Come to the Woods
This month in the Speck Gallery, local artists will partner with the Indianapolis Choral Artisans to create a multi-sensory experience for those who are lucky enough to enjoy it. On Friday, June 1st, during our First Friday festivities, the choral artisans will be performing, “Come to the Woods,” by Jake Runestad, in a gallery filled with visual art that is inspired by and representative of the music. The work is based on the legacy of John Muir (1838-1914) naturalist and environmental philosopher who earned the nick name, “Father of the National Parks.” The music and artwork will fuse to create a beautiful reflection on the life of a courageous trailblazer whose endeavors to protect nature are as appropriate today as they ever have been.
I was lucky enough to chat with Indy Choral Artisans Director Rick Cobb about the show, and I was inspired by his enthusiasm for both the work and philosophy of John Muir as well as the arts. Cobbs believes there are benefits for artists of various disciplines to study each other’s processes. He asks how knowing the thought process of a visual artist could improve the technique of a choral singer, and vice versa. The function of the arts in our community is enhanced by the encouragement and experience of all the different disciplines (music/theater/2D and 3D visual arts, literature). “Come to the Woods” is a perfect example of how the combination of music and visual art will create an environment and inspiration that is even more powerful than either discipline could create independently.
What better way to celebrate the importance of John Muir’s legacy than to combine beautiful music and art that has been created by people who were inspired by it? As Cobbs says in a recent blog post, “I hope it captures the self-discovery and sustenance one encounters while exploring the outdoors and its vital importance in our lives.” (choralartisans.com)
At a time when so many of us are seeking clarity in a confusing world, nature creates a perfect solution to the chaos of “everyday life.” So does the experience of viewing and hearing an artist’s interpretation of the peace that is found in nature. When I walked into the Speck Gallery this morning, I was immersed in the peaceful and refreshing feeling that only the color green in such profusion can evoke in me! Having listened repeatedly to the beautiful composition by Jake Runestad, I can only imagine what a delightful experience awaits those who choose to be here for it. The performance will be repeated five times, at 6:30, 7:00, 7:30, 8:00 and 8:30pm in the Speck Gallery at the Harrison Center on Friday, June 1. You’ll be able to enjoy this AND still have plenty of time to experience the other amazing shows in every gallery here on First Friday!