November 2018: Bateaux

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The Harrison Center partners with the Spirit & Place Festival for this year’s opening event, Intersections! The Harrison Center serves as a home for artists of all races, ages, social groups, neighborhoods, faiths, and more to intersect with one another – and you! Bring the family out for a fun night of discovery to meet with artists. Explore how styles, mediums, colors, and shapes collide and blend to create Indy’s vibrant arts community. You’ll also get to preview the Spirit & Place festival line-up and mingle with staff and friends. In the gym, learn about The Clothesline Project, coming to Indianapolis in 2019.

In the Harrison Gallery, Harrison Center curator and celebrated local artist Kyle Ragsdale presents his annual solo show. Bateaux includes two distinct bodies of work. The first comes from the artist’s imagination with figures (people and animals) from different time periods, ethnicities, etc. traveling together. The travelers could be refugees, though not necessarily. There is at once a sense of melancholy and longing, but also tranquility and peace in these fantastical scenes. Adding to the mystery is an interesting mix in the application of matte, metallic, and interference paint. Patches of these contrasting textures are placed so that the paintings takes on an abstract pattern and not an image at all, depending upon the angle. Many of these pieces are painted in acrylic, a switch for Ragsdale who primarily works in oil. The second body of work was inspired by trips to the San Juan Islands, Sugar Creek and Lake Michigan. This work also depicts people in boats, around water, in inner tubes, etc. It references the artist’s 2017 show titled Other People’s Children in its depictions people spending time together and has a very family or relational feel. These are primarily oil paintings with attention to thick paint, and reflections of light playing off the surface of the water.

The City Gallery features Checkout My Melody, new work by emerging mixed media artist, Gary Gee. Recipient of the 2019 Robert D. Jr., Beckmann Emerging Artists Fellowship, Gee describes his work as very “take-charge” with loud, aggressive, and vibrant riffs that pour from his heart and soul.

The 2nd PreEnactIndy which took place in the Monon16 area on Saturday, October 6 inspired new work by a variety of artists including Alicia Zanoni, Andrea Smith, Courtland Blade, and more. See the results in this group show in Hank & Dolly’s Gallery.

In Speck Gallery, Infitesimal by Johnny McKee. This body of work is a continuation of the theme of negligibility that is often found as the common denominator in much of McKee’s work.

In the Underground Gallery, Entering the Door by Johnson Simon. The artist describes his work as expressionistic, with a weighted emphasis on movement. I like to use heavy dark lines along with very vibrant colors to display a sense of motion and flare. I am fascinated with the movement of the human body. I especially enjoy the motion of dancers and athletes, and I make a conscious effort to transfer the graceful display of dance and athleticism into my works of art. The human body is both complicated and elegant, and with the extra component of motion added, it is a vessel unlike any other in this world. To display this complex yet delicate device in motion, I make use of vivid colors with heavy black strokes to show the sense movement.

The work hangs through November 30.

Image: Hula for the Golden Hour, oil on canvas, courtesy of Kyle Ragsdale.

With support from: Spirit & Place, the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the Indiana Arts Commission, Christel DeHaan Family Foundation, Allen Whitehill Clowes Foundation, the Indianapolis Foundation, Sun King Brewery, and Matinee Creative.

Pam Allee