First Friday, July 2: Reports from the Harrison Center and Circle City Industrial Complex

The Harrison Center will become a three-ring circus on First Friday, July 2, with three shows related to the fabled Big Tops. The event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Registration is required for entrance to this social distance event. Guests can register at Eventbrite via “July First Friday Gallery Opening.”

* Circus Circus by Johnny McKee and Kipp Normand in the Harrison Gallery, with archival photos, abstract work, assemblage, and a dark sense of humor.

* The Magnificent Midway by Beth Guipe Hall and Josh Betsey in the Speck Gallery, featuring circus imagery, food characters, and large typographic posters with a vintage circus/midway feel.

* The Sideshow by Gigi Salij in the Annex Gallery, with each piece inspired by a word, word-play, phrase, passage, or quote from both pop culture and high culture.

* Places of Reflection by Benaiah Cusack in the City Gallery. This exhibit features

abstract oil and acrylic paintings that capture the essence of peaceful water

features in his favorite Indianapolis parks.

* Atmosphere by Gary Gee in Hank & Dolly’s Gallery. The

artists’ thoughts and reflections of the racial injustice hanging in the

atmosphere inspired these large panels with a combination of acrylic and spray


 * Acrocontortional Luminarium, by Chad Campbell in the Underground Gallery. 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


All shows are open for in-person, socially distanced visitors Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and online beginning July 5. Make an appointment or view the online galleries at

The Circle City Industrial Complex will host an in-person First Friday on July 2, including a group show in the Schwitzer Gallery. Vibe Check will feature work by James Kane, Kat Spears, Meris Drew, Sara Yourist and Kerrigan Clark, all masters of fine arts candidates attending Indiana University’s graduate painting program. The exhibit will feature a wide range of styles, from abstract to figurative.

The Full Circle Nine Gallery will feature Nathan Winship Smith and Planter Banter, an exhibition of plant containers containing as well funny narratives and commentary, each created by ceramicist Nathan Winship Smith. This exhibit celebrates growth and a sense of humor, bringing some much-needed social therapy to visitors. “We have been charged morally and emotionally every day during the pandemic,” Winship Smith said. The outside of each planter will be used as a canvas to explore and vent through jesting and joking, using the ‘garden’ as a metaphor for the individual and collective soul. Simultaneously, the ‘gardener’ will act as a metaphor for the individual and masses who tend to that collective-vessel-holding essence.

As the CCIC follows state and county regulations, masks are no longer required for vaccinated visitors, but 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.

Among the artists planning on presentations on July 2:

* Nancy Lee of Nancy Lee Designs Studio, known for her handmade sterling silver jewelry, will feature new silver and gold jewelry designs in her freshly updated gallery space. Her offerings also include kiln-fired enamel landscapes on copper substrates. Lee is one of the original three artist pioneers who brought First Friday art openings to the Circle City Industrial Complex.

* Arts & Images by Anthony Armstrong, presenting a blend of new abstract painting highlighting bold colors and deep texture. Armstrong is a self-taught abstract painter and photographer.

* At Bebito, Rachel 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 will feature new works and a new issue of her magazine, Darkness Dreaming: An Homage to Strangeness and Wonder, titled 1,000 Dreams Deep. Burris is a mixed media imaginer, combining the chaos of abstraction with the surreal elements of life’s mysteries.

* Circle City Metalworks, helmed by Dan Jones, who will be displaying a small sampling of products for sale from their large product line.

* 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. 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.
* At Darkroom Revelations, Tom Potter, Nancy Frass, and Gayle Moore will continue to host Charles R. Yang’s Asian Through Asian Eyes. Over the last decade, Charles Yang has lived and traveled in Asia. His sensitive photographic eye focuses on socio-cultural street photography, depicting slices of Asian lives, and inviting viewers deep into Yang’s visual narratives.

* 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.

* At the Sylvia Gray Art Studio, abstract and fiber artist Sylvia Gray creates largely using silk and various means to interpret her designs on the delicate fabric.
* HI Print Gallery features works by print artists James Hubbard and Kurt Ihrig.

* At Matt Hurdle Fine Art, Hurdle’s European style of landscape painting instills a sense of calm and serenity. New serene landscapes will be featured throughout July.

* Larry Lad of, LadArt is a self-taught painter experimenting with a variety of media and surfaces, such as cigar boxes, recycled material, and unique surfaces.

* Wendell Lowe Fine Art features a unique style of abstract expressionism finger painting. Since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2009, Lowe’s style has evolved from detailed chalk pastel landscapes and photography to his current work. Lowe’s work sometimes combines his finger painting techniques with prints of his own photography.

* Ryan Mullin of The GhostYard paints abstract colors and shapes on many surfaces. Born and raised in Indianapolis and influenced by street art from his travels around the world, Mullin is an abstract painter and graffiti artist, preferring bright and contrasting colors, inspired by graffiti, urban life, and freight trains.

* Katrina J. Murray Studio and Gallery will feature ceramic sculpture and collage work.
* Shaun M. Niles Gallery & Studios reopens after the Covid-19 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 1930’s through the 1960’s.

* At Soundspace, Thomas Mendenhall will host open mic night, giving attendees a chance to share a song or poem – or improvise one – with fellow artists in a musical safe space.

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.

For more listings and event updates visit, or the CCIC Artists Facebook page,

ARTWORK ABOVE: Works by Kerrigan Clark will be part of a group show at the Schwitzer Gallery in the Circle City Industrial Center.