A Few of My Favorite Things

Kate Stall is participating in a summer internship at the Harrison Center as a curatorial/studio assistant to painter, Nathan Foxton. She is a sophomore at Taylor University where she is studying art and art history. Growing up and living in Indianapolis has many benefits. One of them is being nurtured in a flourishing center of art and ideas. A main source of these art and ideas is the Harrison Center of the Arts in downtown Indianapolis. I have had the privileged to explore the creations that come through the Harrison Center as a visitor for many years and this is the first summer I get to work with the people there. Now, let me tell you some of my favorite artwork that adorns the walls of the Center and why they are so dear to me.

Lori Lee Andrews' Serenity is a little lady not on the walls of the hall or gallery, but in Lori Lee's studio. Just as she is hidden in a studio where people can take a peek at her on open studio nights, she is also hidden by flowers and shrubbery, peeking out calmly for the viewer to see her. Her name is fitting as her face and open hands convey serenity. The shades of blue give depth and contrast to the artwork but, they also give a sense of peace and coolness. Also, the transparent, delicate style of the paint over music sheets creates a dreamlike feeling as it reminds the viewer how sounds and feelings can be calming when the physical world is not stable. Finally, the composition is beautifully done, not only showing harmony across the picture plane but also implying harmony between humans, nature, and animals. My personal favorite part about this artwork is that is reminds me of a garden with the many flowers and the figure having almost Grecian statue features. Gardens tend to be a place of peace and serenity for me and I enjoyed this piece very much.

Another one of my favorite pieces of artwork that is currently up is Benaiah Cusack's Pink Veils of the Morning. This 20 x 24 inch acrylic painting has a beautiful color scheme and interesting brushwork. The water consists of many shades of purple, blue and green. The brushwork moves the paint into undulating line work to make the waves in the water and quick strokes to make the splash. Then, by only changing the brushwork, line work in the horizon line becomes the soft, wispy clouds depicting the morning. Another use of brushwork is the variety of strokes on the island. The multiple colors show the depth, atmosphere, and variety of a true forest but, the different strokes allow the formation of lushness and identity for different trees. Therefore, brushwork is a vital component to this artwork as much as clearer elements such as color are. This is my favorite because I enjoy nature and its beauty. Realistic landscapes are amazing but the colors and style enhance a mystical feeling of a dawn or morning. My favorite part of this piece is how the water was done. It feels refreshing, active and abundant. I wish I could start every morning feeling like this picture!

Finally, I found this piece titled Waking Up by Elizabeth Guipe Hall hanging outside her studio. This piece is part of a series inspired by when Elizabeth's friend was in a hospital recovering from a car accident. During the recovery, Elizabeth was intrigued by the human body, the veins, the blood, and more. She uses encaustic wax to create a rich surface. The vibrant reds and purples that twist into ribbons give a calm but lively feel to the art. They curve around the human silhouette and draw the eye across the picture plane with its fluidity. Another material used was yarn. Not only did it add another texture, but it also was made to look like veins, almost as if blood were flowing through the picture and making it alive. The forest in the background was a good compositional choice. The forest creates depth behind the figure and vivid colors in the foreground. The branches mimic the branches in our lungs that we need for air and reminds us the need for trees to give us air. This entire artwork is about the physicality of life in humanity and in nature. I have recently found the encaustic wax to be a very satisfying media to study. Furthermore, I love the content being portrayed with small pops of color and the solemn feel it conveys. It seems to rest rather than be only active or busy like most of our daily lives are.

I hope you enjoyed reading about these amazing artists and their creations! I encourage you to visit the Harrison Center and discover even more fantastic artwork. Perhaps you will find a few favorites as well!