Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Deep Life Indy # 3

Uncle! I surrender!

I've made multiple attempts to write about the Indianapolis art scene of the past 30 years. This as prequel to the upcoming panel discussions which will accompany the 431 Gallery and Ed Sanders shows. I even wrote about giving up on trying to write about it. That turned into a long bit too, and is pointless to post. Bottom line, that's it. No more critiquing local art stuff. 

Subversion is still on the table.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Deep Life Indy #2


Prior to In Vivo Gallery, William Adkins formed a group called the Indianapolis Artists' Forum. As with the other groups, Bill was the little engine that could, while the rest of us went along for the ride. “We” were a group of artists currently in Indianapolis. I believe it included Steve Paddack, Brian Fick, Ed Sanders, Becky Wilson. I had just moved back from Texas, so it must have been around 1990.

In our first meetings, we grilled Bill about the name, specifically, about the “forum” requirements. Just what do we have to do? What sort of forum? Bill kept explaining that it was informal, no expectations, just that we get together and talk about art...We still didn't get it. 

Finally, an exasperated Bill threw his hands up and said, “You don't have to talk about art, it's just to present ourselves as a group who talks about art!”

We found this hysterical. Every meeting afterward began with some shtick where we pretended to talk about art.

Such branding is so pervasive now. I'm not sure others will understand how comical it was at the time. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Deep Life Indy #1

431 Gallery, Indianapolis, 1984

In June, the Indiana State Museum will honor the 431 Gallery with an exhibition including members' art. 431 was a cooperative gallery which Bill Adkins formed, led, and fueled for many years. It formed in 1984 and continued through the early 1990s. I was a founding member and participated in the first auction and show, but then moved to Austin, TX. I returned in 1989 to find a vibrant, concentrated art scene along Massachusetts Avenue. Denouement (Francy and Stephen Stoller), Patrick King, Ruschman Gallery, and 431 Gallery co-existed within the block. In Vivo opened over 431, before moving around the corner. For a couple years, art opening crowds would overflow and block the sidewalks. 

During the ISM exhibit, I will be showing some paintings at Indy Reads. Until now, I was oblivious to the obvious - that the Indy Reads venue is on Massachusetts Avenue, just a few blocks from the old arts area. The entire MassAve is now designated the arts district, but is mostly retail, dining, and pubs. It's easy to forget the past. 

The ISM show will coincide with the much anticipated Ed Sanders retrospective, which will be at Herron School of Art and Design, just a few hundred yards from the ISM. I can't wait to see this show!