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New Year’s Eve at the IMA and a “Soundsuit” by Nick Cave

Today’s guest blogger is Vishant Shah, member of the planning committee for New Year’s Eve at the IMA and co-founder of Foundation East.

New Year’s Eve at the IMA is a great party and your ticket will also help the Museum acquire a Soundsuit by Nick Cave, a world-renowned contemporary artist and fashion designer. But what in the world is a Soundsuit?

Nick Cave (American, b. 1959), Soundsuit, 2013.  Photo by James Prinz. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

Nick Cave (American, b. 1959), Soundsuit, 2013.
Photo by James Prinz. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

Soundsuits are wearable sculptures that are bright, whimsical, and other-worldly. They have been exhibited all over the world – set in place as traditional sculpture or fully alive and in motion, out of museums and into the streets. Check out this video to see his Soundsuits in motion.

A Soundsuit is a multimedia piece comprised of a cornucopia of objects – second-hand sweaters covered with metal items to create tree-like body sculptures, found objects like an abacus obscuring the features of the wearer and creating miraculous sound as the wearer leaps about. Cave uses the term ‘second skin’ in describing his first Soundsuit, and I am excited to journey into Nick Cave’s universe on New Year’s Eve!

$25 of your ticket to New Year’s Eve at the IMA will help support the Soundsuit so that all of Indianapolis can experience this amazing work of art. At the event, you can purchase Nick Cave buttons or exquisite BASH party hats, and a portion of those funds will also support the acquisition. So wear them proudly! Online donations are also welcome.

Whether you are at the IMA to dance or party in the galleries, make it your resolution to stop by the Deer Zink Special Events Pavilion to check out the Soundsuit by Nick Cave.

Filed under: Art, Contemporary, Guest Bloggers, Public Programs


Lesson from the cotton fields

Guest blogger Felipe Martinez is Associate Executive Presbyter, Whitewater Valley Presbytery, and moderator of the 2013 Spirit & Place judges panel.

On November 1, the Spirit and Place Festival will kick off its 2013 theme Risk with a gutsy event, $20K: A Competition about Race. Creators of four finalist projects will present their vision to an audience and a panel of judges, hoping to receive the $20,000 award to implement their innovative ideas inviting a fresh conversation about race in Indianapolis. The winner of this competition will help Indianapolis and central Indiana residents look back on our own histories, and challenge us to a shared commitment to reshape our communities in positive ways.

At some point in an honest, open dialogue about race in the United States, family stories surface. The stories might date back decades, or refer to events last week; the stories might be of facing and overcoming oppression, or of the perks and pitfalls of being a part of a racial majority. And then there are the stories which document the moments when we learn or unlearn how race contributes to the shaping of community.

Prof. Luis R. Martinez and students, circa 1945.

Prof. Luis R. Martinez and students, circa 1945.

When I reflect on my earliest notions of race, I think about my dad, who was a public school teacher in Mexico for over 60 years. Dad always had a second job to help supplement his meager salary. One summer in the 1940s, he even traveled to southern Texas to work as a field hand picking cotton. There, for the first time, he labored side by side with African American workers. He spoke to me with compassion of their physical strength to do the work and their spiritual depth to survive in a blatantly racist society. Though his contact with them ended when he returned to Mexico, the impact of those relationships endured. Dad taught me to pray for those who suffer from injustice and to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them.

If we risk together, standing shoulder-to-shoulder to remember and re-imagine, to dream and dare, our actions will have a lasting impact in our richly diverse community.

Filed under: Guest Bloggers, Indiana, Local, Public Programs


Docents fist-pump over Matisse

Kathy McKimmie is a docent at the IMA

About 75 of the IMA’s 130-plus cadre of docents have signed up to be specialty docents for Matisse, Life in Color: Masterworks from the Baltimore Museum of Art, opening October 13 to the public.

Matisse’s bronze sculpture, “Large Seated Nude,” sits in front of “The Yellow Dress” at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Both will be in the IMA exhibit.

Matisse’s bronze sculpture, “Large Seated Nude,” sits in front of “The Yellow Dress” at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Both will be in the IMA exhibit. © 2013 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

IMA curator Rebecca Long provided special training  and early access to images and descriptions of the more than 100 works that will be on display. And, art lovers that we are, we have all enjoyed reading books on Matisse to learn as much as we can about the extraordinary French modern artist.

Specialty docents are assigned public tours of the exhibit, which will take place daily throughout the run of the exhibit which closes on January 12, 2014. Docents will also lead tours for school groups or any group that contacts the museum. Are you a member of a group that would like to make a day at the museum and include a guided tour of Matisse? You can schedule your group tour by visiting our Group Tour page.

Docents are really jazzed about this exhibit, and speaking of Jazz, the exhibit also includes framed pages from the 1947 book by that name, loaned by the Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington. The book includes 20 hand-printed color stencils after the larger cut-out designs by Matisse.

To get a taste of what you will see, I’m sharing a photo I took at the Baltimore Museum of Art in June. Come join us for Matisse, Life in Color!

Filed under: Art, Public Programs


Silents: Before and After, Part Two

Today's guest blogger is Eric Grayson,a film historian and preservationist who lives in Indianapolis.

The IMA’s silent film series continues on April 12, with a rare showing of WC Fields’ So’s Your Old Man (1926), followed by its sound remake You’re Telling Me (1934).  Although Fields is well remembered for his talking pictures, his silent work is nearly forgotten today.  Most of the films are tied up in complex rights issues, none of which got more complicated than So’s Your Old Man.

Based on an award-winning story by Julian Street, the film tells the story of eccentric inventor Sam Bisbee (Fields), who has invented a shatterproof glass and wants to sell the patent in the big city.  A series of tragic and comic circumstances keep Bisbee from selling his patent, and, dejected, he boards a train bound for home.  Unable to face the shame of failure, he contemplates suicide.  Fortune belatedly intervenes and a foreign princess, traveling on the same train, comes to his rescue.



Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Film, Guest Bloggers, Public Programs, The Toby


Interpreting “Graphite” through Performance

Our guest blogger today is Mr. Kinetik who writes about his performance during the opening of "Graphite."

The artwork in Graphite that really got me was Staumauer by Michaela Früwirth. The piece was seemingly larger than any other piece. I was immediately drawn to it because honestly, I did not understand why someone would create such a large and seemingly “blank” piece of art. As an educator, graphite is largely confined to pencils, number 2 pencils to be exact. These pencils, while they are instruments we use to write and express ourselves in other written formats, have come to symbolize testing to me; typically of the standardized variety. Usually, you have to have a number 2 pencil sharpened and ready for the completion of your standardized test. Technology has taken us into a digital era, however most tests are still conducted with the use of pencil and paper in some aspect. Seeing that large graphite filled piece of art in a room of many other artworks that rely on graphite made me think, “We are so wrong about how graphite can be used in schools.” Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Contemporary, Public Programs


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