Friday, March 18, 2016

Why Not Celebrate #Indiana200 with a Look at Art Past and Present?

Oh how I adore Indiana! We're a state rich in art experiences from unique galleries and artisan markets to museums and art schools. There is a wealth of amazing art in our state, and one of my favorite places to enjoy it is at the Indiana State Museum (ISM). If you haven't explored ISM in a bit, oh my are you missing out!

Right now through October 2nd as part of the #Indiana200 celebration you can experience a special body of artwork entitled - 200 Years of Indiana Art: A Cultural Legacy. The exhibit is a signature project of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission with support from the Indiana Arts Commission, and additional funding provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Arts Council of Indianapolis and the City of Indianapolis and features art from territorial days to the present.

Photo Credit: Sandy Zimmerman of

The exhibit is comprised of more than 100 two and three-dimensional works of art. Works by important early Indiana artists providing historical perspective to their time period. Plus additional modern and contemporary pieces illustrating the development of the visual arts in Indiana, and showcasing the immense talent and diversity associated with the Hoosier state.

Walter Lobyn Hamilton, Dark Fantasy, mixed media on canvas, 2001
If you do only one thing in celebration of Indiana's 200th birthday, I say let it be this. Immerse yourself in art and be in awe of all the talent both past and present birthed in Indiana.

Portrait of T.C. Steele by Wayman Adams, 1883-1959
Enjoy paintings by 19th Century early Indiana Pioneer Painters George Winter, Jacob Cox and Marcus Mote, and works by T.C. Steele, Janet Scudder, William Edouard Scott, Ada Shulz, Susan McCord, Frank Hohenberger, Robert Indiana, Alma Eikerman, David Smith, Kay Rosen and Richard Peeler. Additionally, Anila Agha’s 2014 ArtPrize winning gallery installation, Intersections will be showcased. It invites the viewer to confront the contradictory nature of all intersections, while simultaneously exploring boundaries. A gorgeous piece indeed. It is the first time the piece has been shown in Indiana since winning the international art competition’s top honor. Watch a video sharing more on the inspiration for the piece.

Moreover, see firsthand through the eyes of art, how the state’s population and ethnic diversity changed and evolved over the years. Don't miss out on celebrating our history through the eyes of art. Plan an ISM day from now through October to stroll, explore and enjoy. The exhibition is included with museum admission, and public installations are on view free to the public.

Get out, don't it it pass you by, celebrate #Indiana200 and be Hoosier proud.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Old National Bank Fox 59 Pay It Forward Challenge at Ten West Center for the Arts

Hello #fabFortville!

Last Friday I got an awesome phone call! Fox 59 called to advise that my entry was 1 of 6 chosen to participate in a Pay It Forward Challenge sponsored by Old National Bank! Wow! Every morning I listen to Fox 59's morning news as I work from home. I caught the preview of the challenge promo a few weeks ago, and I thought why not, I'll enter for Ten West Center for the Arts - my very favorite local non-profit. I always say if I win the lottery they are the first to get some!

I am so very proud to participate in the name of Ten West and hope to help them win much needed funds to help keep great local arts (and MORE) programs going strong for years to come.

For those not familiar with the awesomeness that is Ten West, it is a Fortville non-profit doing so much good for the community. They live their tagline of keeping youth creative each and every day! Moreover, they do it in a manner that makes the arts (and MORE) accessible to so many through affordable classes (art, music, dance, theater and martial arts) and events (comedy nights, plays, musicals, concerts, fashion shows and so much MORE). My favorite part of their about us section on their website is: "We exist to provide an opportunity to young people when it may not be available. In an age of disappearing arts programs and budget cuts, it is more important than ever for students to have a means of expression..."

For this first phase of the competition I was given a $200 Visa card by Fox 59 and Old National Bank to Pay It Forward in the best way possible and document the PIF fun along the way with photo and videos. I approached Ten West to tell them the good news and to see what their current needs were so I could brainstorm the best way to PIF. Well in true Ten West fashion after advising they had a need for scaffolding for their next production - Seussical, a wheelchair accessible ramp and maintenance around the facility, but they told me they really wanted me to find away to help EVEN MORE kids be creative with the funds. And their PIF giving never ceases - never. Always putting others needs before their own.

Challenged accepted, Ten West! I thought why not host a try it, like it night and let children who haven't explored a class try one for FREE for the evening. Possibly we could pay for the instructor's time and allow the children to come and enjoy a class free of charge. Well, peeps, let me tell you - Ten West's instructor's (Artventure, Celestial Martial Arts and Artsy Canvas) are amazing as the non-profit itself! The instructors offered their time for free and allowed for a drawing from each of the free try it, like it classes, so that two randomly selected children could have the opportunity to win either a free month of martial arts and a free summer session of art camp. Wow! I am amazed and humbled by their generosity.

We had an phenomenal evening tonight. We created. We learned the basics in martial arts. We laughed. We smiled. We enjoyed being creative together. And two little ones now have the opportunity to take it further in the next few months with extended experiences at Ten West. So thankful for Ten West and all they offer and bring to the community! A treasure beyond measure.

So peeps here's where you come in for the next phase. The Ten West PIF story will air in April. You need to VOTE. Your votes will help Ten West to possibly win additional PIF funds! Possibly enough for that much needed wheel chair ramp! There will be a first place winner of $5000, second place of $2000 and third place of $1000. So stay tuned and VOTE when the time arrives. Lets keep such a wonderful non-profit going strong and keep youth creative way into the future!

Oh and if there is a local business out there that would like to help Ten West with their immediate need of scaffolding. It is around $600. We have a bit left over after paying for month of martial arts and a summer art camp session, plus we are working to raise more. We'd love a business to step forward and pledge to match what we are able to raise in the next week or two. Open your hearts friends. No amount is too small, every dollar counts. Stand with us and make it happen.

Oh and congrats to our winners this evening! And a huge thank you to Fox 59 and Old National Bank for making it possible to PIF in such a fun manner! We heart you!