First Friday: Reports from Harrison Center, Circle City Industrial Complex, Studio Alchemy Gallery and Storage Space Gallery

The Harrison Center will kick off the “porching” season with an in-person ceremony to take place Friday, May 7, in partnership with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Harrison Center has a new front porch of its own, which will be dedicated at 6 p.m.

The event – originally posted as a virtual event – has been changed to a “socially distanced gallery opening.” Advance registration is required, however, at

Openings featuring Marianne Glick, Phillip Campbell and others set for that evening include:

From the Heart by Marianne Glick in the Harrison Gallery reflects the emotions of the past year and that now is a time when we all need to open our hearts to each other. This show features abstract acrylic and mixed media.

Felines and Canines – A group show featuring cats and dogs in Speck Gallery, celebrating the two types of favored companion animals. 

Comfort by  Phillip Campbell in the City Gallery. These quilts, or security blankets as he calls them, relate to the city as each piece is made by deconstructing and reassembling used clothing worn by neighbors. Each piece represents a different person and the experiences they have had.

Nature’s Claim by Graham Marshall in the Gallery Annex. The artwork seeks to explore the wild spaces imagined through observation and exploration of the natural world. Offering a very intimate look at the bottom of brambles, thickets and other overlooked places that are all around us. Featuring an array of acrylic on a paper and canvas.

O Negative by Michelle Andrea in the Hank and Dolly Gallery. The collection of oil paintings focuses on the dualities of living between cultures and their different social constructs. The mixing of form and color alludes to the affinity of the world through the differences of cultural practices and customs.

Homebound by Lorie Lee Andrews and Kristin Schoonveld in the Underground Gallery.  This  work is an exploration of basic human need/desire and the paradoxical emotions that have been engaged during the past year of pandemic and quarantine. Kristen’s abstracts expressing the emotional impact of being homebound will play against Lorie Lee’s detailed and illustrative copper etchings and mixed media pieces.

All shows will open virtually at All shows are open for in-person, socially distanced visitors Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning May 7. Make an appointment online at

Circle City Industrial Complex will continue the return to in-person First Fridays with the May 7 First Friday. Mask usage and social distancing will be required throughout the building.

– The Schwitzer Gallery, located on the second floor of the North Studios, will showcase paintings by CCIC Artist Matthew Cooper, one of the three “Swish” artists from the building, who is also fresh off a well-received show at Gallery 924 at the Arts Council of Indianapolis, and with a recent mural debut in Fountain Square.
Various artists and galleries will have open doors during the evening, in accordance with their own schedules and comfort levels.

– Full Circle Nine Gallery  will feature Dawn Cooper and The Color of Gratitude, a collection of “whimsical abstract” paintings. When she paints, time stands still for Cooper, and her show is a tribute of gratitude for the teachers that have led her along her art path. “There is no past, no future,” Cooper said. “Only the present. Each step of my journey into the art world, I have encountered great teachers.”

Lotus by Dawn Cooper will be among the works to be found at Full Circle Nine Gallery.

Other artists scheduled to be open include:
– Arts & Images by Anthony Armstrong will present a blend of new abstract painting highlighting bold colors and deep texture. Armstrong is a self-taught abstract painter and photographer. “Often times, we are moving through the day so quickly, we forget to look at our surroundings and how every beat creates the pulse of the city,” Armstrong said.
– Rachel Hedges will host guest artist Christina Jobe in the Bebito Studio. Christina is a seamstress, and her work is modern, functional ionizing garments and accessories. This will be a great opportunity for First Friday visitors to talk to Christina, learn about and purchase her work. Bebito Studio is known for handcrafted plush toys made from upcycled material.
– Kent Brinkley will present new works, both in paint and mixed media, as an exploration of changing times.
– Andy Bullard / Gallery 814. New to the building, Bullard will present The Meeting, a phony cacophony and other paintings. “The meeting” is a reference to a particular section of a cycle of frescoes painted by Mantegna in the 15th century,” Bullard explained. “The legibility of this and other references becomes lost over the course of numerous copies of previous copies like a visual game of telephone. What replaces the original importance of the source is the meeting between the different copies. A kind of shape and line shorthand develops, and these abbreviations are combined to form entirely new images. The cross-referencing, repetition and sampling that happens between the paintings forms a room full of abstract gossip. A cacophony of paintings quoting other paintings.”
– Lydia Burris of Studio S-09 has started a new magazine, Darkness Dreaming: An Homage to Strangeness and Wonder. The first two issues are out and copies will be available during First Friday. She will have an open studio as well as a pay-what-you-want book sale. Burris is a mixed media artist who imagines strange worlds and creates work with the sense of dreams; a place of ambiguity and flowing themes that dissolve into one another.
Gerburg Garmann/European Art Studio will present new works – What Fun!, Bird’s Eye View, Great Expectations and Whale & Clowns. “Color soothes and inspires,” Garmann said. “It adds to our happiness and well-being. It’s never-ending food for our brains.”
– Matt Hurdle’s successful Emotional Rescue exhibit will continue to be on display in Studio S27. Hurdle and Diane Lehman teamed up for the April Schwitzer Gallery show. Hurdle is an abstract painter of contemporary landscapes and abstract art.
– Nancy Lee – a metalsmith, jewelry maker and enamellist – welcomes spring with a new spring jewelry collection featuring never-before-seen jewelry in eclectic groupings, as well as classic styles like her own versions of silver hoops earrings, and more complex stone-set pieces. She is particularly excited to show a featured necklace, her Amethyst Passionflower, a piece made with a fully integrated handmade chain.
Studio Alchemy Gallery is now open on Saturdays in Cottage Home. Vita (a.k.a. Addie Hirschten) is a contemporary visionary expressionist painter, author and public speaker. Vita teaches painting in person at the Studio Alchemy Gallery and online at theAlchemy of Painting on Teachable.

Visitors can tour the gallery at 1116 E. North Street Indianapolis, and view the murals and fresh paintings created by Vita every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“The original reason I bought this funky building was because of the exterior,” Hirschten said. “The outside of the studio features the quaint style of the Cottage Home neighborhood along with a beautiful garden.” She modelled the garden after Monet’s Giverny, to create a space for herself and her students to work where they can paint from life.  While the studio is an Indiana Landmark Historic Site and was built sometime before 1890, the historic charm ended at the front door. 

“When I purchased the property there were holes in the floor and no distinctive architectural details,” she said. “I hired a contractor to replace major support beams.”  The process completely stripped away the studio’s interior structure, and everything had to be rebuilt.   
Many of the new murals on the walls of Studio Alchemy are inspired by images of nature – but there is one strange and ironic piece. Before Covid hit, Vita had only painted the central beam of the room.  On it the words, “No mask shall come between us,” were painted in the fall of 2019.  This was a line from a poem written by local poet Brad Severance about how masks or façades should not divide people.  Now the line seems eerily synchronistic and takes on a whole new meaning.
Vita is a contemporary painter, author and host of the Alchemy of Art Podcast.  She teaches painting at the Studio Alchemy Gallery specializing in impressionist and intuitive painting. Find out more at:

Storage Space Gallery, located at 121 E. 34th St. in Historic Meridian Park, will host an opening on Friday, May 14, for Good Guy, works by Bekah Pollard.

That show follows Young for Now, a group show open through May 5 featuring works by Rebecca Entrican, Savannah Jacob and Paul Williams.

The Historic Meridian Park studio is a passion project by Brent Lehker, who hopes visitors can emerge from “the dark spaces of the pandemic” to enjoy some art.

Masks are required to attend these openings and social distancing and safety protocols are to be adhered to.

PHOTO ABOVE: Kyle Ragsdale’s Spectacle of Homes will be among the works on display in the Harrison Center’s virtual opening on May 7.