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Best of the Rest: September 4, 2015

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Sure, we want you to visit Sky Blue Window daily, but we realize stories about incredible events, entertainment and interesting organizations that are transforming Indiana pour out of publications all over this city. So in this space, we bring you the Best of the Rest, a collection of other notable pieces spotlighting arts and entertainment around town.

Check out the list of hot topics from beyond our Sky Blue Window. When you’re finished, stick around to browse some of our stories you might have missed this week. Enjoy!

Boogie Down is just one of Samuel Vazquez's many works.

Graffiti writer Samuel Vázquez is returning to his roots

By Emily Taylor via NUVO

Graffiti artists have come a long way from their days as a bane of local politicians to an accepted and celebrated member of the contemporary art world. Emily Taylor travels through that history with veteran graffiti artist Samuel Vázquez ahead of his one-night show entitled A Rhythmic Pulse at 646 Virginia Ave. tomorrow night. The exhibition will be Vázquez’s first show in Indy in two years. His perspective as an artist who lived through graffiti’s rough beginnings in NYC is one worthy of exploration. For another conversation with a celebrated spray can artist, check out Shelby Roby-Terry’s profile on “comeback kid” Robert Bentley. For more on Vázquez revisit Mali Simone’s 2013 profile.

Big Car’s Jim Walker uses creativity to lift neighborhoods, public spaces

By Sam Stall via IBJ

It’s tough to imagine a local arts organization that has had a bigger impact in the last decade than Big Car. We tracked the organization’s first 10 years in Kirsten Eamon-Shine’s retrospective post last year. This week, IBJ’s Sam Stall sits down with Big Car’s founder and executive director Jim Walker for a comprehensive look at the organization’s growth and its ambitious forthcoming projects. In his interview, Stall gets to the heart of the man behind an organization that aims to use art and creativity as a vehicle for urban revitalization –- no small task. Check out the story in IBJ, and find Walker on Monument Circle during Spark programming until mid-October.

Julian Opie's Ann Dancing could soon have digital competition on Mass Ave.
  • Julian Opie's Ann Dancing could soon have digital competition on Mass Ave.

Mass Ave ‘digital canvas’ proposal: Innovative public art or Times Square tacky?

By Wei-Huan Chen via Indy Star

What is a billboard? What is art? These questions lie at the heart of a new proposal that aims to place a large, LED screen in the heart of Mass Ave. The screen would feature some advertisements along with dynamic art installations. The advertisements would serve as a nonprofit function, funneling money back into the local arts economy, rather than pad the pockets of the building’s owners. As the headline of Wei-Huan Chen’s story suggests, initial reactions are divided. Dive into the details over at Indy Star and decide for yourself.

Shapeshifting with William Denton Ray

By Dan Grossman via NUVO

You might recognize William Denton Ray’s work from his Limelighter billboard on Keystone Ave. However, his more recent work may prove less familiar. NUVO’s Dan Grossman has the details on Ray’s transition from colorful mutants to larger, more abstract paintings. Ray’s work will be featured at Arts Council of Indianapolis’ Gallery 924 as part of September First Friday festivities. It’s always fascinating to see an artist make dramatic creative shifts in direction. Grossman does an admirable job of getting to the core of what inspired Ray’s change in focus.

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