I really love hearing other artists talk about what drives them and where their ideas come from. So I was excited to hear that there will be artists who have never shown their work before coming to Indy for the Art in Odd Places festival today and tomorrow.
I had the pleasure of chatting with some of the guest artists who are here from other states to share a bit of their artistic repertoire. I'd like to share with you what I learned from chatting with Brian Muzik, JagrutRaval and Rory Golden and offer a little about their work.
From Chicago, Brian Muzik grew up in the suburbs, where he makes artwork to this day. But this is his first public exhibit.
"Most of the work that I have done, I have been unhappy with and destroyed or given away," he says. The submission he sent to AiOP was also his first try at submitting artwork to any festival. Perhaps because he is a new artist, Muzik has a fresh eye that has found inspiration in unexpected places.
"I like taking things that are small and ordinary and appreciating them," he explains. Muzik might think he got lucky, but truth be told, the blog he has been keeping in preparation for AiOP meticulously documents each step he took in the process of making his artwork. Through this process he has revealed a drive that, in spite of not having a long list of past exhibits, shows his artistic spirit.
You can see Muzik's first public interactive sculpture Take-A-Penny/Leave-A-Penny Oct. 17 - 18: All day at 55 Monument Circle.
Jagrut Raval is completing his MFA in Photography at Savannah College of Art and Design. He is originally from Ahmedabad, the largest city in the western Indian state of Gujarat. Raval's work is concerned with the idea of the impermanence of our existence.
"Like a flock of birds, human beings exist in a flock as well," he says. "We create communities and groups, so each of the ticking clocks [arranged on the side of a building as his exhibit] represents a human being in a more abstract sense. And the name 'swarming' relates to this idea of a flock moving in space."
Raval has shown his work at the National Watch and Clock Museum, Romania and Bulgaria and is pleased to add Indianapolis to his resume.
"Being an international artist, it always makes me feel good that my ideas are accepted ... I am really happy to be part of a festival that will contribute a new kind of environment for the people of Indianapolis," he says.
Raval's sculpture Swarming Time will be on display Oct. 17 - 18: All day outside the Hilton Garden Inn.
Rory Golden is from New Carlisle, Ohio, and just recently participated in New York's latest AiOP festival. His work can be anything from humorous to surprisingly healing, as he learned in one of his first projects where he dressed all in red and played love songs in a loop. He spoke to people using only love song lyrics.
"To my surprise Billy Joel's love song An Innocent Man came on .. and I just turned to a guy when the stoplight light came on and said, 'I know you don't want to hear what I say, I know you're gonna keep turning away, but I've been there and if I can survive, I can keep you alive,'" he says. "When I turned to this man and I said that -- he was a young guy in his mid twenties -- he started to cry."
Golden describes the moment as a healing for both the young man and himself. "We ended up with one hand on each other's shoulders and [the other hand on each] other's chest. The light turned green and we both turned and walked the street and said, 'Nice to meet you.'"
Duty Free Ranger will be roaming along Market Street Oct. 17 from 2 - 6 p.m. and Oct. 18 noon - 4 p.m.
Being around new groups of artists always makes me feel like I am a student again. Listening to Muzik, Raval and Golden left me feeling inspired and motivated to take chances with my artwork. Whether those chances are here in Indy or somewhere else does not matter. Where we come from will always inform our work regardless of where we end up -- just as with these visitors from different locations.