The holidays are rushing toward us like a runaway sleigh, and you could get your loved one another techie gadget or perfume gift set. But instead of grabbing these mass-produced gewgaws off the shelf at a big-box store, why not seek out a unique gift and support local artists to boot.
This Friday, you can buy paintings, jewelry, glassware and more at the downtown galleries during First Friday. A hand-crafted work that a Hoosier artist meticulously labored over makes for a present that won't soon be forgotten. And you'll help keep your community a culturally vibrant place.
- Courtesy Katrina Murray
Talented local artist Katrina Murray returns to her studio in the Circle City Industrial Complex to greet guests and once again take part in First Friday with pieces like the thought-provoking X Marks the Spot (left) and It's On (right).
Shop at the Stutz
You can purchase work from a wide array of artists between 5 p.m. and 10 at the Stutz Arts Association's Holiday Open House (Dec. 4th). About 50 artists will open their studios at the Stutz building at 212 West 10 St., where they will sell paintings, jewelry and metal sculptures.
While you're there you also can help support First Fridays throughout the year. The Indianapolis Downtown Artists and Dealers Association, which coordinates and promotes the monthly gallery walk, is having its annual First in Line show from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at the Stutz ArtSpace on the ground floor. It's IDADA's one and only fundraiser of the year.
You can buy any artwork for just $100, and support local artists, who donate a portion of each sale back to the IDADA. An opening reception takes place 6 - 6:55 p.m. Thursday.
You can also grab "stocking stuffers" at the Arts Council of Indianapolis' Gallery 924 at 924 N. Pennsylvania St. More than 300 pieces of original art, all 6" x 6" x 6", are available for purchase at TINY IV: A Really Big Show, which is billed as the perfect time for first-time art buyers to start a collection. More than 95 artists are participating, so even veteran gallery patrons might find something new.
- Courtesy the Art Bank
Parrish Cooper's Jazz is featured at the Synesthesia--Music as Art show at the Art Bank this First Friday.
Music at the Art Bank
Synesthesia--Musicas Art opens from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday in the Feature Room at the Art Bank, at 911 Mass Ave, which has a group show in December to celebrate how its community of artists is like a family.
More than 30 artists celebrated the concept of music by creating an artwork inspired by a song.
"Synesthesia--the way that one of our senses affects another--is always involved in the creation of art," says artist Andrew Koeling. "The way things smell, sound or taste influence how a piece of work will turn out. This show takes that concept and elevates it, making it central, and gives viewers a new perspective with how to approach a particular work."
The artists--who include painters, photographers and sculptors--have each selected a song and riffed off of that.
The French call it plein air when artists paint scenes in nature, capturing what they see at the time. Jean-François Millet and other members of the Barbizon School helped pioneer the style in the early 19th century after they became enamored with natural light, and it was later popularized further by the Hudson River School and the Impressionists.
Members of the Indiana Plein Air Painters Association still like to set up their easels outdoors and paint what's in front of them. Fifteen Indiana plein air painters will exhibit works priced for gift-giving in a group show at the Rapp Family Gallery at Indiana Landmarks, 1201 Central Ave.
Still lifes and landscapes painted outdoors by artists from across Central Indiana will be available from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Indiana Plein Air Painters Association One-Day Holiday Show and Sale, which is, of course, one-night only. The painters all will be on hand to talk about their work and what inspired them.
- Courtesy of Indiana Landmarks
Poppies by Mary Ann Davis is among the works for sale this First Friday at the Indiana Plein Air Painters Association's show at the Indiana Landmarks Rapp Family Gallery.
You can learn about Guatemala and puzzle over how to make a difference at The Artspace at the Athenaeum, which is on the second floor of the historic landmark at 401 E. Michigan St.
Las Casas and Love Guatemala are showcasing paintings, textiles and photography in an exhibit about Guatemalan culture that highlights ways anyone could get involved in efforts to empower indigenous Mayans in the Central American country. David Durica also is showing his #BeReconciled Puzzle Art, which is part of a broader project to encourage Indianapolis residents to try to change the world.
The Franklin Barry Gallery at The Frame Shop; at 617 Mass Ave promises wine, cheese and cheer at its annual Holiday Open House. Featured artists include Kelly Borsheim, Shannon Gody and Joachim McMillan.
Crafty gift shoppers should head over to the Harrison Center for the Arts for the INDIEana Handicraft Exchange's Winter Mini, a contemporary craft fair that features more than 50 vendors in the gymnasium from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The 8-year-old indie fair focuses on handmade goods, local economies and bringing creators and consumers closer.
The Harrison Center also puts on one of December's biggest collaborative exhibit, the Black Tie Annual Group Show, which features the work of more than 50 artists.
Nearly 40 Harrison Center studio artists, including Justin Vining, Hector del Campo, Elizabeth Guipe Hall and Erin Huber, will display their work from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the exhibit at 1505 N. Delaware St.
Kate Oberreich, Paula Wright, Jacquie Reed and other visual artists are showing their works at Reimagine--Religion, Spirituality and the Arts: A Retrospective, which was directed by Rabbi Sandy Sasso from Center for Faith and Vocation in partnership with Christian Theological Seminary. Work in all the galleries will be displayed through Dec. 24.
- Courtesy the Harrison Art Center
Hector del Campo's Dapper Badger will be at this year's black tie event.
Night at the Museum
Fiber artist Marco Querin will show a dozen pieces, including tapestries, in his There is a Child in Me show at iMOCA, 1043 Virginia Ave. in Fountain Square. And at the iMOCA at CityWay Gallery at the Alexander, 216 South St., you can check out Justin Chase Lane's solo exhibit Choose Your Own Adventure.
Wood pendant jewelry, small works on wood and unframed drawings are among the pieces you can buy at DeMarisGaunt's show at Indy Reads Books, 911 Mass Ave. Billed as "small and affordable," the works will be on display at the bookstore."
- Courtesy of Five Seasons Studio
Martha Nahrwold's work will be on display at the Five Seasons Studio at the Circle City Industrial Complex this First Friday.
A wide range of artists will be showing their work at the Circle City Industrial Complex at 1125 E. Brookside Ave. Martha Nahrwold's holiday show features monoprints, hand-marbled papers, hand-bound books and hanging fish in the Five Seasons Studio, C6, on the first floor of the North Studios.
"Be sure to visit the rest of the CCIC building," Nahrwold says."Makers in the warehouse have added new energy and even have a pop-up band. The Cosmic Chrome Cafe food truck will be set up back there also."
Other shows include Rad Drew's Cuba: The Pearl of the Antilles in the Nancy Lee Studios, C1, and Theresa Guise's Beyond Jaws: An Expose on Sharks in M10.
And fans of Katrina Murray will be pleased to know that the talented and beloved local artist has returned to her studio following her recovery. Be sure to stop in and show your support and check out her Concussion Series collages.
Ron Kern will welcome visitors as well to his photography exhibit from his Indiana Small Towns Project in the 2nd Floor Grand Hall.
Gift shoppers should definitely make a point of stopping by the BEBITO studio, which has original holiday ornaments, greeting cards and plush toys.