Casey Jo Ailes, is my wife and arts column writer for the Broad Ripple Gazette. I thought that her recent article was worth reposting. It also appears this week on her own blog located @ www.figarosstudio.com
On the afternoon of July 31st I ventured down to the Fountain Square District to give a bit of praise to an area I don’t usually make it out to for this column. Making an effort to view the latest contemporary art on view in our city I headed to the G.C. Murphy building where the current home of Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art can be found at 1043 Virginia Avenue. As I walked up to the building and discovered that even knowing the sign on the door stated that the IMOCA was open, I found the doors locked. My reasoning for this would be that a new show is currently being installed. Unlucky for me that I don’t pay any attention to TWITTER and rarely do I log onto Facebook, then I may have seen their post that they closed their doors this week as they prepare for “PostSecret”, the newest show to open on First Friday. But luck would have it as I walked back out to the curb the door to the Red Lion Grog House opened and we were kindly invited inside where Ejected Productions was working on The Indianapolis 48 Hour Film Project. I decided to enter the Ole’ English Pub being just a bit curious about what was taking place just inside. I have heard about The 48 Hour Film Project and finding out that this has been going on around the country for over nine years and this was one of the first times I really had a chance to see the action up close was very exciting. Taking a seat inside the Grog House, another first for me and ordering what turned out to be one of the most expensive orders of french fries I have ever paid for, but one of the cities best tastes, minus the curry sauce that accompanied the fries, I sat back and watched the production unfold.. Sitting inside one of Indiana’s first historic commercial districts and watching one of The 48 Hour Film productions take form made me appreciate even more the opportunities this city has to offer. Many do not see Indianapolis as a “Film” city, but after seeing this production take shape I believed there is a place for Indy Film Makers in Hollywood .
Wondering what on earth is The 48 Hour Film Project? Let’s see if I can shine some light on the history of the project. Mark Ruppert came up with this idea in 2001, wanting to see if not only could a film be created in 48 hours but would it be worth watching. Now over nine years later the project has exploded with more than 150 competitions having taken place around the world. My guess is he got his answer. The smallest teams have consisted of a single person to some of the more larger teams that have had over a hundred people. So why do this? The Film Project set out with a mission to not only challenge the Film Makers of our time but to promote them on a local and national level. How does it work? The 48 Hour Film Project is a crazy sleepless weekend in which the team not only makes a movie, they write, shoot, edit and score it before the pending deadline. On Friday (here in Indy 7.30.10) the team receives four elements that they must include into the film. The elements this year for the team we followed around on Saturday (7.31.10) was a genre “Buddy Film”, a character named “Cooper O’Brien a Dog Walker”, a prop “auto part”, and a line of dialogue that has to be included into the script, “What time is it?”. All of the Indianapolis teams had these same elements to work into their films. Now 48 hours seems like an impossible feat to pull off a decent film, but to add to the challenge each team has to keep the length of the production between 4-7 minutes. So the Sunday evening deadline of 7pm makes that clock tick a little louder with each movement.
Michael Bricker, Robert Scheer and Christopher Nunn came together and created Ejected Productions for this film competition. On Wednesday July 28th they did a crew and casting call so they would have some of their people in place prior to the 48 hour madness of creating the short film. Since they were not entirely sure what they were looking for in a cast member they left it rather open and then did call backs on Friday once they new what they needed. The praise to the cast and crew is that since this is a competition no one gets paid, so every one was volunteering their time for the weekend shoot. (www.ejectedproductions.com)
The winning film will compete with other 48 Hour Film Project films from around the world. On the City level the chosen winner will receive a trophy and will be screened at Filmapalooza, and the over all International Grand Prize is $3,000 along with a screening at the Cannes Film Festival.
Interested to see what Indianapolis Film Makers can do? On Saturday August 7th from 5pm-9pm at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (4000 N. Michigan Road) their will be a Premiere Screening of the films. Tickets are $10 for each screening and are available through the IMA and can be purchased in advance online or in person at the museum. With more then thirty teams in the Indianapolis area the competition will be strong and certainly worth a Saturday evening out. Ejected Production’s working title “Cool Beans” can be seen at the Toby Theater inside the IMA during the 9pm viewing. Oh and if you do make it out you get to vote for your favorite. For more information about The 48 Hour Film Project visit www.48hourfilm.com
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the August 5th, 2010 edition of the Broad Ripple Gazette
This past Sunday, was my first Father's Day. My wife and son had put together a large plan of things to do for the day. First, we started with breakfast @ Henry's on East who make a pretty good sausage and egg croissant. We did a lap around the block of Mass Ave, Park Ave and East Street before getting in the car to make our way to the next stop. Here are a few photos from our trip around the block.
Our next stop, was going to be the IMA and it's new 100 Acres Art's Park. The grand opening was planned for Father's Day. However, we made a stop by one notable construction project going on located on the NW Side of downtown. The Fall Creek YMCA is being mowed down to make way for a brand new mixed use development. Here is a shot of the demolition progress thus far. There are still floor lamps and drapes hanging in each room. It looked like something out of post war eastern Europe...
After that, we headed over to the IMA. We arrived around noon-ish in hopes of beating the would-be crowd for the Grand Opening of the 100 Acres Arts Park. The park is located on the grounds of the IMA, but is considered a bit of a walk (especially if you have a stroller) from the main building. As such, the IMA was offering a shuttle from the main building, down 38th street and dropping off along the White River parking lot area.
We managed to fold down the stroller and pack in and make the short journey over. The trolley was merely a bus painted up to look like a classic streetcar. Too bad there isn't a REAL rail streetcar in Indy. Once we got off, and walked into the park, we were greeted by a TON of people and all sorts of festivities. There was a giant grasshopper greeting people right at the entrance.
As we went further into the park, most of the trailway was paved with some sort of clay. It was squishy and moist, but we were able to easily push the stroller along, even deep into the network of trails through the woods. We made it as deep as the visitor's pavilion where we took a rest and had some water.
After running into a few friends, Mark Cline of Fun-City-Finder, and Graeme Sharp of local blog A Place of Sense, we made our way back to the trolley pick up. What followed was a taxing wait in the very hot Indiana heat of the weekend. I could feel my pores going wide open as the swear poured forth! We managed to keep little Oscar cool with fans and when the trolley made it's way back, we got on and into some air conditioning; a welcome feeling indeed! The ride back however, was much longer. The roads in this area are designed in such a way that you cannot simpy turn back and go the roughly 1/4 mile back up 38th street to the IMA building. We had to take a 4 mile route back through some side streets with a stop at the Major Taylor Velodrome to pick up more people. By the time we made it back to the IMA, we were drenched in sweat and ready to get off! The large amount of people made for a stuffy ride back, but I wasn't complaining. Now, if we could just manage to find a way to get this many people on an IndyGO bus, we would be doing great! I leave you with a parting shot of your's truly all drenched in sweat riding the trolley back. Hope you all had a great Father's Day! I sure did!
I stopped by here on my way home from school and snapped a couple pics on the quick. There was something going on at the Murat next door, but the parking attendant at a lot was nice enough to let me squat on it for a few moments while I walked North Street to take a couple photos. For more information about the Prairie Modules, visit the Cultural Trail website
Last week, my wife took her photo class to the IMA which is a popular photo destination for people here in Indy. Who can argue with such well kept gardens such as those found around the Lilly House? However, this past week she turned me on to a new development. This new development is the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park and according to the IMA webpage documenting it's design and progress, is being billed as, "one of the largest museum art parks in the country, and the only one to feature the ongoing commission of site-specific artworks."
After reading through the page, I was inspired to make this post. The photograph in this post was taken by my wife on a day when the weather was perfect for taking photographs. Hopefully, the weather will shine on this new greenspace for the residents of our city to take advantage of. Regular updates of the construction of the visitor pavillion can be seen here .
It is slated to open to the public in June of 2010. You can bet my wife and I will be taking our new little dude out there to check it out, once it is ready for visitors!
Once again, I was out last night with my camera and a tripod after class. If you saw someone running around from a Jeep with a Nikon and a tripod, that was me. If it seems like I have been focusing a lot on this area of town, there is a reason. I've wanted to highlight a part of town that I feel a lot of the residents of Indianapolis may not even know or appreciate. Unless you live on the near west side, work in the medical district, or go to IUPUI, you likely don't get over there often. Not that I am trying to slight the near west side but when you think about trendy urban things, the portions of town that spring to mind are Mass Ave, Fountain Square or the Wholesale District. Indiana Ave while designated, I feel still gets left out. Perhaps there are some plans in the making that could change that... I will remain mum on that for now, but for now at least, we have the Cultural Trail making it's way to this part of town.
What you may not know is that while it has taken a while for the north leg of the Cultural Trail to progress along, the finishing touches are beginning to take shape. Simply to reiterate, the west end of the north leg runs along St Clair and intersects Indiana Avenue, just north of where Blackford meets Indiana. The bricks are all laid, the light posts and benches are set and a bus stop shelter are all new to the area. While the trail lights have not been "turned on" yet, they are there and aside from some landscaping it looks ready to unveil. I think I read somewhere that sometime in May-July there will be a ribbon cutting to officially open the North Leg. The trail will thread south through IUPUI's campus from here.
Recently, I highlighted the east end of Mass Ave in a guest post for Indianapolis Funcity Finder. You may not have read Indianapolis Funcity Finder, but its a labor of love by metro area realtor Mike Woods. He employs 9 full time writers to populate this website that is full of good articles about Indianapolis and the going's on in and around. If you have a minute, go check it out.
In that post, I highlighted where there trail is threading through the more dense area of the near northeast side of downtown. Construction should kick into high gear this year to complete that portion of the trail. With temperatures finally pulling out of the REAL Indiana winter we just went through, workers should be out in full force soon!
I thought I would use my space to promote a couple of events that open this coming first Friday in downtown Indy. First off, I had a hand in helping to get both of these shows on the wall. I spent the majority of my weekend helping get these up and the rest doing homework and now I am propping my eyes open with toothpicks.... okay so its not THAT bad.
My wife's show "20 x 20" will open at the Cultural Arts Gallery @ IUPUI's Campus Center this Friday March 5th. My wife has been hard at work on 10 abstract works and 10 photos, all printed 20" x 20" depicting tea pots. She focused on this over the past couple months after having given her painting students a similar assignment based around a common subject matter. I have personally witnessed all these works come together over the past couple of months and can say they are truly awesome! My wife took 1st place this past year in the Southside Art League's "Midwest National Abstract Art Show V". The paintings were all done in the same spirit and look glorious! We will both be hanging out there on Friday so take a half hour and depart the beaten art's path and come see us. The show will be worth your time spent. Her website can seen here, and has a few galleries of her photos and fine art paintings. Take a few minutes and give her site a look
On Saturday, I helped out at the Artspace at the Anthenaeum (the building the Rathskeller is in). Shows at this space need all the promotion that they can get since there are some higher on up people who dont display the desire to support this effort as much as they say so on the surface. But thats a personal dis of my own. Indy Metro Church who hosts services here on Sundays and maintains an office does a great job of promoting and a detailed description of the show can be seen at their website. ANYWAY, the show that will be up there this month is called, "A Nod to Haiti" and features MANY photos from local amateur photographer and medical missioneer Amy King. Amy and her husband Rob have been to Haiti 3 times on medical mission and most recently after the quake. The photos on display are from pre and post quake trips so all things are represented fairly. I had a hand in helping hang a lot of the pieces this past weekend. The opening is this coming Friday March 5th. Enter through the doors to the theater and go up the stairs til you cannot go up anymore, and you have reached the art space. They will be screening a documentary in a side room highlighting the plight of Haitians on a daily basis. All photos will be for sale. Dont want a photo? They will accept donations as well. All donations will go directly back into the hands of groups on the ground in Haiti instead of a bean counter's overhead. Amy highlighted the need for a generator by the group that they have went to Haiti with. So think about that if you decide to purchase a piece of art work.
The following will appear in the latest issue of the Broad Ripple Gazette. My wife writes their arts column named "And in the other Cultural Districts". We visited the T.K. Nelson Gallery this weekend for an appointment to view the space and I was excited to highlight this non-imposing space. My wife, Casey Jo Ailes, paints and photographs on a daily basis and is well qualified to comment on matters of this purpose. Visit her website at www.figarosstudio.com
So without further ado, I give you her article.
By Casey Jo Ailes
"Take Two", was a common phrase used on Friday February 12th, as galleries around town scrambled to get the word out on their second attempt to a First Friday Artist opening. As the snow continues to fall on us, many of us still recall that Friday February 5th was a grueling day to be out and about in the snow, so for First Friday art goers it was a quiet town. The Stutz Artists reported that they chose to stay open for the evening, but aside from the artists they were the only ones enjoying the ambiance of the night. Over on Mass Avenue, several of the galleries like McFee, Kuaba and the Athenaeum ArtSpace chose to close the doors for the evening. Even in Broad Ripple the fairly new space found on North Keystone Avenue the T.K. Nelson Fine Art Gallery gave into the winter storm and closed their doors for the evening. But it was just for the evening for two galleries reopened their doors in hopes to bring in a crowd to check out what their artists have done this month. "Take Two", on Friday February 12th, Nelson opened his doors to a surplus crowd willing to bear the cold and take in some art from "When the Wind Blows" by local artist April Willy. A little irony in Willy’s title as temperturers continued to fall into the night her paintings of wind brought warmth and a sense of calmness to the patrons. Showing over twenty works of art that all have the common theme of "wind" in the genre and in the name. Willy chose titles such as; "Whispery", "Swoosh", "Windlet", and my favorite "Whiffet". Do you know what a Whiffet is? Nope, it’s not a made up name in a Dr. Seuss book, although it would sound pretty fitting. Willy’s images of tree’s whispering to the wind come in many small sizes I have not seen her work in before. The petite paintings grab your attention just as much as her larger ones and for the art buyer still stuck in the economy rut, the prices range as low as $60. Which is an astounding price for this artist who has been creating beautiful works of art for over twenty years in the Indianapolis area. Her sense of color and texture is another note I want to make, Willy works on a sanded canvas which makes you want to reach out and touch the painting, but the colors she is working in really calms and soothes the soul. If you have not been introduced to this artist’s work in the past then I suggest you check out this exhibition. T.K. Nelson will graciously accomodate and show you around his gallery and studio. This write up wouldn’t be right if I didn’t mention the enormous Banyan Tree that makes quite a prescence in the gallery, setting this space aside from others. When I first walked up to the T.K. Nelson Gallery it is a little deceiving from the outside as it is a one story home, you don’t think of it as being a suitable gallery. Once you enter your mind is quickly changed as Nelson has done a beautiful job transforming the space into a place that can be inviting to the most prestigous of artist as well as not having an intimadating feel about the space if you know nothing about art or buying art. Nelson plays a big role of making you feel welcome into the space and his excited energy is seen as he shows you around the space and talks about the reasons behind the gallery and his Banyan Tree. When I asked Nelson why place a big tree in the gallery, he said, "It breathes a little life in to the room". The trees in Savannah Georgia where he attended for his undergraduate work have become a huge inspiration for creating his trees. Nelson is looking for ways to really put our town on the map and is excited about the possiblities of really stepping out and creating art work that will really attract the attention of others to Indianapolis being an "Art Destination". To see the current show visit the T.K. Nelson Fine Art Gallery at 6331 N. Keystone Avenue, but be sure to call for an appointment 317.490.0678.
If you had the chance to make it out to the Mass Ave District on Friday February 12th you would have seen a few lights on at the Athenaeum’s ArtSpace, where they were hosting fourteen local artists and more than forty works for original art. The ArtSpace has been open for about a year and has been attracting more and more artists and patrons to each show. This current show had a drop in attendance from the several hundreds that have been coming through on an opening night due to the cold and reschedule, but the March show has a promising hope for a huge crowd as they present "A Nod To Haiti". This show is a collection of photographs by Amy King showcasing the resiliency of the Haitian people. All money collected at this show will support local medical missions to Haiti. King’s show will feature photographs from her own pre and post - quake missions to Haiti. I have seen the images that King will be showing and this is not a day to choose to stay home on the couch. Even if you don’t have a place in your heart for the suffering in Haiti, King has enough devotion and compassion for all of us as she has spent restless nights working on her exhibition to show us a little piece of what she went through when she was down there not only working, but loving the people of Haiti. This show will open on Friday March 5th from 6-9pm at the Athenaeum’s ArtSpace, located at 401 E. Michigan Street on the corner of Mass Ave (the ArtSpace is located on the second floor). For more information follow Amy King on Facebook.
With out further Adu, I would like to write a little about the changes in Fountain Square. Have you seen the renovations to the fountian? Wow, I am sure they meant well and when it’s said and done it may look good, but sometimes the old is best left looking old and just needs to be revitalized, not redone to look like, well I will let you form your opinion on the new fountain. The Pioneer Family statue at the intersection of Virginia Avenue and Shelby Street has been replaced by a cast-iron reproduction of Lady Spray, the water nymph sculpturer that stood there in the early 20th century. This effort to revitalize the fountain is nearly fifteen years in the making and I completely love the idea of bringing back the Water Nymph that once stood in Fountain Square, but some of the design around her standing ground has been less than desirable by the community. With the new design of the fountain and construction of the Cultural Trail to arrive on the scene and some new businesses showing up to play there is one that is going away that I must mention.
As of March 21, 2010, AV Framing Gallery will no longer have a brick-and-mortar location in Fountain Square. The recession takes a toll on all of us, being an artist I see this left and right, but with Sarah Adams at AV Framing instead of just hanging up the towel and calling it a day she is excited about the changes that need to be made. She said "I am making leaner business choices in a challenging economy". If you have ever worked with Adams to have something framed then you already know that for her to switch to this style is not that different. She already makes appointments to come to your home or office to make it more convenient for you to have your item framed and she will deliver the framed piece once it is completed. So, for this change it’s not really any different in that aspect, but the gallery is going through some changes. She is planning on taking it virtual. Adams will show online fine art exclusively through her website and will have occasional shows online. After hearing from Adams I know she is looking forward to these changes, as an advocate for the arts I hate to see a gallery close, but where one closes another one always opens.