Spring At Last
As summer approaches and porching season draws closer, we begin looking for creative ways to celebrate and promote porch parties around the city. Porching brings neighbors together, and one of the ways we are able to recognize porching each year is by displaying art that commemorates the season on the billboard at the intersection of Delaware and 16th street. Each of the past four years, the Harrison Center has installed a porching billboard to help build excitement about porching, and this year, for the fifth billboard, Harrison Center studio artist Erin Hüber has designed a creative, beautiful piece titled Spring At Last. Spring At Last is the latest work by Hüber, and will hang on the billboard for the entire month of May.
Traditionally known as a painter, Erin shifted to focusing primarily on paper cutting about five years ago, creating many pieces that begin with a sketch, are folded over to make a mirror image, and then are cut out to make intricate paper pieces. Spring At Last holds true to her signature paper cutting method, and brings a new creative twist with fresh subject matter. “I just thought of what porch partying means to me, and that means gathering people after a really cold, dead season, and embracing what spring is, which is new life, new friendships, conversations, things like that,” said Hüber. “You see here in my piece people are joined together, lounging, having conversations, kids are playing, people are dancing, because every single porch party is different based on the people who are having the porch party.”
This particular design by Hüber features iconic images of Indy Porch Parties. All drawn and cut out by hand, the piece includes two porches at the center, with their parties extending out into the streets and yards, filling the piece with shots of neighbors hanging out with each other, people playing instruments, pets, barbecues, and a whole assortment of other summer porching essentials. The activities were inspired by a community parade on Alvord Street, where a group of neighbors triumphed down the street, playing instruments, riding bicycles and motorcycles, waving flags, and even rode in a corvette from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Other neighbors were, of course, gathered on their porches to watch the parade. "It's perfect for our fifth porching billboard because it illustrates how porching spills out into the community,” said Harrison Center Executive Director Joanna Taft, “it brings neighborhoods together, unites the city, and creates a sense of community among neighbors.”
The month of May is an exciting time in Indianapolis, not only because of the beautiful weather and the opportunity to porch again, but because it’s also time for the Indy 500, another long-standing cultural tradition. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a sponsor and partner of the Harrison Center in our Porch Party initiative. The black and white palette in Spring At Last almost looks like Hüber has transformed the iconic checkered race flag into the stories we associate with May in Indianapolis.
“At the end of the day what matters are people and the relationships with each other. I think that says a lot, because porch partying is bringing people together, and making art is bringing people together,” said Hüber. “It’s all about our relationships with each other, and we’re here for each other. It’s not about all the stuff that we can’t take with us; it’s about how you are with other people, and how you can impact their lives for the better.”