February 2019: Black Spaces & Places


The Harrison Gallery presents Black Spaces and Places, new work by painter Courtland Blade. Blade says, "This show is an exploration of the idea of 'black spaces' as opposed to the idea of what some call 'white spaces.' Here I am simultaneously exploring some of the culture and history of black people in the city of Indianapolis through place and space - whether it be Madame Walker's legacy through the theatre, or King Park commemorating the night that Kennedy spoke to the people of Indianapolis after Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination. The idea of 'black space' is a space where people of color feel comfortable and are usually not outnumbered. These are often places where people that are considered white may not feel as comfortable. In a "white space," people of color are outnumbered, often feel out of place and many times find themselves looking around to find another face of color.” Blade received his MFA from the school of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston in affiliation with Tufts University in 2011. His work has been shown nationally and internationally and is in various public and private collections including the permanent collections of the University of Indianapolis, Indiana State University, DePauw University, Sishang Art Museum and the Eskenazi Health collection.

In the City Gallery, mixed media artist Lorie Lee Andrews debuts a new body of work, Building Possibilities. “Every building was someone’s vision and creation and these images celebrate the concept of reimagining the purpose of a structure that seems like it is old enough to be ready for the wrecking ball. There is a special magic that happens when people respect and appreciate the history and possibilities that belong to the buildings in our community.”

In Speck Gallery, ROAM by Kate Oberreich features largely new mixed media paintings with materials ranging from acrylic paint to pastel, and chalk to house paint and embroidery. The work created for ROAM uses symbolism to address concepts of moving to or away from something. A ladder is a way up and out, a bright sky behind grey clouds can be moving toward or away from a possible future. Oberreich says, "Over the course of several years, I've been looking into my genealogical history, searching for more than just dates on a page. I've been researching the people and the events happening at the time to better understand why people chose to move from one place to another. The first member of my dad’s side of the family to move to the U.S. did so alone to fight in another country's civil war. He later sent for his wife and children to join him as his own home country disappeared. These are the types of stories I find so fascinating."

Hank & Dolly’s Gallery features Portraits from the Grave by painter Matthew I. Allen. No stranger to the Harrison Center, Allen was an intern for Harrison Center curator, Kyle Ragsdale while a student at Indiana Wesleyan, and has been featured in several group shows.

The Gallery Annex features work by Phillip Lynam and Tresa Steenberg.

The work hangs through February 22.

Naptown Stomp returns this First Friday with swing dancing in the gym.

With support from: 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