70 Artists. 3 days. ‘Nuff said.

by Joanna Hahn, Manager of Arts and Culture Programs

70 Indiana artists.  Three days.  The Indiana State Museum.  What more is there to say?  We are gearing up for the ninth annual Indiana Art Fair and, despite the warmer weather of late, this is still the winter art event in Indiana. We are featuring artists from 24 counties on all three floors of the museum. Ceramics, fiber, painting, mixed media, jewelry … the list just goes on!

We are excited to kick things off on Friday, Feb. 17 at 6 p.m with a preview event. The artists will be selling until 8:30 and, while you are here, make a night of it! Gigi’s Cupcakes and Cabot Creamery will have treats available or enjoy dinner in the L.S. Ayres Tea Room. A cash bar will provide drinks and, this year, d’Indy String Quartet will play music in the Great Hall. On top of that, the museum exhibitions will be open. Visit REPRESENT: Celebrating Indiana’s African-American Artists, featuring work from the likes of William Edouard Scott, as well as contemporary artists. Heartland Art features work from the fine art collection of the Indiana State Museum. This is also the last weekend to view The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition featuring striking photography from his epic journey in 1914. Admission to the Friday evening Indiana Art Fair preview event is free for museum members and only $5.50 for non-members!

The event continues Friday, Feb. 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  On Saturday, 240° Sweet will be on hand making fresh gourmet marshmallows for tasting and, on Sunday, Good’s Chocolate from Anderson, Indiana, will hand out caramels. Both will be at the Indiana Store from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Our media sponsor, WFYI, will also have an information table. Admission to the Indiana Art Fair on Saturday and Sunday is only $3 for museum members and $10 for non-members.

Come and support local art and craft as well as your Indiana State Museum!

Dialogue Blog: A User’s Guide to the Indiana Art Fair

by Katy Creagh, Art & Culture Program Developer, and Eric Todd, Program Specialist

ERIC: Alright Katy, here’s the deal. This year will be my third Art Fair as an employee at the museum. I can honestly say that it’s one of my favorite weekends of the year — there is so much going on, it’s visually stimulating, and it’s fun to talk with the artists about their work.

KATY: Well yes, but do you have a point here?

ERIC: I was getting there. You have an art degree …

KATY: And a masters in Art Education.

ERIC: Nice subtle drop-in. As I was saying, you have an art degree, so I was thinking you could help me out. Even though I love the environment and excitement of Art Fair, I have to admit, I don’t really think I understand art.

KATY: Now that’s a very complex statement. What do you not understand? How it’s made? Why it’s made? Basically, artists create to express thoughts, feelings, or even just to create. And the viewers are then able to relate to their work.

ERIC: That’s a good answer. You could be a valuable resource for me. Can I ask you some questions about art and try to learn from your … how do you describe it … infinite wisdom?

KATY: Well of course, I’d be happy to share my wisdom with you.

“Cat," Eric Todd, b. 1984, colored pencils on paper

ERIC: Okay, the first question is personal: How would you, as a former art teacher, rate my work?

KATY: You have the skills, but I think you fall back on old habits. My favorite is your cat with four legs on one side of its body … perspective my friend. But I do really like your line work, very expressive. On the other hand, the craftsmanship could use a little work. Why are you rushing to finish? Take your time!

ERIC: Hmmm, but I thought the beauty of art lies in the eyes of the beholder? You shouldn’t be so critical, maybe.

KATY: Maybe.

ERIC: You do pottery right? Why do they call it throwing? You don’t actually throw anything; if you did, you would ruin it.

“Bowl,” Katy Creagh, b. 1983, stoneware clay

KATY: It has to do with the Old English word for turning … kinda. Anyway, throwing on the wheel is just using the centrifugal force of the spinning wheel to create perfectly round and symmetrical pottery. Sometimes it’s functional and other times it’s not. You can check out Carol Bell, Larry Spears and oh! You should check out the Unzicker Brothers Pottery … they make HUGE pieces! And guess what? They’ll all be at this year’s Art Fair!

ERIC: Cool, I will check them out — and now I can even sound educated about their work. Another question: I like contemporary art, but I’m not sure I know how to talk about it. What are some good questions to ask an artist?

KATY: Contemporary art can have many different expressions and many different meanings, like I mentioned before. It’s more about how the viewer relates to the piece. Now some modern art you might like is created by incorporating found or recycled objects. I know how you feel about recycling. You should check out Carolyn Aylward and Anita Hopper. They both reuse objects. And while you are talking to Anita, check out Megan Winn’s booth. I know how much you love books … she makes books from scratch! Great present for moms, girlfriends or people who like journaling.

ERIC: Oh that reminds me! Another thing I like about Art Fair is that it conveniently occurs a couple days before my girlfriend’s birthday, so it’s perfect for finding a gift that seems thoughtful even though it’s last minute.

KATY: Of course it’s last minute. When did you get your friend’s Christmas present? The day of the party, right?

ERIC: No comment. But my question is, picking out the perfect piece of art for myself or as a gift is kind of intimidating. Any tips?

KATY: Well consider the person. Are they a decorator? Do they like photography? Or are they a person who enjoys fun and personal gifts (that would be me)? Now you might check out one of the 15 jewelry artists that are featured. There are also several great painters who would have wonderful work to decorate someone’s living room.

ERIC: You’re a pro. You know, my birthday is in April, you should show off your skills by buying me an awesome piece of art.

KATY: Ha! So last year’s birthday present wasn’t enough? Ok well I can look around a little. Maybe hit up some of the woodworkers booths. Or maybe the photographers … I’m sure I can find something that just screams “ERIC!”

ERIC: In all seriousness, you’ve been quite a help, thank you. I feel bad though, I’ve been asking so many questions to help make my own experience better, I haven’t even asked you: what is your favorite thing about Art Fair?

KATY: Well, this will officially make me an art nerd, but I like seeing all the artists’ work. I also love talking to people about their artwork and finding out new and fun ways they create. And for some reason I always seem to walk away with some new item for myself.

ERIC: That doesn’t make you an art nerd, it makes you more of an art … well, nerd I guess. But that’s not a bad thing. Now I’m really getting into the spirit and, after this conversation, I feel prepared to have my best Art Fair experience ever!

Come to the 2012 Indiana Art Fair on Feb. 17, 18 and 19 at the Indiana State Museum and feel free to ask Katy for advice, or help Eric in his quest to learn more.

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.



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

Gearing up for Indiana’s winter art event

This is my third year coordinating the museum’s annual Indiana Art Fair which takes place the third weekend of February. There have been some bumps in the road getting this show ready making sure that every detail is perfect. But, now with the event only a few weeks away, I am on the edge of my seat waiting for our upcoming weekend of art, craft and — new for 2010 — food and drink!

For the second year in a row, the Indiana State Museum is partnering with the Indiana Artisan Development for the Indiana Art Fair. This year, even more artists from the program are involved. Patrons of past Indiana Art Fairs are familiar with the diverse selection of art to see and buy such as paintings, ceramics, jewelry, wood and even furniture. But this year, we will have some Indiana Artisans who specialize in food, wine and specialty items like handmade soaps.

Our show’s diversity will not only be represented in all of the great products and unique art available for purchase, but also where our artists come from.  We are proud to offer artists who live and work in Indiana a chance to be recognized and we work hard to make sure our visitors know which part of the state these artists are from. This year, we are showcasing artists from 30 Indiana counties from all regions of the state. So instead of traveling all over the state looking for that one unique piece of Hoosier art, come to the Indiana Art Fair where we bring the art to you!

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And the winner is…

Tile-A-Vision by Cappi Phillips

Tile-A-Vision by Cappi Phillips

The results are in and the Indiana Art Fair Signature Artist piece has a name. It was tough for this year’s artist to choose among the over 400 suggestions left by Indiana Art Fair visitors in February. But there was one title that 11 contestants all agreed would make a terrific name: “Tile-A-Vision.” Congrats to all of the following contestants who recommended the title: Rebecca of Plainfield; Jeb Smithwick of Indianapolis; Jeff Marsh; Greg Mac of Indianapolis; Brian Blackburn of Decatur, Illinois; Christopher Lyons of Indianapolis; Betty Cockron of Indianapolis; Jacob Crouch of Indianapolis; KyleeAnn Wheeler of Indianapolis; Adam Hon of Marion; and Mary Jane Schnake of Danville. And thank you to all who helped to give this piece of art a unique name!

 Here are the “runners-up” that were also personal favorites of the artist:
“Archaic Mosaic” by Vicki Bohlsen of Whiteland, Indiana
“Don’t Touch That Tile!” by Greg Dale of Defiance, Ohio
“Ode to Analog” by Sheila Walsh of Toledo, Ohio
“Boob Tube Redux” by Jane Runge Darlage of Indianapolis

Making Art, One Tile at a Time

Cappi Phillips' Signature Art for the Indiana Art Fair

Cappi Phillips' Signature Art for the Indiana Art Fair

Here it is, as promised! A sneak peak of the Signature Artist piece for the Indiana Art Fair by mosaic artist Cappi Phillips. This picture depicts the mosaic that will be adhered to the side panel of the television. To make her creation, Cappi is using mosaic tiles/glass pieces that are first layed out and glued on fiberglass mesh which will then be adhered to the television, and when dry, will be grouted. It is evident that Cappi will be incorporating images from shows that have been favorites of every generation over the years. Why the pictures you may ask? “The most interesting part of this process was discovering just how much television has had such an influence on our culture. The hardest part about researching and gathering the program images was how many classics needed to be included,” notes Cappi. What show do you think is worthy for Cappi to put in her art?