Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Art of Architects - Woodburn and Westcott - June 11, 2003 - 4 stars

This exhibition, conjured up by gallery owner and curator Doris V. Hails, makes good sense. Local architects make our immediate environments beautiful places to live and work. Architectural design is public and visually engages community in the arts. It’s utilitarian, its our heritage, it is art and deserving of being given a gallery venue. Artwork in the stylistically diverse show ranges from books and nudes, to annoying nonsense machinery. Kipp Normand’s architectural reliquaries, which, he says, “Are all about dead buildings,” sentimentally preserve the stories of notable demolished Indianapolis buildings. History and neighborhoods tend to die, too, when buildings are lost, but tearing down culture to create culture was once the irresponsible Indianapolis way. Original black and white images or the represented buildings lay next to their boxes. Fractured pieces of wood and the unlikeliest of salvaged bits contained in his pieces successfully and sincerely demonstrate the fragile balance and importance of these places better than the Indiana State Museum’s entire School 5 façade “save” which screams of guilt. Through July 26; 317-916-6062. – Mary Lee Pappas

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

One Earth Festival - Garfield Park - June 4, 2003- 1 1/2 stars

May 31-June 1. This event in our city’s oldest park didn’t effectively accomplish its goal of celebrating unity and diversity among different cultures and religions. Isn’t that what the Italian Street Festival at Holyd Roasary Church, the Eiteljorg’s Indian market, the Middle Eastern Festival at St. George Orthodox Church, Fiesta and the International Festival, among others, already do more successfully? Just how the booth selling pewter figurines of wizards and the like meshed with the mission of the event is definitely questionable. If cultural diversity is a key theme, then a diversity of world cultures should be represented beyond hippie clothes and hemp bags. Our city has a history of great cultural diversity that is underestimated and rich with authentic resources that could have been called upon to participate in theis idealized exercise. Booths were not marked and there was no schedule of events to be found. – Mary Lee Pappas

Art Fair at the 54th and Monon Shops - 54th and the Monon - June 4, 2003 - 2 stars

May 31. Admission, popcorn and hotdogs were free at this one-day event. It was less art fair and evidently more promotional tool for the stores inhabiting that block of 54th Street. There was plenty of parking and booths were easy to maneuver through. Located smack-dab off the Monon Trail, biking or walking to this fair was made easy. The caliber of art ranged from very good (Happy Trails, Douglas David and many others) to questionably less-than-average. The crisp, white-tented booths were sturdy and wind resistant, but there was no signage to adequately identify the participating artists. While some booths were set up professionally with art objects carefully displayed, others were uninspired with wares thoughtlessly strewn on foldout tables. A great idea at a great location, setting an aesthetic standard is needed for what could become a nice tradition. – Mary Lee Pappas

"Shaky Hands" - The Enchanted Studio - June 4, 2003 - 3 1/2 stars

The interior of artists Mary Jo DeMyer’s Enchanted Studio, featuring a colorful array of bold outsider art, feels like what could be the feminine side of the Rev. Howard Finster. Glitter-encrusted doll-sized wire beds and chairs are suspended from the ceiling of this playground barn along the Monon Trail at 54th Street. An aged pink piñata, really big papel picado Las Posadas banners and a porch swing add to the folkish flavor. The cartoonish incongruence of the playfully painted walls and floors, along with the cotton quilted tab curtains, warrant the enchantment title. Five other outsider artists’ work can be found here. Kansas City artist Allann Winkler’s soda cracker box big-headed people, round and bright eyed, aren’t too far a cry from Laylah Ali, who recently exhibited at the MOMA and Indianapolis Museum of Art. The comic book inspiration forms, rounded eyes, heads and mouths are all similar though possibly less ambiguous. So, who’s to say that outside art is really so outside? Through June 14; 317-753-1004. – Mary Lee Pappas

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

"An Eye Blink for an Eye Blink" David Kadlec closes his Eye Blink Gallery, Published June 3, 2003 in NUVO

By Mary Lee Pappas
Published in NUVO June 3, 2003

David Kadlec closed his gallery, Eye Blink, after the exhibit of Sam Sartorious’ paintings, Up All Night, came down at the end of last month. Kadlec opened the space after the Faris Building, where he had a studio for 11 years, was sold to Lilly.

“When I left the Faris I had the chance to get this specific space. The gallery came of this place,” Kadlec explains of his Murphy Building gallery.

“I could show my work and other people’s work. It was such a spontaneous thing. It wasn’t like I was always thinking, jeez, I should have a gallery.

“Everything seemed to point to it in that moment.”

Ending Eye Blink is, in essence, an eye blink, too. “Naming Eye Blink was not the end of it. It happens all the time in life. This is absolutely a continuation of that process of paying very deep attention to what it is that excites me and what I need to do,” Kadlec said of closing the gallery to take the next step in his life.

“What I’ve known for some time is that I needed to devote my time to fighting for the planet, for clean air, clean water and for a sustainable relationship between humans and the planet. I’ve had this sense for a long time. This is part of my call to action for myself. I don’t even know what that’s going to look like for me.”

Initially, it means spending time at his family’s cabin in central Minnesota, the state where he grew up. “I want to spend some time up there and watch the spring and summer unfold a bit, go swimming every day, make some new art and think about life. And those are things you can do all at the same time!” Kadlec explains, “I feel this delicious sort of openness about all of it. I trust it all. My job is to keep my heart open and my eyes open and respond to what I’m feeling inside.”

Coming back to Indianapolis isn’t out of the equation either.

“I’m proud of this place,” Kadlec said about Eye Blink. “It’s been a great effort and a lot of fun. To elevate my own work and get it in front of people is the coolest thing I’ve ever done. The whole thing has been about love. Now I think there is something cooler for me to do.”

He’s elevated Todd Lantz, Matt Davey and Terry Steadman along the way, too, and received great joy from their art. “They are doing astounding work. Communicating so, so beautifully and so clearly.”

Unforgettably poetic and lyrical shows of outstanding quality (Kyle Blevins, Doug Travis and Karen Thompson particularly) have been some of Kadlec’s gifts to our arts community.

Painter Keith J. Hampton will be doing something cool of his own when he debuts his new gallery, It’s All Art, in the old Eye Blink space during the next Murphy Building open house June 6.