2015's very first First Friday will help you to make good on any New Year's resolution to appreciate the arts more or to get out more to immerse yourself in Indianapolis's vibrant cultural scene. After sleeping off your hangover and signing up for that new gym membership, the new you can start the New Year right at several local gallery shows. Don't just swing by your usual First Friday stops. Check to make sure they're open first because, hey, you know, the holiday. A few galleries--notably The Circle City Industrial Complex, Gallery 924 at the IDADA, and the Indiana Landmarks Center Rapp Family Gallery--will be closed on Jan. 2.
Vanish at the Harrison Gallery
Justin Vining's "Vanishing Points" leads viewers on a tour of brightly colored and whimsical cityscapes and farmhouses. The Harrison Center studio artist plumbs an otherworldly dreamscape that draws from his childhood at small family farm in rural Northern Indiana.
"My newer work is almost intentionally portraying a dream state," Vining told IDADA. "Usually in a dream state there is a juxtaposition of clarity to ambiguity. Whatever the focus of the dream is, there is a certain level of clarity around that focal point while the information surrounding that focal point begins to fade and become more ambiguous."
As usual, there's much more to explore at the Harrison Center, including artists' studios and other exhibitions. Carolyn Springer's "Ephemeral Nature" features encaustic prints of native Hoosier plants, such as milkweed and coneflower. She made the colored wax prints in the exhibit and planted indigenous wildflowers in a garden outside her Harrison Center studio to encourage more people to "go native" and plant flowers that grew in Indiana long before the first settlers came. Ben Pines's oil and acrylic paintings are also on display at the center, as is Sarah Bumbalough's work in Hank & Dolly's Gallery. Hannah Barnes's paintings and drawings are on view in the Gallery Annex.
- Andrew Koeling / Carolyn Springer
Acute Acts of Defiance, a new work from Andrew Koeling, will be on display at the Art Bank, at 811 Mass Ave., on First Friday. Carolyn Springer's exhibit Ephemeral Nature will be on view at the Harrison Center for the Arts, at 1505 N. Delaware St.
Act out at the Art Bank
Central Indiana artist Andrew Koeling of Ball State University made the latest deposit at the Art Bank with "Acute Acts of Defiance," which opens in the Feature Room in the bank-turned-art gallery at the east end of trendy Mass Ave.
"I wanted to put this show together to try and progress the understanding of each viewer and attempt to inspire them to contemplate on what makes the very act of living worthwhile -- we forget to let the little things in life play a larger role when life is, quite literally, one step in front of another," he told IDADA "When we read or watch the news, for as long as I can remember, we are constantly bombarded with images and events that cause us to perceive a world that is seemingly at odds with itself: lower standards of living, fanaticism, and a loss of identity, barraged into our into our lives to the point where we lose sight of the biggest picture. Everything is presented to us in short, easy-to-digest blurbs that repeatedly make us question what went wrong and how."
What's black and white and red all over at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library?
In a time before political debates played out on Facebook and Twitter, a lot of the opining took place in the opinion section of newspapers, often most elegantly and powerfully in the editorial cartoons. A few brushstrokes could cut right to the point and break down the issues of the day, at least if they were sketched by talented artists such as Herb Block, better known as Herblock, a four-time Pulitzer Prize laureate and Presidential Medal of Freedom Award winner who helped take down Richard Nixon. The Civil Rights era work of the longtime Washington Post cartoonist is on display at the library.
- Julianna Poldi
Julianna Poldi's abstract paintings will be on display at the Franklin Barry Gallery at The Frame Shop, 617 Mass Ave., on First Friday.
See abstractly at The Frame Shop
Drop by the Franklin Barry Gallery at The Frame Shop on Mass Ave. to see the largest-ever representation of painter Julianna Poldi's work in the Midwest. The award-winning Santa Fe-based artist specializes in modern abstract work where bold streaks of bright acrylic paint adorn textured canvasses.