May 2013Recent work by Bonnie Stahlecker

Artist Talk: Thursday, May 23, 5 - 7pm - Please join us for an after work drink and conversation with the artist, Bonnie Stahlecker who will discuss her process for creating this riveting new body of work. No RSVP necessary. Free parking.

Stahlecker, an Indianapolis-based artist known for her sculptural artist books, has created a new body of work that explores the human need to seek protection from both real and perceived perils. Stahlecker is intrigued by the notion that throughout history all cultures have sought to believe in a deity who could intervene on their behalf and offer safe passage. Her shield-like pieces speak to the different methods of solicitation of this protection, from amulets and scapular medals to chants and incantations. She combines an historical exploration of this phenomena with her visual aesthetic of organic pattern, image, and language marks. The shield-like images not only serve as iconic and powerful symbols, but also as a new evolution of her sculptural work rich with layers of texture and meaning.

Stahlecker is a 1999 and 2013 Arts Council of Indianapolis Creative Renewal Arts Fellow.

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April 2013No image grabs more attention, incites more emotion, or holds more mystery than the depiction of someone’s face. Reel focuses on the entire presence of each person in her delicate yet colossal portraits. The large scale of these pieces gives them a new role in the gallery. Not only are they works to be viewed and interpreted, but can themselves be seen as audience and critic. Layers of ink and conté crayon stare quietly back at spectators with a certain authority. In exchange for a few moments of observation, each portrait has a story to share, a conversation to have with its viewer.

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March 2013 thumbBeyond Vernacular, an exhibition featuring the fine art furniture of Cory Robinson and Matt Hutton, explores the rural settings of "middle" America, home to both artists. This subtle yet unmistakable aesthetic found in farms and long stretches of highway across Indiana is where Hutton draws architectural inspirations from agrarian structures in pursuit of familiar form and Robinson revisits the iconic language of antiques. Their work blurs the boundaries between art, design, and craft and is at once functional and sculptural. Both artists have found fulfillment in referencing their work to the bucolic, over-romanticized, rural settings of the "fly over" states. Both artists seek to find subversive ways of sharing this overt, low influence within their “high” design portfolios.

Opening Reception: Friday, March 1, 2013, 6:00-9:00pm

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February13 200x200At the heart of Lewis' video installation, From Now On, is the classic struggle of man versus nature. This provocative video-mapping experience is a rich consideration of the tensions between nature and industrialization. Lewis' depictions of the forces at play in climate change are placed in visually compelling, dynamic relationships that delight the senses as they raise questions regarding the future. From Now On offers hope in the form of a dead tree that appears to come alive with moving imagery and becomes a metaphorical image of human knowledge and beliefs.

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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.

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G924_April2012Glass artist Chalos-McAleese's new work juxtaposes fragile, geometric glass forms with the strength and textures of stone and metal, with her combination of the two materials. These layers of these vastly differing textures are reminiscent of the striations seen in geologic cross sections. Her signature patterns in the cold-formed glass reflect the shapes and lines seen from a cross-continental flight over the Great Plains taken by the artist last year. The views of the crops and the irrigation lines cutting across the patchwork fields, plowed and planted, are the inspiration for this new body of work.

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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.

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