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Today at the IMA: Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day

100 plus volunteers are on duty, the shuttles are lined up – the Museum is a hustle and bustle of activity today. Celebrating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has become an annual IMA tradition and it is historically one of the Museum’s busiest days each year. This is the IMA’s sixth year of celebration and we typically have between 2,500 and 4,000 visitors celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day and acknowledging the importance of creativity in our daily lives.

So what do we have going on? A full list of activities is below, but a few of the highlights include: a 4pm conversation with poet Mari Evans and jazz composer and musician David Baker, A Screening of Mr. Dial Has Something to Say and Jacob Lawrence: An Intimate Portrait, and free admission to Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection. We’ll also be handing out buy one get one free admission vouchers for the upcoming special exhibition: Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial. The Museum is open until 5 pm today so you still have time – stop by and visit us!

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Filed under: Art, Current Events, Exhibitions, Thornton Dial


Reminder: Call for Proposals

Attention all Indiana art students!

Don’t forget that proposals are due Friday, January 14 (NEXT WEEK) for this summer’s residency on Indianapolis Island. This residency offers the unique opportunity to customize the interior of Andrea Zittel’s Indianapolis Island located in the IMA’s 100 Acres. The chosen resident will be able to test their proposal, drawing conclusions about island living during their six week residency in Summer 2011.

For more information, visit the residency’s website. Also, check out the previous blog I wrote about the Indianapolis Island residency project.

Filed under: Art and Nature Park, Current Events


Slow Motion Conversation

We’ve been busy in Star Studio during Andy Warhol Enterprises…then again, it might be more accurate to say that our visitors have been busy. Star Studio is a space designed to encourage visitors of all ages  to participate in hands-on exploration of works of art on display at the IMA.  Star Studio projects encourage visitors to think about art by making art of their own, by creating in dialogue with the work on display.  Andy Warhol Enterprises has definitely sparked quite a few of those creative conversations in Star Studio.  We’ve divided the activities in Star between making art and writing about the intersection between art and commerce.

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Filed under: Art, Current Events, Education, Local


Wojnarowicz, Censorship, and the IMA

A current exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., titled Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, examines representations of sexual identity throughout more than a century of portraiture. Hide/Seek, the first major museum exhibition to explore this topic, has been widely praised for its innovative contribution to scholarship.

Despite its significance, the exhibition recently has been under fire by a small, vocal group of politicians and the Catholic League, who have denounced it, criticizing the film A Fire in My Belly (1987) by David Wojnarowicz. Wojnarowicz made A Fire in My Belly shortly after his companion and muse, the artist Peter Hujar, died from complications related to AIDS. Aggressive, macabre, and distressing, the film contains metaphoric footage meant to express loss and anger about the fact that the AIDS epidemic devastated the gay community while mainstream society largely ignored the problem.

The original A Fire in My Belly contains 13 minutes of footage, with an additional seven minute chapter. Both versions are without sound and composed of short shots of 8mm film captured by the artist in Mexico. For Hide/Seek, exhibition curator Jonathan Katz worked with editor Bart Everly to shorten each segment of the film so that it would total four minutes in length. Katz also chose a recording of an ACT UP rally found on an audio cassette in Wojnarowicz’s archives to serve as a soundtrack to the film. The video editor has posted this version of A Fire in My Belly on Facebook.

Opponents of the exhibition have targeted three brief segments of A Fire in My Belly, which depict ants crawling on a crucifix. Ants, which were seen by Wojnarowicz as having a social structure parallel to humans, were used to reference the artist’s perception of society’s indifference at the suffering of others.
Due to political pressures, mainly from House of Representatives members John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Eric Cantor (R-VA.), Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough removed the video from Hide/Seek on November 30, 2010.

Censorship of artists is an ongoing issue, major instances of which resurface every decade or so. While not limited to these instances, the key players in this current act of censorship have been linked to similar debates in the past.

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Filed under: Art, Current Events


The Perfect Gift

We all have them: people on our Christmas lists who are impossible to shop for every year. Maybe they simply buy the things they want on their own. Maybe they ask you for world peace (like my father). You look through catalogs and in stores, but nothing you can find seems unique enough for them. Let me let you in on a little secret – if you are looking for that perfect gift, look no further. The IMA is prepared to help you with all of your holiday shopping needs.

The Art Lover – Are you shopping for someone who briefly majored in photography or loves fashion or is always looking for new things to do on the weekends? An IMA gift membership is all of this, plus more, rolled into one package deal! Plus, it is literally the gift that keeps giving all year long. Simply send in this form by December 14 to make sure that your gift arrives before the holidays.

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Filed under: Current Events, Musings


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