March 2019: Against the Grain

Presented by the Harrison Center and Plat Collective, Friday, March 1 is Against the Grain, an artist reception and open studio night. Justin Vining’s show titled Against the Grain opens in the Harrison Gallery and Gallery Annex. The popular and prolific painter says this show can be categorized into three distinct bodies of work. A portion of the show is made up of plein air work from his travels over the past year from Brown County to Europe. Some of the pieces, mostly those made in Brown County, have been transformed into large studio pieces. The next body of work was inspired by art regionalists from the 1930s and 1940s, with the subject matter focusing on rural farmlands and barns. Many of these pieces are painted on reclaimed wood from Indy Urban Hardwood, adding extra meaning to the role of place in the work. Lastly, informed by the plein air style he has been painting in over the last few years, Vining returns to the whimsical landscapes he became well known for early in his career. He explains that while painting a large mural in Miami last year, he was reminded that he enjoyed the instant recognition of this style as his. Additionally, an episode he filmed three years ago with Artrageous with Nate recently resurged, sparking a wave across the country of elementary students creating work inspired by this style. And while he has enjoyed revisiting the style, interestingly, he says it has also reaffirmed his love of plein air painting. Vining has created nearly 100 new pieces for this “don’t miss” show.

The City Gallery presents First Daughter of the First Daughter by Allison Ford (Studio AMF). Ford, a jewelry designer working in wood and metal, describes this show as a self-portrait in five pieces or elements of self, explaining that this has been her first experience creating work as a form of art therapy. She goes on to explain that each piece relates to something that has been difficult for her over the past year–from grief to aging, family changes to thinking about our place in the human family, diversity, white privilege, death and the ways we treat one another.

Known as one of Indiana’s premier plein air painters, Mary Ann Davis brings an impressionistic view of her travels to Speck Gallery in her solo exhibit, “Impressions.” Davis’s work has been included in Plein Air Magazine, American Art Review, Pastel Journal and Southwest Art magazines. She is a signature member of the American Impressionist Society Plein Air Artists Colorado and the Chicago Pastel Painters.

The Underground Gallery presents Enchantment: Fairies and Tales, illustrated work by Merle Pace and Lorie Lee Andrews.

In Hank & Dolly's Gallery, Zebulun Wood, professor at IUPUI's School of Informatics and Computing, and students will be presenting Tilt Brush, a Virtual Reality experience that allows users to paint in 3D.

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

The Harrison Center is home to 36 artists whose studios are open in March. This is the first open studio night of 2019 and guests can wander the building and meet the makers who call the Harrison Center home.

March exhibits hang through March 29.

Image: Randy’s Barn, Justin Vining.

With support from: Plat Collective, 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