Kipp Normand - TRASH


Trash 6, collage by Kipp Normand

Kipp Normand has a bad reputation.  “Everyone knows I dig through the trash all the time. Refuse is my muse," he says.

Normand, a mixed media and installation artist, finds beauty in discarded things. “I like to rescue materials and create new meaning and new value from things others have dismissed as useless.” Another’s trash truly is his treasure.

Producing art for the past ten years, he is making his first appearance at the City Gallery.

One of City Gallery's main emphases is place-based art.  Place-based art tells the story of the neighborhoods of Indianapolis.  For artists, this could mean a variety of things.  One artist may visually highlight the Indianapolis landscape.  Or another might take physical pieces from his neighborhood and weave them into the art.  However the artist does it, they are telling the story of place, specifically Indianapolis, through art.

Normand’s art practice is informed and nurtured by nearly 25 years' experience working in historic preservation and community development. “I feel a kinship with those who can see the beauty and value in the older neighborhoods of our city. Their work to restore homes and build community in the once neglected areas of Indianapolis is a daily inspiration to me.”

Normand's show, TRASH, reuses discarded materials from previous work and shows.  He's using his own trash.  The new work also highlights objects he has collected from various Indianapolis Uptown neighborhoods.  Uptown is the new rebranding of King Park Area - neighborhoods that include the Old Northside, Herron-Morton Place, Fall Creek Place, Fall Creek Proper, and Kennedy King.   "TRASH is a reference to the discarded material I use in my work," says Normand.  For him, this show is an opportunity to redeem these elements, recontextualizing them to give them a new meaning for a new audience.

Normand says there is a lesson to be learned, "If we don't work hard to value and preserve our neighborhoods, then what we treasure could be eventually dismissed."

He will display collages, assemblages, and artifacts.  He describes these things that he has pulled from the trash or off the ground, as what a museum would call artifacts - pieces displayed in a glass case and preserved as is.  In other pieces he is highlighting old movie stars based on items he found in an old movie theater.  All of the work in the City Gallery is very portable, he says.


Trash 2, collage by Kipp Normand

Normand's motto has always been to reward the curious viewer, meaning if the audience digs a little deeper or inspects his pieces more acutely, they'll walk away with a hidden gem from Indianapolis history and past.

TRASH opens this First Friday, March 1st from 6-10pm.  It's open studio night at the Harrison Center for the Arts so all the artists will have their doors open for you to come say hello.  The work will hang through March 29th.