June's gallery openings this Friday offer the perfect opportunity to break out of your IDADA First Friday rut. The Harrison Center's new show openings are on hold until IMAF, and several other mainstays have picked intriguing themes for the month. In what has become a regular trend, several exhibits spotlight the link between sound and visual arts. And a good many shows that explore nature also open this month.
Plan ahead, go do something new and enjoy the diversity of the local cultural scene with these five recommendations.
A Surprising Cultural Landscape
Through a special partnership, a variety of contemporary landscapes will be on display through this month at Gallery 924 and next month at Artistry's Cole-Noble Gallery. These works -- all by Indiana artists -- go well beyond the impressionist works of Hoosier artist T.C. Steele, using surprising techniques, media and even audio to reinterpret the very idea of landscapes. "The Contemporary Landscape Show: New Directions for an Indiana Tradition" features the work of three dozen artists.
- Orlando Pelaez
Gallery 924's landscape-focused show includes The Great Spirit Stampede, mixed media on plywood by Orlando Pelaez, an artist who is originally from Medellin, Colombia, and now resides in Indianapolis.
Vonnegut Library Focuses on Local Music
On North Senate Avenue at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, the focus will be on music made by local musicians, past and present. The site is participating in the Indiana Avenue Music Crawl (read more about it in Malina Simone's blog). David Leander Williams will talk about his book on Indianapolis Jazz, and music historian Stan Denski will highlight the June 15 to 21 Irvington Folk Festival. Adam White's art inspired by music will be on display. Local indie rock favorite Christian Taylor will play, too.
- MaryAnne Nguyen
Primary Gallery will feature new works by painter MaryAnne Nguyen in the Murphy Building.
Natural Inspiration at Primary Colours
Artist MaryAnne Nguyen's latest work will be exhibited at Natura at Primary Gallery in the Murphy Arts Center. With a focus on nature's power and beauty, as well as cultures that have more directly connected with the environment, Nguyen's new paintings include vibrant details and intriguing use of colors. She continues to use animals and faces to explore the topics that interest her -- in this case, allegory, symbols, natural elements, light and form.
- Martha Nahrwold
Painter Martha Nahrwold organized the Circle City Industrial Complex Artists’ special theme, “Bellwether,” for the June First Friday. Her Lion Fish depicts a species that acts as a nuisance fish, displacing native fish in Florida.
First Firkin at Shoefly
No need to look it up -- a firkin is a small cask often used for liquids. In this case, the "first firkin" in question will be provided by Sun King Brewery for Shoefly Public House visitors, and it's a surprise. But the music and art are less of a mystery. Mike Graves will be on the decks, deejaying, and the collaborative visual art group he is a part of, BRIDGE Collective, will be showcasing its work.
Many Circle City Industrial Complex Artists will turn their attention to the natural world, as well, this First Friday. But their exploration is a bit less conceptual than Nguyen's. Throughout several studio spaces, artists will display work around the theme of "Bellwether," exploring environmental trends and events that concern them. Artists include Martha Nahrwold, Todd Matus at Litmus Gallery, Matthew Davey, Paul Best, Nancy Lee, Carmen Hurt/indyRtist Studio, and the M10 Gallery photographers Paul d'Andrea, Eric Schoch and Steve Brokaw.