The Merchants' Locus by Tyler Meuninck

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This month in the City Gallery, artist Tyler Meuninck presents The Merchants' Locus.

Meuninck, a former Harrison Center artist who now resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has created a body of work that celebrates the city that was once his home. “When I lived in Indianapolis,” Meuninck said, “I made a good number of paintings around the Central State Hospital. I have always had a kind of reverie for some of the contiguous buildings in Indy. This show is a recurrence of that series.”

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In this homecoming, Meuninck's oil paintings have taken the form of what he calls loose recollections of businesses and abandoned construction grounds in Indianapolis. These works are predominately inspired by locations around Beech Grove and the Citizens Thermal Energy steam plant in downtown Indy.  Two paintings were also fashioned with businesses on the south side standing out in Meuninck’s mind, and one is a retelling of our beloved circle at the center of our city.

A true element of surprise found in Meuninck’s hazy, industrial, urbanscape impressions stems from the role that commerce plays in community. “This show is called The Merchants' Locus, which is really just another way of describing a place of business,” Meuninck explained. “It is stating that Indianapolis is a place of commerce.”

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In a very real way, commerce shapes the culture of a place, and this byproduct of commerce is what Meuninck celebrates in this body of work. When our gaze meets his work, we remember the economy of the Circle City, and how it brings new faces, new perspectives, and new stories to what was once a vacant landscape. It shows us that our city is alive with the lifeblood of industry.