’Tis the Season of (For)giving at the Harrison Center

“It is better to forgive than to receive.” This revision of the altruistic phrase graced the studio of Lorie Lee Andrews as she created prints for last year’s Forgiving Tuesday at the Harrison Center. On Tuesday, Nov. 30, the nonprofit organization will endeavor to capture the same spirit of absolution during the annual event’s return.  

Forgiving Tuesday was originally conceived of by the Harrison Center as a way to bring healing, peace, and unity to Indianapolis residents and communities amidst the turmoil of 2020. The concept arose as an adaptation of the nationally recognized Giving Tuesday: a movement that encourages generosity on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving in the United States. Forgiving Tuesday, however, emphasizes the need for acts of forgiveness in a society that can often feel inescapably entrenched in division and hostility.

This year, the event is slated to feature the work of Harrison Center resident artists Carolyn Springer and Lorie Lee Andrews. Springer is returning with the third installment of her collaborative work The Forgiving Sea Project. This project centers on forgiveness by encouraging participants to write down the names of those they wish to forgive within imagery of an oil-based seascape. Once enough names accrue, Springer adds a fresh coat of paint to the canvas. The addition of each new layer can be viewed as symbolism for the cathartic release that frequently accompanies intentional forgiveness. 

Andrews is also bringing tangibility and collaboration to the act of forgiveness through her work. The artist has again designed a series of plexiglass etchings for this year’s Forgiving Tuesday. For the designs to come to life, they must be transferred to paper via printing press. Attendees of the event are invited to help Andrews actualize the finished works by manually operating the press (under the guidance of the artist!). This manual process mirrors the strength and patience required to practice forgiveness. The finalized prints will feature various poignant messages such as “I forgive you,” “I’m so sorry,” and “I forgive and set myself free.” Any prints created can be kept as physical reminders of resolutions to forgive.  

All are welcome to participate in Forgiving Tuesday, and are invited to visit the Harrison Center’s City Gallery between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Nov. 30. The event is free and no prior registration is required. Those who cannot make it in person can still participate through social media (Facebook: @HarrisonCenterArts, Twitter: @HarrisonCtrArts, Instagram: @HarrisonCenterArts). For more information, visit HarrisonCenter.org.

PHOTO ABOVE: Lorie Lee Andrews in her Harrison Center studio.