June 1st, 2016
Herron, Sewall, and Steele
by Brie Stoltzfus
In celebration of Indiana’s 200th year, the City Gallery will be exhibiting the work of sixteen contemporary artists that seek to honor three key Indiana culture-makers: May Wright Sewall, funder of the Art Association of Indianapolis, John Herron, unexpected founder of the State’s first art museum and art school, and T.C. Steele, Indiana’s foremost painter and a founding member of the Art Association. As a signature project of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission, “Herron, Sewall, and Steele” fits in with two of the Bicentennial’s Key Pillars: Historical Celebration and Community Involvement. Herron, Sewall, and Steele’s art and social justice work advanced Indiana’s cultural and social landscapes.
The City Gallery is excited to carry on the artistic and community-oriented legacy of these three Hoosiers in June. The exhibit will feature new commissioned works of art and spoken word ballads inspired by the stories of these cultural leaders. Two of the participating artists are Vivian Gladden and Justin Vining. Gladden recreated T.C. Steele’s painting “16th Street in Snow”, updating the original scene of 16th street with contemporary details: the yellow house is now blue and a McDonald’s is situated next door. She also included a painting of Herron High School, the light-posts of which were dedicated to Mary Sewall.
Justin Vining’s two pieces map the history of artists in Indiana, paying special attention to tracing the teacher/student relationships throughout the state. In this way, the heritage of Indiana art is outlined, depicting how T.C Steele and the Hoosier Group have continued to influence future generations of artists.
The show hangs June 3 through June 24.