#CreativeMornings Indy with Artist Justin Vining

CM_December-SM Last month marked the beginning of a new creative era in Indianapolis as Indy native Rita Troyer invited Sarah Urist Green up to the Speak Easy’s stage. Green, the former curator of contemporary art at the IMA, and now creator/curator of The Art Assignment took the stage to share her wisdom with Indy’s creative community on “commissioning a chance.” And as Green began her talk, so began the inaugural meeting of the now monthly tradition of CreativeMornings Indy.

CreativeMornings began in New York City in 2008 when founder Tina Roth Eisenberg desired to create an ongoing, accessible event for New York’s creative community. The original CreativeMornings consisted of a breakfast paired with a themed talk one Friday morning out of each month. These events were entirely volunteer run, entirely sponsor funded, entirely free, and entirely open to anyone.

Since its inception, CreativeMornings has spread from New York into over 100 cities internationally, and, to Eisenberg’s great delight, is still functioning as she originally intended. Each month the creative communities in all of these cities come together for breakfast, coffee, and with an itch to hear a local creative speak on a theme passed down from the CreativeMornings headquarters in New York.

With this in mind, the Harrison Center for the Arts is particularly excited about this month's CreativeMorning, not only because Indy’s second event will be held in Gallery No. 2, but also because this month’s local creative, tasked with speaking on the theme of education, is our very own Justin Vining!


Now, in case you haven’t heard, who exactly is Justin Vining? Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? After spending his formative years working the land of his family’s northern Indiana farm, Vining pulled up roots in 1999 to begin his pursuit of higher education at Purdue University. In 2004, with his Bachelor of Arts in tow, he took up residence in Pendleton, IN, this time on the other end of the educational spectrum as the K-6 art teacher at Maple Ridge Elementary. After having spent three years passing his artistic knowledge to his classes of young Hoosiers, Vining, along with his younger brother, decided the law school at Valparaiso was calling their names. Consequently, Vining spent the next few years as a law student until, in 2010 while working as a law clerk after having opened his own business in 2008, he passed the Indiana bar exam and graduated from Valparaiso. All this is to simply say that Vining is no stranger to education, both as a student, as well as a teacher.

But even immersed in his studies at Valparaiso, Vining was never far from what has become his true vocation, career, and love. He is an entrepreneurial artist. Well… he is an artist who is also a lawyer, who is also a teacher. With such an impressive educational resume, reified into what some might consider an unprecedented career choice, it’s no surprise that this month’s CreativeMornings speaker is Justin Vining.

“I was selected to present this month’s CreativeMornings talk because the CreativeMorning Indy staff felt that I fit the topic well in the sense that I’m an artist who was a teacher, and I also hold an advanced degree,” Vining explained, “You also don’t find too many lawyers who are full time artists!”

As a bit of a teaser for his CreativeMornings talk, Vining explained, “Without revealing too much of the content, I’m going to be talking about my formal education versus my informal education, and how both have been necessary to shape who I am today. All of my formal education brought me to a point to where I was finding modest success, but it wasn’t until I gained real world selling experience, that I was able to take principles I had learned through all of it to a whole new level.”

On the morning of Friday, December 12 in Gallery No. 2 at the Harrison Center for the Arts, Justin Vining promises to bring a wealth of knowledge and wisdom to CreativeMornings Indy. Be sure to take the morning from 8:30 to 10:00 to enjoy some free Hubbard and Cravens coffee with Indy’s creative community, and while you’re at, take the opportunity to be educated by the teacher turned lawyer turned artist.

Registration began Monday, December 8 at 11:00 AM. You can reserve your seat here: creativemornings.com/talks/justin-vining