Posts Tagged ‘Indiana University’

Playing Fields, through November 19, 2010 at Indiana University’s SoFA Gallery.  Paintings by Melissa Oresky and Jered Sprecher (works by both can be seen in the image above) as well as Patrick Berran, Ryan Schneider and Olivia Schreiner.  Playing Fields intends to be a ‘glimpse at the state of painting’ mini-survey rather than a curatorial statement.  Says curator Tyson Skross, “The overarching idea is that each of the artists is working in a unique way that is relevant in the larger field of contemporary painting. The artists are living and working in a variety of cities in the U.S. and their work has never been previously exhibited together. We feel it is important for the SoFA gallery to be able to bring this work to Bloomington to provide a glimpse of the current state of contemporary painting for our audience and our students.”

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A retrospective of paintings by Bonnie Sklarski, titled Anatomy Botany, Geology:  Nature Narratives is on view at Indiana University’s SOFA Gallery, until October 8, 2010.  In Bonnie Sklarski’s words:  “My retrospective is a privileged opportunity to highlight what are the deepest, most challenging questions I have lived with. From science to poetic narrative, I have tried to be fearless in my study and true to my natural curiosity.”

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Picture 1

Axis Roots & Branches, 1999, oil on canvas, 80″ x 102″

Picture 2

Layered Land, 2008, watercolor

William Itter:  A Retrospective Paintings and Drawings 1969-2009 at the SoFA Gallery at Indiana University.

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Tim Kennedy: Perry Four at First Street Gallery in NY, March 3 – 28.

More of Tim’s work.

Update: Tim’s site.

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The Indiana Murals

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Memphis artist Beth Edwards is showing right now in St. Louis.

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A Bamileke wine vessel from William Itter’s personal collection of African Pottery.  The last time I was at the Indiana University Art Museum, there were a number of these vessels on display in their African collection.  Anyone know if that’s still there?

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So we’ve been really curious about the HUB project that is going on in Bloomington.  Betsy Stirratt, director of the SOFA Gallery at Indiana University was kind (outstandingly kind) enough to provide some in-depth answers to questions I had about the project.  HUB appears to be an exhibit that is free to get up and leave the gallery.  It is contained in 26′ trucks and can travel, ready to be reexamined and transformed at every opportunity.  Stirratt says that transformation is the central theme of HUB.  It’s also intended to make contemporary art more physically accessible.  HUB Phase II opens in Bloomington Friday, October 3, 2008.  Here is what Stirratt had to tell us:

A stated goal of the HUB project is “longevity”.  Are you able to expand on that?

The HUB project is experimental in that it will continue to travel to new places in new configurations with work by new artists as long as the HUB Collective is able to take it on the road. While HUB Phase I existed solely in the gallery space, HUB Phase II will be the transition outside to a more mobile and accessible art viewing experience. And I suppose HUB Phase III will be the mobile shows in other locations.

HUB came into existence when three MFA sculpture students at IU Bloomington, Derek Parker, Jonathan Dankenbring, and LaRinda Meinburg, were interested in questioning the traditional gallery space as the ideal place to exhibit art.  They were concerned with the fact that the “Art Gallery” tends to be an
exclusive space that is not welcoming and many people are intimidated and uncomfortable visiting art galleries.

They began to collaborate with Rob Off, the Associate Director at the SoFA Gallery, to design and build the large scale HUB platform. The advantage of taking art out of the gallery space is it immediately puts it into a context that is more neutral and more accessible to a wider audience. Traditional exhibit experiences can be very positive, but I have found that we [as Americans] are lacking the advantage of exhibiting in public places that are often found in Europe, and in the States we still very much compartmentalize the visual arts to specific spaces and contexts. With HUB, we hope that the experience will transcend the usual art viewing experience.

And speaking from experience, the SoFA Gallery is often criticized that we are hard to get to, people can’t park, etc. so this immediately takes that particular excuse out of the equation. This is an accessible location, and format open to all.

Another stated goal is that HUB could be “utilized by other artists”.  Again, is that something you could expand on?

The plan is the HUB project will travel to other locations and will incorporate the work of artists in those areas within the truck exhibiting spaces. Initially the plan is to contact artists and alternative spaces in
surrounding cities, like Indianapolis, Louisville, Cincinnati and Chicago.  The HUB Collective will need help locating artists and places for the HUB to be installed. The whole installation is quite large, with 5 26′ trucks backed up to a single large platform that includes a stairway. So it has to be located in the right area.

The reason the HUB Group is interested in making this opportunity available to other artists is that it is the natural progression for the alternative gallery space. In addition, the artists are interested in population, and the transient nature of it. Particularly in a university town, there is very little stability-very few people settle down.

Here is a quote from LaRinda Meinburg:”My hope for the project is that it doesn’t end here,” said Meinburg. “HUB is like a combination of a travel mug and IKEA flat-pack furniture: just set up anywhere there’s room. The idea isn’t for us to always have a place to show work; people can contact us, and they can use it to create their own exhibition space. We want it to go beyond us.”

Can someone explain or describe a specific artwork in the project and how it functions?

Rob Off’s work is really about his personal interest in an increasingly transient population. “I’ve been in Bloomington four years, and that’s the longest I’ve been in any place,” Off said. “A lot of what I make is
collapsible and transportable. It has to be able to squish down to fit in the back of a truck or storage space.” Off will transform his moving truck to display his version of a sustainable living space: a plastic bubble.

LaRinda Meinburg, said her work was inspired by the idea of the moving truck. “Moving trucks made me think of people moving from old homes into new homes, which brought my thoughts to urban sprawl,” she said. “I have created mold-like objects made out of phone books and positioned them on a map interpretation,” said Meinburg, who is showing one piece at HUB Phase I and adding prints to accompany the piece for HUB II.

Are the themes of sprawl/living space/consumer design integral to the larger HUB project or is it possible that other artists utilizing the project could adapt it to their own means?

Overall, the show’s unifying theme is transformation. This exhibition takes on an anthropological role, with installations that explore urban sprawl, the definition of living space, consumer design and the collective
unconscious. Ideas about the transient nature of contemporary life are definitely part of this. The concept is completely adaptable: what is cool about it is the truck exhibit spaces are completely neutral and artists can
bring in all kinds of different ideas into the mix.

If other artists want to be involved, or other spaces wish to take part in the project, how can that be made to happen?

We are hoping that several contacts that we have made with artists/groups in the cities we¹ve mentioned might want to get involved. If artists are interested, they can contact the SoFA Gallery at sofa@indiana.edu and we will forward your information to the HUB Group.


Thank you!  This project is really exciting to me. 

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Matt Choberka is a pretty regular face on MWC.  A one-time Chicagoan, New Yorker (and, more briefly, Hoosier), he now resides in Utah.

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I hope y’all will indulge me in a personal post here.  I’m debuting some short videos tonight in Fayetteville.  For the last year or so, I’ve been working on a new body of, well, work.  Video links after the jump.


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