March 2012: Sofiya Inger & Ellie Siskind

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Shelter:  A safe place, offering temporary protection from THE hardships in life.

Inger and Siskind are both Indianapolis-based figurative painters with strong connections to Indianapolis and histories that take them far beyond our Indiana borders. The new work in Seeking Shelters expresses what’s best about their past work and that which is exciting about what’s to come. Inger, a painter with a strong background in textiles combines fabric, found objects and mixed media with her expressive figurative painting in search of true sorrow, grace and fragility of the human heart. Siskind continues on her path of expressive and poignant portraits of real people. Often compared to Alice Neel in her visual approach to the character of her subjects, she has made an iconic artist’s haunt, the Dorman Street Saloon, the backdrop for her latest series of people watching explorations.

February 2012: Nhat Tran

Nhat TranTran is known for her laboriously created Urushi lacquer paintings and sculptures.  Her use of organic, flowing shapes, rich surface pattern and texture creates beautiful multi-layered abstractions. Urushi, an ancient technique, is well-known in many Eastern cultures, but still quite obscure in the West. The arduous and demanding techniques involved in working with Urushi lacquer result in hundreds of layers of pigment and lacquer for each piece.

In a departure from the physicality of using Urushi, Tran has taken to the new challenge of incorporating digital collage into her oeuvre. Continuing to explore her fascination with rhythms found in nature, the new digital medium allows Tran to use these sophisticated tools to create what she calls an “orchestral combination,” through collage of her photographs of nature and fragmentary images of her Urushi paintings. Her goal with the new digital series is to explore rhythms not only within each component image, but also within the interaction created by their assembly.