April 3rd, 2013

Interactive exhibits build community

by cgindy

The City Gallery celebrates urban Indy neighborhoods by connecting people to culture, community and place.  For the physical gallery space, this means that we typically feature place-based art that celebrates a particular neighborhood in urban Indianapolis.  Why then, would we have an artist who lives in Australia (along with two emerging artists she mentors) exhibiting in the City Gallery?  It goes back to recognizing and valuing the ways that art can build and enhance community.  Each in their own way, Berenice Rarig, with Shannon Johnston and Tim Goldsmith, are enriching our community by inviting us to join them in the creative process.

berenice and ivy tech students

Rarig and Ivy Tech art students

Berenice arrived in Indianapolis in mid-March and has been preparing for her exhibit in her temporary studio, Gallery No. 2.  While working, she has connected with a wide array of students, artists and curious passers-by, never missing an opportunity to engage.  It has been exciting to watch as the artist and our community interact and learn from each other.  Berenice has spoken to and inspired high school and college art students and other groups and individuals, sharing her experiences and ideas.  But she has also made meaningful connections that will inform her work after she leaves Indianapolis.  For example, one of our Harrison Center volunteers who teaches dance will work with her on incorporating movement into her next project.  You can contribute to her work as well by bringing unbroken chicken wishbones, thorns from red roses or books with the word “more” in the title to the gallery on April 5th.


Johnston’s “The Scarf” in Tokyo

Shannon Johnston and Tim Goldsmith are past and current participants of FUZE, a mentoring program founded by Rarig.  Their work will be on display in the City Gallery this month.  In addition, both will have interactive community pieces in the gymnasium during our First Friday event on April 5th.  Shannon’s work, The Scarf, was her response to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  The scarf, more than 80 feet long at present, is added to as it travels, with contributors being asked to knit their hopes, prayers and good thoughts for Japan into the scarf.  Johnston writes, “…being a gesture to a community of people, I felt it needed to come from a community.”  The scarf was recently taken to Tokyo and will go on to New York when it leaves Indianapolis.


Goldsmith’s Stick Figures

Tim Goldsmith says his work “is about the relationships of people and things that I encounter.  It is about facilitating and deepening those relationships and honoring the stories that go with them.”  On First Friday, you will find him collecting stick figures to add to a growing collection from people of all ages and walks of life from around the world.  He sees them as “cave paintings” of sorts with stories to tell.

This Friday, April 5th from 6 to 9pm, step into these artists’ worlds, contribute your stories, and join in the making!