First Friday report: Updates from the Harrison Center, Circle City Industrial Complex and more

Works by Becca Ito will be on display in the Harrison Gallery from 6 to 9 p.m. First Friday, Aug. 6, in the Harrison Center, which will be open for full capacity and without any requirements for advance registration.

Ito’s exhibit, In This Sign, will feature pottery exploring hospitality. These ceramics play with questions of power, welcome, and the complicated ways of peace. 

In other Harrison Center openings:

* Father & Son by Bruce and Anthony Armstrong in the Speck Gallery. This father-and-son duo will present, in large scale, a collection of clean abstract paintings.

* Hanging by a Thread, a group show featuring Susan Fletcher Conaway, Karyl Boring, Stephanie Robertson, Lucy Burton, Molly Kelley, and Marcia Jones in the Annex Gallery. This collection of fiber art will include a variety of mediums from sewing to weaving. 

* Intersections by Jingo de la Rosa in the City Gallery. A series of urban sketches that highlight some of Indianapolis’ street corners. From the busier ones to the ones tucked away in neighborhoods, these landmarks always remind us that home is just around the corner.

* Perseverance by Glizzy Gunning in the Hank & Dolly’s Gallery. Each of the portraits in this show are people the artist “met” through magazines and various ads that he connected with to help him make it through his time while he was incarcerated.

* Acrocontortional Luminarium by Chad Campbell in the Underground Gallery. This exhibit is a multidimensional tribute to those who push their bodies and minds to the limit in order to perform for others. Immerse yourself in acrobats, contortionists, and colored shadows.

In-person socially distanced gallery tours will open for visitors from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and online beginning August 9th. Make an appointment or view the online galleries at Special Senior Hours are every Friday from 2 to 4 p.m., with no appointment needed.

The Circle City Industrial Complex’s First Friday, Aug. 6, festivities will revolve around an exhibit, Marriage of the Arts, by Radie Lee Steiner and Even Lloyd, a couple who met through their art. The exhibit can be found in the Schwitzer Gallery, located on the second floor of the North Studios.

Radie Lee Steiner’s Dolphin will be part of the Schwitzer Gallery exhibit, Marriage of the Arts.

Steiner works in landscape and lifestyle photography and Lloyd creates mixed media and abstract photography. “There is light everywhere,” Lloyd said. “If we look for light, we will find light, literally and figuratively. There is so much negative that if we focus on the ‘light,’ or positive, we can find more of that and can attract more positive into our lives.”

The Circle City Industrial Complex follows state and county regulations, and in doing so no longer requires masks for vaccinated visitors, although individual artist studios may continue to require masks within their space. The CCIC is a 500,000-square-foot building, making social distancing somewhat easier than other venues, but the smaller studios may also maintain limitations on visitor numbers at times.

Various artists and galleries will have open doors during the evening, in accordance with their own schedules and comfort levels. That list includes:

Arts & Images by Anthony Armstrong, who presents 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.

Roberta Avidor is a representational oil and watercolor painter who paints what she sees on her forays around the city, inspired by the world around her.

Bebito, whereRachel Hedges creates cute and quirky plush toys and soft sculptures from repurposed and upcycled textiles. She uses unusual combinations of textures and colors, along with original patterns and hand-dyed fabrics to make truly one-of-a-kind pieces that are loved by children and adults alike.

Kent Brinkley will present new works, both in oil paint and mixed media, as an exploration of changing times.

Lydia Burris Studio S-09, featuring new works and a new issue of her magazine, Darkness Dreaming: An Homage to Strangeness and Wonder. The issue is titled 1,000 Dreams Deep. Burris is a mixed-media imaginer, combining the chaos of abstraction with the surreal elements of life’s mysteries. “I’ve started working with another new medium (encaustic) and I have moved into a new living situation,” Burris said. “At times like this, my art becomes a reflection of both my inner and outer worlds; a visual diary of my emotions and yearnings.”
Circle City Metalworks is helmed by Dan Jones, who will be displaying a small sampling of products for sale from their large product line. “We offer over 300 different unique and artistic items on our website. We also do design and custom work. If you can dream it we can make it,” Jones said.

Daily Epiphany Studio: Michele Burns and Kurt Kriese will be showing new naturally luminous “Nightlight Art” paintings. Michele’s work is inspired by pattern, color, texture, and the mesmerizing fun of a second, luminous and sometimes very different composition when the lights go out. The glow comes from industrial-grade, OSHA-rated child-safe, super-bright photoluminescent minerals in paints that she makes herself. These are “excited” by any visible light, and shed light at different rates for each color, so compositions change through the night. These works are functional nightlights that glow for 12 to 20 hours, as well as beautiful paintings. Over the long COVID seclusion, Burns chucked frames and began working large. Kurt Kriese is working on abstract, richly colored and layered multimedia paintings on wood that draw viewers close to see the depth and complexity of what looks simple at first glance.

Five Seasons Studio and Gallery, where owner Martha Nahrwold will presents Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea – art of the undersea, from gentle giants to stinging beauties, all created by floating acrylic inks on water in a technique Nahrwold calls marbled impressionism. “From ages four and five, living in Kaui, I have been fascinated by the sea, especially the creatures within,” Nahrwold said. “I have been on a whale watch, with humpbacks swimming alongside the boat; I’ve attended a week long fish and wildlife workshop monitoring the hatching of sea turtles. One of my favorite movies from childhood is Down to the Sea in Ships. Aquariums, maritime museums – all have influenced my art work.”

Full Circle Nine Gallery will feature and Channeling Nina Simone, a joint effort between Eric Schoch and model Zakeya Brown. “We have been collaborating to make images in the studio and on the street for about six years,” Schoch said of the culmination of the long-term project. “When we discovered a mutual affection for the music of Nina Simone, Zakeya and I began thinking about ways to illustrate songs by the iconic singer, pianist, songwriter and civil rights activist. The words, music and activism of a great singer can reach across the decades to console, enlighten and inspire us amid renewed efforts to bring about racial justice. We’ve been at it a couple of years, on and off,” he added. “We thought about the lyrics. We made photographs. We referenced the works of black painters whose creativity should be better known. We mashed them all together. This show is the result.”

Glass Arts Indiana creates a collaborative glass community to support emerging and established artists; host fun, interesting and educational events; increase appreciation and understanding of the glass arts; and promote glass-related opportunities in Indiana and the U.S. Finished works are available and visitors will get to see glass-blowing in action.

Sylvia Gray Art Studio will feature the abstract and fiber art of Gray, whocreates largely using silk and various means to interpret her designs on the delicate fabric. “I love the freedom of painting on silk. My silk wearables and paintings will be on display. Hope you will enjoy my work as much as I have creating it,” Gray said.

Matt Hurdle Fine Art will offer new contemporary landscapes on display as part of Hurdle’s show, In Another World, and always enjoys visitors.

LadArt features the works of Larry Lad, a self-taught painter experimenting with a variety of media and surfaces, such as cigar boxes, recycled material, and unique surfaces. “While I start with a general idea of what I would like to create, I am learning to listen, to see, and to let the art tell me where to go next,” Lad said. “With COVID, we have been given the gift of time. It has allowed us to produce some new art and new poetry. It has also taught us patience.”
Nancy Lee Designs Studio’s owner isknown for her handmade sterling silver jewelry and will feature new silver and gold jewelry designs in her freshly updated gallery space. She has made custom work for clients in gold and silver for over a decade. She specializes in alternative wedding and engagement rings in a warm and inclusive environment. Her offerings also include kiln-fired enamel landscapes on copper substrates. These paintings show the same attention to detail with which Lee touches all of her work. “Details delight me, and I can easily get lost in them, whether in gold, silver, or enamel. You might say tiny things are my superpower!” Lee said. Nancy Lee is one of the original three artist pioneers who brought First Friday art openings to the Circle City Industrial Complex.

Katrina J. Murray Studio and Gallery will feature ceramic sculpture and collage work. Murray considers all of her works to be a form of collage. Educated at the Herron School of Art and Design and Ivy Tech, Katrina Murray studied art history in Italy and lived for a time in Germany. A native of Brown County, Indiana, Murray now makes her home in Indianapolis and has held a longtime studio at the CCIC.

Shaun M. Niles Gallery & Studios owner hasreturns from the COVID hiatus with a “bigger better beard” and new work from his Beneath It All project, a photographic exhibition illustrating a contemporary perspective on art nudes and figure studies styled after those of the 1930s through the 1960s. In the last year, Niles exhibited work in the 12th annual NUDE exhibition at the Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati, partnered with Travis S. Little in their Schwitzer Gallery collaborative show, By Two Hands, and hosted a solo exhibition at the Forever Gallery in Carmel.

Racecar Factory, whereZach Taylor and Kerrigan Clark present new works in their dual show, “Tonka Tonic.” Taylor, a photographer, and Clark, a painter, both graduated from DePauw University in 2018. Since then, they have shown work nationwide and have been represented by galleries in Florida and Los Angeles. Most recently Taylor has been living and making work in New Mexico, while Clark is going into his second year as a graduate student in the painting program at Indiana University.

Thomas Mendenhall at Soundspace will host Open Mic Night @ Soundspace. Visitors are invited to bring a song, poem, or performance piece (finished or unfinished) to share with a crowd of fellow artists in a music focused safe space. Soundspace is a music coworking space that exists to erase the barriers to a professional music career so that more people can afford to be a musician.  

The CCIC is also open during regular business hours, with the Schwitzer Gallery accessible throughout the week. Several artists and galleries will remain open for their regular ‘retail’ hours, usually on weekends, and posted on their own websites and social media. Some studios will also be open by appointment.

At Gallery 924 at the Arts Council, Valerie Eickmeier, dean emeritus at the Herron School of Art & Design, will explore the themes of environment, landscape, water and human impact on nature in the exhibit, Choice and Chance, opening First Friday, Aug. 6. Eickmeier, a professor of fine arts, will use the exhibit to map the physical features of a geographic area to convey a message or metaphor about the powerful effects of climate change. The exhibit will remain through Aug. 27.

ARTWORK ABOVE: The exhibit by Becca Ito in the Harrison Gallery will feature One if by land, and two if by sea; And I on the opposite shore will be….