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Meet the Parents

I’ve taken the concept of bringing work home with me to the extreme. Last week, I traveled to my hometown with the IMA’s assistant curator of contemporary art, Rebecca Uchill, and the artist Allison Smith. The three of us (as well as many others) are all currently immersed in the final stages of planning and implementation of the IMA’s upcoming exhibition, On Procession. As the artist in residence at the Herron School of Art and Design, Allison has been working with dozens of students on her piece for the parade and exhibition. Here’s the official description of her work:

Smith’s project for the Indianapolis Parade, The Donkey, the Jackass and the Mule, will feature equestrian pull-toys with attendants in historical dress. Smith is currently collaborating with students from the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis to create three large wooden pull-toy donkeys mounted on wheeled carts. To bring her donkeys to life, Smith is partnering with local Living History group, Freetown Village.


As fellow fans of history and living history museums, months ago Allison and I discussed with Rebecca the possibility of taking a weekend trip to the historic town of New Harmony, Indiana. Settled in the early 19th-century, the community of New Harmony is an amazingly rich historic site complete with its own Richard Meier building. Just 20 minutes from my family’s farm in Southern Indiana, my parents were generous to offer their house for our accommodations. The dates were confirmed and my homecoming trip with the curator and artist was booked.

My job is absurd some days. From finalizing print brochures to entertaining artists, the scope of my work is broad. This is due in large part to my enthusiasm and willingness to do almost anything for the sake of art. (In fact, just last week I was asked to procure a helicopter and a donkey for On Procession’s opening event.) While I love my work, I never expected to bring it home to meet my parents. Pancakes with Mom and Dad and Rebecca and Allison somehow seemed a bit bizarre.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. I loved every minute of the trip to Southern Indiana and just like my mom’s pancakes, I found the entire experience sweet and comforting. I enjoyed the time that I spent with my parents. I enjoyed the time that I spent with Rebecca and Allison. In the end, however, it was my parent’s interaction with my colleagues (and friends) that I loved the most. It was an idyllic blending of personal and professional, past and present.

Ironically, “taking work home with me” was a nice break before the hard work of April begins. In the next few weeks leading up to On Procession, the exhibition team will be rushing to complete tasks and finalize details.

Stay tuned…My next few blogs will be updates on the progress of the exhibition. You might also see a couple of guest bloggers tackle the subject as well. In the meantime, mark your calendar for April 26 at Noon. That’s when On Procession takes to the streets of Indianapolis.

Filed under: Exhibitions, Musings

One Response to “Meet the Parents”

  • avatar
    Rebecca Says:

    I loved traveling down with you to New Harmony. Your parents were such wonderful hosts. I know I got much more out of the trip for having gone with you and your familiy. Plus, we might not have ever gotten back to Indy if your father hadn’t been able to temporarily fix my car!

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