use a device to measure grip strength. Photos by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

More than 900 Hoosiers have already participated. Researchers hope to recruit the balance over the next four years.

The blood samples are stored within the Indiana Biobank. They are connected to the results of the physical performance tests and scans, as well as the volunteer’s electronic medical record, to create a database. That database will be a treasure trove for researchers seeking to develop new treatments and cures for bone and muscle disorders.

Volunteers between the ages of 5 and 100, regardless of their health condition, are eligible to participate. A broad range of people of various races, ages and levels of wellness are needed, said Dr. Stuart Warden, professor and associate dean for research in the School of Health and Human Sciences at IUPUI.

“We’ve tested people from patients coming out of the intensive care unit to college athletes, and everybody in between,” Warden said.

The testing occurs at the Function, Imaging and Tissue Resource Core at IU Health University Hospital in Indianapolis. The FIT Resource Core is part of the Indiana Center for Musculoskeletal Health, created in 2017 to address a significant need to prevent and treat musculoskeletal disease.

A DEXA scan is part of the information being gathered in the study. Scan results will be given to volunteers in return for their time.

With the database, researchers will be able to quickly access data they need rather than go through the time-consuming process of collecting it themselves, Warden said. “Researchers will be able to use the database to rapidly and efficiently answer questions — like, for example, what sort of markers are in the blood that are related to physical performance or leg power or balance.”

The information will help researchers as they seek to develop compounds and molecules that can target and treat muscle and bone loss stemming from aging or disease, Warden said.

In return for volunteering, study participants are given the results of their DEXA scans. DEXA scans are commonly used to assess the risk of osteoporosis and determine body composition, including lean or muscle mass, bone mass, and fat mass.

People who would like more information or want to participate should email icmhcrc@iupui.edu or call 317-278-3333.

Read the original article from IUPUI News 

Riverside Park Isn’t Overrated. It’s Underestimated.

At 862 acres, this Indianapolis park is bigger than New York City’s Central Park. It’s also home to three golf courses, the Thomas Taggart Memorial, and the nation’s longest soapbox derby track. But in recent years, it became evident – despite Riverside’s numerous amenities – that something was missing: an updated master plan.

The park’s history stretches back to 1898, when Indianapolis Mayor Thomas Taggart arranged for the purchase of some land along the White River. At the time, the neighborhood was considered a “streetcar suburb,” and city limits didn’t extend beyond 38th Street. All the same, the acreage was soon filled with structures typical of the City Beautiful movement.

Known for its monumental grandeur, the City Beautiful philosophy promoted the idea that beautification created moral and civic virtue among urban populations. In other words, aesthetically pleasing places increase one’s quality of life. In Chicago, there was the Columbian Exposition. In Washington, D.C., there was the National Mall. And in Indianapolis? Riverside Park. A place where visitors could attend concerts, play golf, go canoeing, or have a picnic.

Riverside’s growth accelerated, however, once George Kessler stepped into the scene. Kessler – a German-born city planner and landscape architect – incorporated Riverside into his Park and Boulevard Plan. Completed in 1913, Kessler’s master plan for Riverside included large meadows, shade lawns, picturesque wooden benches, tree-lined roads along the park’s perimeter, and lagoons to help accommodate flood waters.

But they weren’t enough, unfortunately. Following the Great Flood of 1913, the City of Indianapolis built levees along White River. While they created protection from future flooding, the levees also had one major downfall.

“They cut people off visually and physically from the river,” says Keri VanVlymen, graduate landscape architect at RATIO Architects. “We kind of turned our backs on the river and didn’t allow the flood plains to do what they are supposed to do.”

The levees affected the cohesiveness of Riverside, and over time, the park’s amenities – from the golf courses to the Cycloplex – took on their own identities. By 2016, Indy Parks and Recreation knew they needed a team to design not only a park, but a public engagement process…

Continue reading the original article  by Dawn Olsen from No Mean City !

Surgical Silences: Civil War Surgeons and Narrative Space

“Surgical Silences: Civil War Surgeons and Narrative Space” considers the linguistic registers and narrative patterns visible in wartime surgeons’ written accounts. By surveying a range of rhetorical situations from the clinical (medical), the bureaucratic (military), and the intimate (personal), we can see how and why surgeons shifted registers in the face of medial exigency. Though disease and battle injuries demanded endurance and obedience to surgical routine, writing about traumatic labor often amounted to meaningful silences.
— Presented by Dr. Jane E. Schultz IUPUI Professor of English

Co-sponsored by the John Shaw Billings History of Medicine Society, the IUSM History of Medicine Student Interest Group and the Ruth Lilly Medical Library

Wednesday, December5, 2018 12:00—1:00 PM
Ruth Lilly Medical Library

South African Singer-Songwriter to Perform in Columbus

Berita is an international award-winning “Afro soul” singer-songwriter. She is headlining the IUPUC-sponsored event Arts for AIDS on Tuesday, Dec. 4, in Columbus. Image courtesy of Berita

Sponsored by IUPUC, the annual Arts for Aids “Songs of Hope” event will raise awareness and funds for the AIDS crises abroad. The 2018 event is set for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, at Yes Cinema in Columbus.

The concert will be headlined by Berita, a South African-based “Afro soul” singer-songwriter. The young performer has earned several national and international awards, including the Zimbabwe Achievers Award for Best Music Artist. Berita’s discography includes a 2017 self-titled effort.

Arts for AIDS is a Columbus-based initiative formed by combining the efforts of five organizations representing projects in Haiti, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Curtis Memorial Oratorical Contest

The IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI invites you to a special event to celebrate the scholarship of our students and further the notion that the building of a community requires the open and free exchange of ideas.

This contest provides IUPUI undergraduate students an opportunity to showcase their commitment to peaceful resolution of conflict through extemporaneous oration.

The theme of the of the event is Peaceful Conflict Resolution and Communication.

Did you ever wonder why there is so much conflict in society?  Or, how you could contribute to the solutions?

The two TLC’s (Themed Learning Communities) taking part in tonight’s event explore issues of culture, race, and ethnicity patterns of human interaction, through the disciplines of sociology, religious studies, and human communication via public speaking and inter-group dialogue.

Come join us!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Campus Center – IUPUI
420 University Blvd, CE 002
Indianapolis, IN 46202
5:30pm – Reception
6:00pm – Event Begins

The Curtis Memorial Oratorical Contest was founded by Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies, Richard Curtis, and his wife, Beth, to honor the memory of his brothers, Robert and Dana, both of whom were killed at war.