Of restaurants and museum artifacts

A theory about people and taste led me to see if I could find a connection between the kinds of activities or artifacts people enjoy at the museum and their favorite foods. After a bit of investigation, I don’t know that my theory necessarily holds any water, but I still think it’s fun to note their favorites and pass along a few Indiana State Museum staff picks.

  Gail Brown: Manager, Science Content Delivery
~ Indiana connection: Born and raised in Monon, Ind.
~ Favorite artifact or gallery: The atlatl in the Native American Gallery
~ Favorite event at the museum / time of year: Native American Dance Circle
~ Favorite restaurant: Bruno’s Pizza, West Lafayette
  Joanna Hahn: Manager of Arts and Culture Programs
~ Indiana connection: Born and raised in Madison County, Ind.
~ Favorite artifact or gallery: Kiddish Cup in Hoosier Way Gallery
~ Favorite event at the museum / time of year: Fall when we are the busiest with programs and there are a lot of fun things to do.
~ Favorite restaurant: Right now my favorite restaurant is Iozzo’s Italian on South Meridian.
~ Favorite homemade food: macaroni and cheese
  Michele Greenan: Curator of Prehistoric Archaeology
~ Favorite artifact or gallery: Native American Gallery and the beautifully incised archaic bone pins
~ My favorite time at the museum is late at night working in the clean lab against the lights of the canal.
~ My favorite restaurant in Indy is any Starbucks!
  Eric Todd: Science and Technology Program Specialist
~ Indiana connection: Graduated from Butler University in 2006
~ Favorite artifact: Bobby Plump’s Milan High School basketball jacket
~ Favorite program: Summer Camps
~ Favorite local restaurant: Yats
  Carrie M. Miller: Science & Technology Program Developer
~ Indiana connection: Born in Rush county, Ind.
~ Favorite artifact or gallery: The natural history galleries including the R.B. Annis Naturalist’s Lab
~ Favorite event at the museum / time of year: GeoFest
~ Favorite restaurant or favorite homemade food: Pretty much anything prepared by my mom.
  Katherine Gould: Associate Curator of Cultural History
~ Indiana connection: Moved here to attend graduate school. Got a job and stayed.
~ Favorite artifact or gallery: 1970s popular culture wall in Global Indiana (bongs and bell bottoms!)
~ Favorite event at the museum / time of year: I’m a sucker for anything Christmas.
~ Favorite restaurant: Any Thai or Indian restaurant is my favorite. Spicy, spicy, spicy!
  Rachel Perry: Fine Arts Curator
~ Indiana connection: Raised in Bloomington, attended University High School and earned a bachelor’s degree at Indiana University
~ Favorite artifact or gallery: NiSource Gallery (where most of our art exhibitions are displayed), of course! Favorite painting is “Dairy Barn” by Robert Selby
~ Favorite event at the museum / time of year: Great Outdoor Contest at the T.C. Steele State Historic Site
~ Favorite restaurant: College Avenue Yats
  Katy Creagh: Museum Program Specialist
~ Indiana connection: Graduated from high school in Munster and went to Ball State University
~ Favorite artifact or gallery: The Bride & Groom fleas in Odd Indiana
~ Favorite event at the museum / time of year: The Indiana Art Fair and Arbor Day
~ Favorite restaurant: Cafe Patachou
  Mary Jane Teeters-Eichacker: Curator of Social History
~ Indiana connection: I was born on a farm west of Greenwood in Johnson County.
~ Favorite artifact or gallery: A pair of dolls given by a Civil War soldier to his daughters before he went off to camp, where he died a month later.
~ Favorite event at the museum: The Indiana Art Fair in February is always a wonderful blast of color and beauty in a cold, gloomy time of year.
~ Favorite restaurant: El Sol de Tala on East Washington Street serves the best Mexican food in Indiana!
  Kerry Baugh: Arts & Culture Program Developer
~ Indiana connection: Born and raised in Terre Haute, Ind. (Vigo County)
~ Favorite artifact or gallery: The entire Odd Indiana exhibit, limestone quarry and the handwritten John Mellencamp lyrics for “Jack & Diane”
~ Favorite event at the museum: Hard to choose, but Family New Year’s Eve is one great party!
~ Favorite restaurant: Market Bella Rosa in Terre Haute; Taste Café and the Donut Shop in Indy.
~ Favorite homemade food: Depends on the season, but right now – chili.
  Christa Petra Barleben: Arts and Culture Program Specialist
~ Indiana connection: Fort Wayne is my hometown
~ Favorite Artifact: Julia Graydon Sharpe’s Silk Ball Gown in the Crossroads of America Gallery.
~ Favorite Event: Pinewood Derby
~ Favorite Restaurant: Creation Café

We’d love to hear about your favorite event or exhibit at the museum. Comment below and let us know some of your Indiana favorites.


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QR Code – the softer side

by Sherry McConnell, quilter featured in Frugal & Fancy

In December 2010, my dear friend Mary Jane challenged me to make a QR (quick read) code quilt. I accepted her challenge, picked up the pattern, found that the deadline was about six weeks away, located fabric and then enlisted family and friends to help me research this interesting subject.

My family got very excited about this project and everyone began to look for examples … and find them they did! Friends stopped by to see the progress as word spread about the piece on my design wall! Due to the size requirement, individual squares would finish at ¾-inch square, but I did find that I could do some spaces in rectangles of various lengths. At one point it felt like the piece was leaning, so a call to a good friend who works in miniatures assured me that it was an optical illusion and my piece was indeed straight … whew!

The entire idea of the code is that you can take a smart phone with a QR code reader app, point it at the code, take a picture and then link to a website containing more information. It worked on a hard surface, but would it work in a soft surface format? That was the next question … so the piecing was done and a young quilting friend brought over her new iPhone, took a picture and — lo and behold — IT WORKED! The border was added and then the quilt was sent off to a friend to be quilted. After adding the binding and story label, I took it to the museum and crossed my fingers that the code could still be read with the quilting.

On the day we hung the quilt, the app was downloaded, a picture was taken and — lo and behold — IT WORKED AGAIN! You will see small imperfections in the piecing, but in spite of those imperfections, the code does work and it occurred to me that even with our own imperfections our personal code can still be read and whether human, hard surface or soft surface we still get the job done. So here is to the softer side of the QR Code and the work we do!

Frugal & Fancy: Indiana Quilts is on exhibit at the Indiana State Museum through July 17.

Unique, fun and full of surprises

The eighth annual Indiana Art Fair is just around the corner. This unique show of fine art and crafts will feature 75 artists from around the state, representing 22 counties. You will see as many new faces as well as show regulars.

Signature Artist Lee Cohn, Jewelry, Monroe County

Signature Artist Lee Cohn, Jewelry, Monroe County

Always a favorite is the Signature Artist. For 2011, it’s fine jewelry maker Lee Cohn of Bloomington! Cohn creates very unique geometric gold jewelry with fine gems. Each Signature Artist is asked to create a piece that emulates Indiana or the museum. This allows the artist to create a one-of-a-kind piece that truly reflects their point of view on Indiana. Cohn has created a bracelet based on the double mobius strip, a geometric configuration that only has one side. For Cohn, this shape represents Indiana’s iconic state nickname “Crossroads of America.”

For this event, the Indiana State Museum is bringing back its evening reception on Friday, Feb. 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. where you can get a jump on buying that next piece for your collection. Admission for Friday is $5.50, or free for members. The event continues on Saturday, Feb. 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; tickets for Saturday and Sunday are $3 per member and $10 per non-member (museum admission is included in your ticket price).

Download a list of exhibiting artists!

Charlene Marsh, Painting, Brown County

Charlene Marsh, Painting, Brown County

Pam Niccum, Glass, Hamilton County

Pam Niccum, Glass, Hamilton County

So much more than popsicle sticks and glitter

by Rebecca Zuppann, West Region Program Assistant

When I first started working at the T.C. Steele State Historic Site, I was asked to help work on an exhibit about the Arts & Crafts Movement. To be completely honest, I had never heard of the Arts & Crafts Movement, so naturally my first thoughts were of popsicle sticks, glitter and pipe cleaners. Thankfully, I had it all wrong and was able to discover an incredible time period in art history.

The Arts & Crafts Movement was a design revolution that found roots in England in the mid-1800s. The founder of the Movement, William Morris, strongly believed that beauty and quality of goods could only be achieved through skilled craftsmanship and not solely by the production of machines. This belief, along with his socialist ideals, inspired his goal of making quality, hand-crafted products widely available, and of improving the working and living conditions of the average citizen.

Morris’ idea of simplistic design and a return to true craftsmanship found its way into all forms of art, architecture and media, and quickly spread across the world to America and to T.C. and Selma Steele. In building their Brown County home, the Steeles utilized many Arts & Crafts principles of design: use of local materials, a structure dictated by function, a flowing floor plan and decorations created by local and regional craftsmen. Visitors to the T.C. Steele State Historic Site are able to see not only the Arts & Crafts architecture and design of the home, but also a large collection of artifacts including furniture, metalwork, books, textiles and ceramics.

Join us on a journey through the Arts & Crafts Movement and take a peek into the Steeles’ lives and their deliberate design choices. The Arts and Crafts Moments: Simplicity in Design exhibit features three rotations: artifacts currently at the T.C. Steele State Historic Site, objects from the Indiana State Museum collections and items from a private collection. The first rotation continues through April 30 and the second rotation begins May 2.