Circle City 360°

WELCOME to the Indy Arts Studio Series, where you will find behind-the-scenes information such as raw footage from conversations with featured artists, artwork development, artist bios, the show at-a-glance, and other details on the opening of their exhibition in Gallery 924 at the Arts Council.

Meet our August Featured Artist:
Jerome Neal (b. 1941) grew up in Chicago. He discovered an interest in and talent for painting as a youth and used it as a way to stay out of trouble. By his early teens he had sold his first painting at an outdoor art fair which led to a deeper pursuit of his skill. He took drafting classes in the hopes of becoming a cartoonist and began to explore architecture, but soon found that it wasn’t the right fit. He visited the Art Institute of Chicago observing artists and their techniques, learning alternate methods of honing his craft and working to define what type of artwork he wanted to create. In 1994 he moved to Indianapolis in order to be closer to family. Since then he has continued to produce his signature “action-paintings” depicting anything from people dancing, playing music, playing in a park, driving by in a car, horseback riding, to ice skating–a particular favorite because it seemed a good subject matter to paint while listening to music–an important part of Neal’s process. Circle City 360° is Neal’s first large scale solo show, at age 74. His works will be in Gallery 924 through August 28.

First Large-Scale Solo Exhibition:
Circle City 360°
August 7 – 28, 2015
Neal’s work relates to the iconic cityscapes of the early 20th century, showing the bright lights of downtown glistening with newness and alive with energy as cars hiss by pedestrians walking this way and that. His work often uses multiple vantage points to create an almost collage-like scene. You may see neighborhoods and landmarks that are not necessarily geographically connected, but work together to build the vibrancy of the heart of the city itself. Neal’s work can be seen in many annual shows and exhibitions and is included in the permanent collection of the Indiana State Museum.

Selling His First Paintings:
Neal was seventeen when he sold his first paintings, hung on a fence at an outdoor neighborhood art fair in Chicago. They were from a series of  four volcanoes in which he started playing with the effects of light and shadows. He had three tubes of paint to work with: Red, Yellow, and Blue.



Working With Oils:
“Oil paint is a mixture of pigment and (most commonly) linseed oil; therefore it should never come in contact with water, which will ruin your paint. The western world credits the discovery of oil paint to Jan van Eyck, a Flemish painter of the early 15th century; however there is evidence to suggest that oil paint was discovered much earlier in the eastern world.”
   – The Smithsonian S+udio Arts Blog

          Favorite Part of the Process:


“Good oils give off a vibrant aroma, that’s why I like to paint in oils. I paint because of the smell and the time period it takes to dry, and if you look at it while it’s drying and you see a part of it that is messed up or out of order, you can correct it. It has a drying time, you cannot rush oils. Then when you prime your canvas and add your oils, if you notice, you have different colors of prime that have different color effects on the oils–which sometimes can turn into fun and can sometimes turn into tragedy.” – Jerome Neal     

Iconic Indianapolis:
Below are examples of some of Neal’s more recent Indianapolis-themed work that will excite the #LoveIndy crowd! 

Bikin’ Round Town (no.1):

Yellow Bicycle Jerome Neal 2014

Inspired by the Indiana Pacers Bikeshare

Finding His Way As An Artist:


For More Information:

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