November 2017: Other People's Children

Friday, November 3, the Harrison Center presents Other People’s Children, new work by celebrated local artist and HCA curator, Kyle Ragsdale in the Harrison Gallery and Gallery Annex. An artist reception will take place that evening from 6:00 to 9:00pm.

As the title suggests, this body of work is heavily influenced by children. Ragsdale explains that he drew inspiration from children in his neighborhood, many of whom he has been photographing and painting since they were small. He reflects that at this time in his life, as someone without children of his own, “you begin to realize that there are phases of life that you won’t experience. And while there is a sense of loss, there is also a real beauty found when living in community with families. Even though you aren’t a parent, you have been a part of these kids’ lives, sometimes from birth to adulthood and watched them grow and mature.” 

This work combines the figurative work Ragsdale is best known for with the plein air work he has done more recently. His subjects appear in landscapes. He returned to landscapes he painted with fellow artists Justin Vining and Benny Sanders and photographed the kids in these same settings.

There is definitely a sense of atmosphere and attention to light and color, with thicker, more expressive paint, more texture in the surface than in the past. The kids, clad in dresses, exploring the outdoors, could have stepped out of a Nancy Drew mystery and give the work an innocent feel, harkening back to simpler times.

Ragsdale paints from photographs taken on his iPhone. In addition to oil paintings, the show will also include some charcoal drawings and monotypes as well.

The City Gallery features work by painter Anna Afshar. Primarily a watercolorist, Afshar’s work for this show will center around urban Indianapolis scenes.

In Speck Gallery, paper cutting artists Christina Hollering and Erin Huber present Metamorphosis, exploring the subject of rebirth, renewal, and growth as it is expressed in both nature (in Hollering’s work) and the human experience (in Huber’s work). “Just as a moth requires struggle to emerge strong and ready for flight, we often grow mentally and spiritually after a period of difficulty and discomfort. Similarly, paper cutting is a process of cutting away and discarding what no longer serves us, transforming a flat lifeless sheet into art."

Hank & Dolly’s Gallery features Once Removed, monotypes on paper by artist and writer, Jessica Kramer. This series is inspired by her late mother’s oil paintings. Through both technique and subject, the series explores grief, beauty, and the distance of memory.

The Underground Gallery will feature new work by mixed media artist, Chad Campbell.

The release of the 10th anniversary edition of Naplab’s Neighborhoods of Indianapolis poster will take place in the Speck Gallery foyer.

The work hangs through November 24.

Image: Overlook, oil on canvas, Kyle Ragsdale.

With support from: Arts Council of Indianapolis and the City of Indianapolis, the Indiana Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, Christel DeHaan Family Foundation, Allen Whitehill Clowes Foundation, the Speck Fund, Sun King Brewery, and Amy McAdams Design.