My Owned Indy Originals
Today I am returning home from the Pastel Society of America’s 44th Annual Exhibition, “Enduring Brilliance.” I’m a signature member of the PSA and was really honored to have a painting accepted into this show. My piece hung in The National Arts Club in Gramercy Park, NY, among 175 others selected from almost 1500 submitted from countries all over the world. My husband Lou and I really enjoyed all of the festivities surrounding this show and awards ceremony this past weekend. But, we really enjoyed just gazing on all of the amazing works of art. It was a very diverse show – everything from still life to landscape and cityscape, portrait and other figurative work hanging alongside abstract work. With only a few lower priced exceptions, the prices for work in this show ranged from a couple thousand to $40,000.
I don’t get to see such a collection of accomplished artists often! The talent blew me away. The experience has made me reflect, however, on our own Harrison Center for the Arts with renewed pride.
Each month there is a brand new show hanging in each of five galleries, opening on First Fridays. Each of the four galleries of the HCA has its own personality, as do their respective exhibits. Over the last few years Lou and I have purchased many pieces of art from local artists and each means something unique to us. I’d like to share little stories of these acquisitions.
Ember, Susan Hodgin
I will begin with a piece that we bought from the estate of Susan Hodgin. We didn’t get to meet Susan before she passed away, but her story made us just yearn to own a piece from her collected works. She did wonderful abstract paintings, with interesting angles that created lots of energy. … We have a piece done by HCA artist Elizabeth Guipe Hall. It is full of vibrant colors and textures – painted shapes under encaustic, centered on a vintage found photograph. The photo is of a man surrounded by children as he reads to them. It speaks to us of family relationships and the knowledge passed down to younger generations. … We own a watercolor painting by former Redeemer Presbyterian Church pastor Jason Dorsey. The painting is of several trees, growing side-by-side, all fed from the same spring below. To Jason, it represented Redeemer and it’s many ministries. To us, it will always remind us of a place where we, too, have grown and been nurtured. …
Star Light Balloon Ride, Johnny McKee and Chad Campbell
We have a collaboration between artists Johnny KcKee and Chad Campbell. It is a three dimensional conversation starter! There is a man, hanging from a glass balloon, suspended from a backdrop of sky. Chad and Johnny are each interesting guys, and any piece they collaborate on promises to be compelling. … We have another piece by Johnny McKee, a simple painting of a star-filled sky. To me, nighttime can either represent isolation and fear, or peace and stillness. Johnny’s sky helps me remember the beauty of the night, and hope for the coming morning. … We own a painting by Justin Vining. Justin’s work has really evolved over the last couple of years! It’s fascinating to observe his artistic journey. The painting we own is from his black/white/grey series. It’s a scene from Zionsville, painted as night is falling. Although it is clearly nighttime, the objects are illuminated with a moonlit glow. Very nice. …
We own a painting by Kyle Ragsdale. Kyle is another painter who is fascinating to follow. You never know what Kyle will do next! One thing that you can count on however, his pieces are always recognizable as being his. Kyle has a distinctive voice that comes through everything he draws or paints. The piece we own was done for a Porch Party Indy Group Show. One thing we have come to love about our time in Indy is going to a weekly porch party! I have always been a fan of any gathering of people. Having a weekly bash to look forward to, just to touch base with good friends, has been good for us. Looking at Kyle’s painting always immediately fills me with anticipation for the next time with friends. … We own a painting by Jed Dorsey, which was painted for a Monument Circle Group Show a couple of years ago. Jed does wonderful landscapes and cityscapes, with unexpected color play. When my husband and I first came to Indy, we rented a condo right above what used to be Jillian’s. No, it wasn’t the quietest place in town. But, we did love our time there, being so close to the monument and within walking distance of so much. Jed’s perspective of the monument was taken from the block we lived in, with a restaurant sign from one of our favorite places. The monument is brilliantly lit in the night sky. …
Probably my favorite story of a painting acquisition comes from having attended the First Friday opening of Tyler Meuninck, last fall. Tyler’s paintings have different subject matter, but they all have an abstract quality to them. Lou and I were particularly drawn to one of them. We called Tyler over and asked him about it. Tyler had grown up in rural northern Indiana. He had a vivid memory of the first time he had ever been taken to a city – Gary. He had been overwhelmed with the sights and sounds of the city of Gary, the steel mills and railroads around Gary, and the Chicago skyline beyond. He had painted this scene from his memory. This was particularly exciting to Lou, as he grew up under the shadows of US Steel mills, working for US Steel and has spent much time in and around the mills of Gary, IN. We decided we just had to purchase this painting. Later, Lou found Tyler again and thanked him for painting this masterpiece. I’ll never forget Tyler, just grinning from ear to ear, and throwing his arms around Lou for a big bear hug.
My time at The National Arts Club this past weekend inspired me in many ways. Among these is renewed pride in our own Harrison Arts Center, and the many talented artists associated with it. … Come see my work this month! I am showing my pastel paintings alongside oil paintings done by me daughter, Autumn Ghubril. Maybe you will find something that will inspire you, or just make your evening a little nicer.