The roads to graduation for 7,122 students at the May 11 IUPUI commencement differ tremendously. Some left home half-a-planet away to study here; many others earned their degrees without having to leave beautiful and bustling Indianapolis.
A senior about to graduate, Shelby Lahne was born and raised in Pleasant View, Indiana, and went to high school in Fairland, population 315. She commuted 30 to 40 minutes to classes daily. While home is only a county away, her experience is another world from the downtown Indianapolis campus, which is where she earned a degree in sculpture from the Herron School of Art and Design. Pleasant View consists of an offramp from I-74 east, a gas station and a handful of roads with quaint houses on large plots of land.
While most of her classmates weren’t raised in small-town Indiana, it has fueled her art in terms of direction and materials.
“I think being from a small town but going to school in the big city gives me a different perspective on things,” said Lahne, whose high school graduating class was about 100 students.
Thousands of IUPUI students, staff and faculty have seen — and walked under — a recent commission of Lahne’s: “Nests” has hung in the second-floor lobby of University Library since the fall, and it will continue to show for another year. The four large constructions sway quietly by thick rope. That rope is also wrapped around each nest made of burlap over a steel, egg-shaped understructure.
“Over the steel rods, there is a layer of chicken wire, and over that is a layer of carpet padding,” Lahne revealed. “I got the idea from looking at weaver bird nests. Instead of cup-shaped nests, they create dome-shaped nests with just one little hole in them. They make them in large groups for protection purposes.
“I thought that was very interesting because it’s like the library itself — everyone comes here. We may all be doing our own thing, but we’re still in here together.”
Following “Nests,” Lahne continued with the suspension theme in her work. Ropes, pulleys and the defiance of gravity were utilized in most pieces.
“I’ve used a lot of concrete and cinder blocks,” Lahne said. “They all have to do with weight, tension and balance.
“A lot of my ideas come from different building materials, like metal, concrete and rope. Out in the country, you just find these things in someone’s yard or their barn. They are typically thought of as junk or scrap, but the materials seem to have a story to them.”
Before her years at IUPUI, Lahne earned an associate degree in art therapy from Vincennes University. She expected to pursue the field at IUPUI, but she found a better fit in Herron’s sculpture program, which is headquartered in the Eskenazi Fine Arts Center. Lahne’s recent pieces have shown well in Herron galleries and classrooms, and the young artist will pursue a graduate degree in sculpture.
As she looks for her next stop along her academic journey, Lahne must decide what to do with her two beloved pets. An option would be finding a farm for Peanut and Crackerjack while she continues her studies.
Like it has for countless young Hoosiers, 4-H Club became a big part of Lahne’s high school years when a friend roped her into showing goats for the Shelby County Fair. Not getting attached to your show animals is a rite of passage for many 4-H kids. Lahne was, however, able to rescue a pair of goats from slaughter. First was Peanut. He was kept at her grandfather’s house just outside of the town limits. Since a solitary goat is an unhappy one, Crackerjack, a pygmy mix, was welcomed into the herd. The smaller, younger goat was another 4-H animal that is now enjoying a retirement full of fresh alfalfa hay, more than an acre of lawn with delicious grass and jelly beans for treats.
Lahne constructed a pen and a small barn for her pets. It’s true that the goats are eating machines, but they don’t eat cans or other items meant for the recycling bins. But they will decimate any kind of yard waste with haste.
“They’re similar to a dog,” Lahne said of her goats. “They always follow me around. If I have them out, they’re always where I am, and whatever I’m trying to do, they’re always in the way. Peanut wants to be petted all the time.”
Lahne has shown numerous pictures and videos of Peanut, a Boer breed now weighing in at 200 pounds, and Crackerjack, who is now almost 100 pounds, to her classmates.
“Everyone at the sculpture building wants me to bring them in,” said Lahne, with a laugh. “That would be impossible to do. If you try to pet Crackerjack, he’ll think you’re playing and try to headbutt you.”
Small-town living inspired Herron sculpture graduate Shelby Lahne to achieve commissions, goats and commencement. Video by Tim Brouk, Indiana University
The Religion, Spirituality & the Arts Seminar (RSA), a project of the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute, invited 12 Indiana artists to explore and expound upon the story of Lot’s Wife during the eighth annual Religion, Spirituality and the Arts Seminar and the accompanying art exhibition. Artists include Stan Blevins, Peggy Breidenbach, Alys Caviness-Gober, Marjie Giffin, A. Paul Johnson, Kasey May, Michael McAuley, William Peacock, Katherine
Simmons, Jennifer Strange, Teresa Vazquez, and Kevin Wilson.
In this exhibition, the artists consider questions that delve far beyond the story Lot’s Wife who, as told in Genesis 19, turns to see the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and becomes a pillar of salt. Did she act in disobedience or out of compassion? What is our responsibility to bear witness? Is looking back redemptive or paralyzing? Might we see contemporary events (mass tragedies, refugees) in the light of this text? Exploring the story through
religion, art, poetry, and music, this exhibition will ask questions fundamental to the human experience
Directed by Rabbi Sandy Sasso, the RSA Seminar explores the varieties of religious experience and understanding. Through seminars led by an interdisciplinary faculty, artists gain the knowledge and inspiration to develop new artistic works. Artists share their creations through exhibitions and presentations to members of the Central Indiana community, including religious organizations, schools, libraries, and community groups.
On March 7, 2019, the first public exhibition of the 2018-19 RSA Seminar’s work will open featuring new works of painting, sculpture, music, and poetry developed by the cohort. A reception begins at 5:30 p.m. with performances beginning at 6:30 p.m. The exhibition will remain on display at the Jewish Community Center of Indianapolis through April 30.
This opening event and exhibition is free and open to the public at the Jewish Community Center of Indianapolis (6701 Hoover Road, Indianapolis, IN 46260). Refreshments will also be served at the March 7 reception.
Thursday, March 7, 2019
Reception begins at 5:30 PM; performance begins at 6:30 PM
We’ll see you there!
The 2018-19 Religion, Spirituality & the Arts Seminar programming is made possible by a generous grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc. and is offered in partnership with Christian Theological Seminary and the Jewish Community
Center of Indianapolis. Additional information about the seminar is available at
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
I had another installation called “tele-present wind” that was in two spaces at the same time. In this case, I made a sensor that goes outside and collects wind data. As a plant’s stalk was blown around by the wind, data from the accelerometer was sent in real-time to the gallery. Every once in a while, there would be a power outage, a storm, or the sensor was down. To a certain extent, the show must go on, so you’ve got to have some backup data in place.
So, if for some reason the data source gets cut, it reverts to recorded data. I have a huge data sets where I recorded that sensor for months so it could just play that back. I’d rather not resort to that, but having something happen in the gallery space like it’s supposed to is good.
HERRON: What percentage of your studio time is spent programming versus creating the sculptures?
BOWEN: I’d say a third of the time in my studio is making, so even with digital fabrication you’re still having to do the making. It’s still relevant. A third of the time is coding, typing the code to make the piece do what you want to do. Then, the other third of the time is what I call debugging or testing.
I’ve got a commission I’m working on for the Minnesota Museum of American Art that I’m running right now. It’s a two-part piece and I’m running half of it constantly in my studio just to see what’s going to break and then fix it to get ahead of any issues. Luckily, it seems to be working pretty well. But there’s nothing worse than going to an exhibition of kinetic, interactive, or data-driven work that’s supposed to do something and it’s not doing anything because it’s broken. I try to avoid that as much as I can. I’m not an engineer, though. I have a little bit of engineering training from graduate school, but a DIY spirit comes through in my work.
HERRON: Are there any happy accidents with your work?
BOWEN: I think it’s impossible to make things perfect, especially when you’re pulling from outside data sources. You really never know what’s going to happen. I have this piece, “fly revolver,” that’s in the Beijing Media Art Biennale right now. It’s a gun that’s aimed and fired by flies. The flies are in control.
It’s probably the most political thing I’ve ever done. I did it pretty soon after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The first time it was exhibited was in Chicago, and Illinois was the last state in the U.S. to pass the concealed-carry law, where you can carry a gun wherever you want. I was invited to participate in an exhibition related to that law passing. Of course, for the exhibition it had to be a very convincing replica revolver. The flies fired that thing so many times that the gun broke, which I thought was pretty great.
HERRON: You’ve exhibited widely – nationally and internationally – in exhibitions related to the intersection of art, science, and technology. From an artist’s perspective, how do you perceive the connection between these seemingly disparate fields?
BOWEN: I don’t see art and science as super disparate, especially in terms of the work that I do. I like to read books by Oliver Sachs, Steven Johnson, Howard Ringold, and Brian Green that are inspirational – thinking about the bigger picture, the universe, how we interact with the world and artificial intelligence, and how it’s changing us as a species. I’m fascinated by science. But I’m not trying to solve any scientific problems or anything like that. As an artist, I tend to ask questions rather than answer them.
HERRON: What key lessons did you learn at Herron?
BOWEN: The biggest thing I picked up at Herron is a strong work ethic and dedication to studio practice. You’ve got to put the time in. That was something that was very much instilled in me early on. We were also encouraged to take courses outside of our field. I took a physics course, “Physics for Educators,” and I didn’t see it so much at the time but I think it influenced my studio practice down the way.
I was also hired by my professor, Eric Nordgulen. He was my mentor at Herron and really gave me a lot. That was an amazing opportunity and I was very fortunate to have that experience because it showed me the nuts and bolts of installing a piece, pouring concrete footing, packaging artwork for shipping, and basically, everything about running a studio. That was incredible and something you don’t necessarily get in the classroom.
HERRON: As an educator, how do you approach teaching students in today’s rapidly changing creative and technical environments?
BOWEN: I’m implementing a course, “Robotics and Physical Computing,” here at UMD. It’s like a “Sculpture II” class where students start to integrate programmable microcontrollers. It gives them the ability to start bringing in data sources and trying to make more complex time-based systems.
The beauty with all of this microcontroller stuff that I do is that I tend to stick with open-source software. I use Processing, which has an amazing community of people who are doing similar things. I use Python occasionally, and the microcontrollers I’m using are Arduinos. There are other things that people use like Max/MSP, which are great but they cost $600. I think it’s better for students to use open-source software because it’s free. I use it myself for a lot of my studio practice.
Last year, I did an artist residency in San Francisco with Autodesk. They have an amazing makerspace on a pier right off of the Embarcadero, giving artists access to this incredible equipment and incredibly smart people. After I got back from Autodesk, I felt confident enough in my abilities to teach digital fabrication in my curriculum at UMD. We got a CMT machine last year and I started to integrate that, too.
HERRON: What do you have coming up this fall?
BOWEN: As I mentioned, I have a new piece debuting at the Minnesota Museum of American Art titled “wave line,” comprising low-resolution LED screens and video pulled from the website Surfline. It’s for surfers wondering what’s happening in Hawaii or how the waves are in Ocean Beach.
There are really great compositions and beautiful views of the waves, so I wrote custom software that’s scraping the video and outputting it to LED panels. It’s a low-res view of waves from very distant locations placed in front of the museum’s window gallery.
HERRON: What advice do you repeatedly tell your students that may also benefit Herron students?
BOWEN: At Herron, we were always encouraged to submit materials to open calls for exhibitions and keep the work out there. If there’s a lull in what you’re doing, [apply to] those open calls. Most of the time, this results in a rejection letter. That’s just part of it. So, get a thick skin for rejection because it’s going to happen.
Lastly, working hard in your studio doesn’t necessarily guarantee you anything. But not working hard guarantees that not much is going to happen. I think that’s a good, realistic way to look at your studio practice.
The International Sculpture Center has announced that Yasmine K. Kasem (B.F.A. in Sculpture, ’15) is a recipient of the Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award for 2015 for her work El Qamesha El Wahida (The Lonely Cloth).
In a letter notifying associate professors of sculpture Eric Nordgulenand Greg Hull, Kasem’s faculty nominators, a center representative said there were “an exceptional number of nominees this year; 423 students … .” The nominees came from more than 158 college and university sculpture programs in North America and abroad.
The judges, all from New York, included sculptor Chakaia Booker, Dia Art Foundation assistant curator Kelly Kivland, and professor of fine arts, CUNY, Maki Hajikano. They selected Kasem’s sculpture after deliberating over 952 images of sculptural works, the letter said.
The award includes an exhibition with catalog at Grounds for Sculpture—a sculpture garden on the former New Jersey State Fairgrounds in Trenton. The exhibition will take place October 2015 through March 2016 with an opening reception for honorees and their faculty sponsors on October 24. Sculpture magazine will also feature the awards in its October issue. Kasem’s work will be added to an archive of winners on the International Sculpture Center’s website.
“It’s very good for an undergraduate student to get this award,” said Nordgulen. Although Kasem joins recipients from Herron including alumni Emily Stergar (B.F.A. in Sculpture, ‘04) and James Darr(B.F.A. in Sculpture, ‘03), they had already graduated from Herron and were nominated by the graduate schools they were attending at the universities of Arizona and Delaware, respectively.
Kasem said her experiences at Herron have been among the best of her life. “The faculty and facilities gave me the guidance and resources I needed to explore and develop. But not only that, I saw that Herron genuinely cares about its students and their ability to succeed. I owe so much of my success to Herron, my professors and peers. I’ve gotten the wonderful opportunity to work alongside so many talented artists and grow with them in the studio as well.”
“I’m truly grateful for being selected for this award,” she said. “If you would have told me four years ago that I would’ve accomplished what I have, I wouldn’t have believed you. I was so insecure about what I was making and how it held up in comparison to my peers. But all of the positive support, honest critiques and conversations I’ve had with friends, faculty and staff at Herron is what motivated me to keep working hard through any obstacle I encountered.”
As she got closer to applying for college, Kasem said, “I realized that I felt much stronger about visual art and that it would be a better fit for me than studying jazz,” as had been her initial intent.
Once she decided on Herron, there was no question she wanted to study sculpture. “Growing up I always looked for ways to keep myself occupied,” she said, “which usually led me to building something in the back yard, or playing with the leftover clay my mom had from making beads for her jewelry.” Kasem loved making something beautiful out of nothing, but “wanted to work with even more materials, so sculpture was the logical choice.”
Kasem has applied for residencies in Egypt and Switzerland and sees her future at an as yet undetermined graduate school. She’s making new work for a group show in the fall.
“Now that I’ve graduated, I haven’t slowed down at all,” Kasem said. “After that, just continuing my process and hoping I can get my message across to as many people as I can” is the plan.
“Career wise, I’d love to teach, and that’s something I’ve discovered more recently. On the other hand, working at the Herron Galleries has really instilled a deep interest in what goes into running a gallery. But beyond all of that, I want to be a successful artist. That’s what I’m working towards and that’s what gets me up in the morning.”
Herron School of Art and Design’s 2015 summer exhibitions will feature works by five artists in a range of media from photography to painting to sculpture and video.
A reception in Eskenazi Hall on July 10 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. will open the galleries, which are free and open to the public. The exhibitions continue through Jul 31.
Michelle Given lives and works in Indianapolis and has taught at Murray State University as well as Indiana University. Her work in this show includes interior spaces, landscapes and cityscapes, and video.
Stacey M. Holloway, Herron alumna (B.F.A. 2006) and former faculty member,is an assistant professor of sculpture at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. Her cache of poignant yet whimsical dioramas sold out at a recent gallery show in New York, so she has promised to make new works for this exhibition.
Valerie Eickmeier, dean of Herron, will exhibit selected works created during her recent sabbatical that meld real experiences and observations with imagined and reinterpreted images.
These paintings are based on changing sequences in nature as well as contemplation of the underlying forces that create change. In the Marsh Gallery, recent works by Marianne Glick will be on display. The civic leader and philanthropist began painting in 2004 as she searched for a creative outlet to replace gardening during the winter. She describes herself as an abstract expressionist who works mostly in watercolor and acrylic. The Basile Gallery will feature works by R. Stephen Lehman. A prosthodontist by
profession, Lehman began his love of photography in college shooting campus parties. He likens his seriousness about the medium to that of legendary cellist Pablo Casals,
who was once asked why, at 93, he continued to practice three hours a day. Casals replied, “I’m beginning to notice some improvement.”
Park courtesy of The Great Frame Up Indianapolis in the visitor section of the Sports Complex Garage (west of Herron’s Eskenazi Hall), or park on the upper floors of the
Riverwalk Garage (south of the Sports Complex Garage) until 6:00 p.m. Park on any floor after 6:00 p.m. Bring your parking ticket to the Herron Galleries for validation.
Mixed media artist Chris Dacre will bring his humorous, yet satirical depiction of the complexities of war to the IUPUI campus in January.
His “OH YEAH!” solo exhibit, featuring soft sculptures of military personal and equipment, screen-printed, surplus army tents, drones-printed kites, videos and audio recordings will run Jan. 16 to Feb. 16 at the Herron School of Art and Design.
Exhibit visitors in their 30s and 40s could have flashbacks to Saturday mornings spent watching “G.I. Joe” and other cartoons interrupted by commercials featuring the Kool-Aid Man breaking through walls and uttering “Oh yeah!”
In the Herron exhibit, “a big, soft sculpture tank and its driver — has replaced the Kool-Aid Man, breaking through a wall into a young boy’s room . . . while outside the room, life-sized sculptures of soldiers wage war,” Dacre said during a phone interview.
The subject of war has always fascinated the Denver-based artist who spent eight years in the U.S. Air Force before earning a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and a master of fine arts degree in studio art and printmaking.
“What interests me most about war, is the way that we recruit for, stockpile and wage it around the globe, oftentimes in the name of freedom and liberty or some other guise,” wrote Dacre in an online artist statement.
His goal for his art is to spark conversation about the realities of war and the military-industrial-entertainment complex which surrounds it. While he isn’t an expert in military history, his art, along with talks he gives based on his research, provide food for thought for exhibit goers.
“My job is to disseminate information that most people won’t get in everyday news. My art exhibit can become a platform to have a discussion about these issues,” Dacre said.
For example, the tank and its driver bring to mind the hundreds of inflatable tanks crafted for use in World War II. It provides an opportunity to discuss the little known history of the Ghost Army, a secret unit of soldier artists — including then budding fashion design Bill Blass — who employed the tanks and recorded sound effects to deceive enemy soldiers.
And many of the images of soldiers aren’t human in form. For example, the tank driver resembles a cartoon wolf. Making the players less human, serves to reduce the emotionalism often inherent in dialogue about war and violence, Dacre said.
“I try to take the human element out of it,” Dacre said. War “is a very depressing subject. I am trying to make it lighter . . . I am trying to make it easier for us to talk about it.”
While viewers could come away from the exhibit thinking that Dacre is either pro-war or a pacifist, the artist believes that those who are willing to come “with an open-mind and take some time to figure it out, they can see what I am trying to say.”
Part of the exhibit’s message is that in a world where wars are often fought over the rights to natural resources needed to fuel our transnational consumer culture, we all play a role in world conflicts, Dacre said.
Dacre’s work is in the permanent collections ofDenver Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; National Palace of Culture, Sofia, Bulgaria; Brazilian American Institute, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Museum of Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX; and several other museums.
He has held exhibitions at numerous galleries and universities, including the Ohio University Art Gallery, the University of Wisconsin, and the LuLuBell Toy Bodega and Gallery, Tucson, Az., just to name a few.
“War will be a topic for me for a long time,” Dacre said. “I’m always learning something new that I can share.”
Iconic artist Deborah Butterfield partly credits her birthdate on the 75th running of the Kentucky Derby as inspiration for her life size, sculptural horses. Each of her in-demand and internationally collected works takes three to five years to make. Butterfield will appear at Herron as the 2014 Jane Fortune Outstanding Women Visiting Artist lecturer on November 12 at 6:00 p.m., in the Basile Auditorium of Eskenazi Hall.
It is the generosity of Jane Fortune—author, cultural editor, art historian, art collector and philanthropist—that brings Butterfield to Herron. “I want to make an impact on the community that surrounds me and help make the arts accessible to our residents,” Fortune said. This is the seventh lecture in the series, which has welcomed artists including Judy Chicago, Polly Apfelbaum, Judith Shea and Maria Magdalena Campos Pons to Indianapolis.
Butterfield appears in conjunction with the opening of the Undergraduate Student Exhibition, which this year will take place in both Eskenazi Hall’s Berkshire, Reese and Paul galleries and in various spaces of the Eskenazi Fine Arts Center. Shuttle service will be available between buildings. This year’s jurist will be Dr. Patricia Y. Paik, curator of contemporary art at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. In a typical year, the jurist must select from more than 300 strong submissions across a wide variety of media. The exhibition continues through November 29.
Also opening will be On the Blink, a show of photography, video, performance and installation works by Photography and Intermedia seniors.
New to the mix this year will be a graduate studio crawl. With more than 60 master’s degree students—in two buildings—the studio crawl will give students and visitors alike a chance to peek behind the curtain of spaces that are normally not seen by other students or the public.
In the Marsh Gallery, the FACE Pets Show, a group exhibition, continues with works available for purchase to benefit the Foundation Against Companion Animal Euthanasia. In the Basile Gallery, view selections from a rare collection of artists books and broadsides representing the free exchange of ideas in the wake of a 2007 car bombing in the center of Bagdad on al-Mutanabbi Street. These shows continue through November 19.
Berkshire, Reese and Paul Galleries
Shawn Decker Prairie
Positioned at the intersection of music composition, visual art and performance, Chicago Artist Shawn Decker’s work uses physical and electronic media to investigate the natural and unnatural world.
By way of its most recent stop in Austria, his work Prairie will arrive at Herron School of Art and Design’s Berkshire, Reese and Paul galleries with an opening artists talk and reception on September 26 beginning at 6:00 p.m.
Prairie is a large-scale kinetic sound sculpture. This installation presents visual elements that mimic prairie grasses as well as sound elements that evoke sounds of the prairie—from insects to wind playing in the grasses. The irony of a human construction with digital programming that ends up producing a meditative, seemingly natural environment is not lost on the artist.
Basile Auditorium Artists Talk: Shawn Decker and Lanny Silverman
Joining Decker for a discussion of the current state of contemporary and avant garde art forms will be independent curator Lanny Silverman, formerly curator of exhibitions for the Chicago Cultural Center Department of Cultural Affairs.
Marsh Gallery Lost in Translation: Student Work from Herron’s Summer Study Abroad Program in Spain
Professors Anila Agha and Stefan Petranek not only conducted a summer scholarly excursion to Spain, the two will curate a showcase of student sculptures, drawings and photographs compelled by student travel experiences in Madrid and Barcelona. Some of the works were exhibited at the Makers of Barcelona gallery in June 2014, but this exhibit will include work created since the students’ return. Participating artists are: Helen Arth, Brianna Campbell,Devan Himstedt, Jessica Kartawich, CarolynKypchik, Christine (Jazz) Long, Mary McClung, Evan Rice, Brittany Rudolf andHadia Shaikh.
Basile Gallery Reagan Furqueron
A solo exhibition will feature new works by Director of Foundation Studies and Assistant Professor Reagan Furqueron that explore the ideas of transition and mapping through a sculptural approach to making—a departure from Furqueron’s usual making mode.
The first Herron Open: Mini Golf Mega Art, which took place in early June, was an unqualified success. Nearly 200 attendees were on hand to play the nine-hole miniature golf course inside Eskenazi Hall, created by teams of Herron students and faculty. The Herron Alumni Association designed a hole, too. It won the People’s Choice Award. The Sculpture Department’s hole, which came complete with students dressed as moles, won the Chairs’ Choice Award.
The event netted more than $30,000 in new scholarship support for Herron students.
Herron Open: Mini Golf Mega Art was selected as a NUVO Top Pick of the Week and featured in the Indianapolis Star’s 10 Things To Do. It was also covered by the Indianapolis Recorder, WTHR’s sports reporter Rich Nye, and mentioned on WFYI’s The Art of the Matter.
One thing is for sure (although at press time we don’t know exactly when) the event will return!
IUPUI’s public art collection is high in quality and vast in subject matter. It includes sculptures from world-renowned artists such as Dale Chihuly and John Torreano, but is also privileged to feature artwork by IUPUI alumni.
As home to the only professional, accredited school of art in Indiana, the Herron School of Art and Design, IUPUI has access to a large community of creative and talented students. Their work can be seen throughout IUPUI’s public art collection. In the cooperative nature of public art, IUPUI has enabled students past and present to take part in the development of the campus’s public identity through these outdoor sculptures.
IUPUI’s public art collection functions not only to create points of interest, but also to provide students and the public with spaces to come together, have meaningful conversations and take part in campus life.
A fun way to start exploring public art at IUPUI is by visiting the Indianapolis Public Art website, which allows users to plan a public art walking tour through campus and the greater Indianapolis area.
This photo gallery is a small sample of a larger collection consisting of more than 30 works of sculpture located throughout the IUPUI campus. For more information, visit Wikipedia’s IUPUI Public Art Collection page, a project by an IUPUI Museum Studies class to promote research and conservation of the outdoor sculptures on campus.