144 articles found by Dan Swartz
Often overlooked is the great talent bound in our local art schools. Both at the High School and University level, we not only have proficient teachers of the arts, but also excellent makers as well.
||Young Talent: FWMoA's Scholastics 2014
Always a "must see" of the season, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art's 2014 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards exhibition provides the viewer with a menagerie of styles, concepts, and media…
Across the Midwest, there is a bias toward the representational. Among our collectors, our artists, and our arts institutions, abstraction is rarely highlighted. Because of this, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art's current set of exhibitions comes as a pleasant surprise,
||New Media Exploration
The four of the artists in the current University of Saint Francis exhibition, "New Media Exploration," which highlights emerging and established artists, use unconventional media and produce ethereal forms through sometimes mysterious or lost processes.
||Theoplis Smith: "Can You Spare Change?"
Theoplis Smith, who is also known as "Phresh Laundry," is a primarily self-taught artist whose work comes from an innate need and desire to create.
||New Southern sensibilities
Steven Anselm constructs salient images out of the least remarkable objects, locations, and people, turning misconceived subjects into photographic vistas. The tact he uses in this practice includes an editorial eye for annoyance, boredom, and the psychological sublime…
In Spring of 2013, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art made a major purchase of over 200 works created over the last two decades from The Serie Project, a non-profit organization founded by Sam Coronado in 1993 in Austin, Texas, that promotes the fine art of serigraphy.
In Spring of 2013, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art made a major purchase of over 200 works created over the last two decades from The Serie Project, a non-profit organization founded by Sam Coronado in 1993 in Austin, Texas, that promotes the fine art of serigraphy.
||Willyum Baulkey: Fashion Forward
Many local artists have been taking a common strategy of networking through their local scene extensively, becoming a "big fish," then attempting to move on to larger markets.
||Perceptive Still: New Views
Fort Wayne's art community has gone through a cyclical development for the better part of the last decade, expanding as great talent rises through our local universities, interacting with our institutions and steadfast individual artists, and then deflating as they either had families and fell out of the rotation of exhibitions and special projects, or opted to move away to find other art markets.
||Elly Miller: Bird Lover
The arts in general are a place of practice, rigorous process, and "just keep working at it"…
||Three Views: Beyond Human Experience
Photography has become much more than the form of technology that it started as, or the territory of expression that it quickly occupied. Through its temperamental and plastic nature, photographic representation has become a means by which humanity can see itself through new eyes and self-reflect in more immediate ways.
"Art Stars" are a necessary function of the global art world that we live with. These unique celebrities are the most enviable of all, being that they have the perception of total creative freedom, resulting in subsequent economic freedom as well.
||Theoplis Smith: Iconic Color
Theoplis Smith III is one of those artists who only recently began considering himself a professional artist, and has found incredible success in a short period of time due to his talent and hard work.
||Triple Threat: Art Stars in the Making
It is so rare to see an artist find a way through the pitfalls of academia with the strength to say "I want more,” continue through graduate studies without again falling prey to the struggles — caffeine and nicotine addictions, and then the intense lack of funds that follow shortly after the terminal degree with those three letters of distinction, MFA.
||Brilliant Optics: Seeing Is Being
The Fort Wayne Museum of Art finds itself somewhere between the traditional "ruling curatorial department" and the use of independent curators, providing new and current insight into the institution's contemporary audience and its lifestyle. "Brilliant Optics," an exhibition of contemporary work by national artists, focuses on vibrant color usage, was curated for FWMoA by Josef Zimmerman…
The art neighborhood has become an international metric by which a community can determine the strength of its arts scene and market, as well as its ability to garner international tourism and capital.
||Cara Lee Wade: Through the Glass Nightly
Wunderkammer Company is hosting an exhibition of Cara Lee Wade's sometimes controversial, but always genuine and original exhibition "Through the Glass Nightly: The Art of Drag." This large body of photography depicts the tender moments of self-reflection, commitment, and love as well as the frenzied life of stage performance and boundaries of gender being pushed past convention.
||Artlink Print Show
The metrics of time seem to be ticking quite rapidly as we are already upon Artlink's "33rd National Print Exhibition," a staple of the Fort Wayne arts scene.
||Jerrod Tobias: "Seeds of Symbiosis"
Every artist is an activist whether or not they choose to identify themselves as one. It is not a choice that a maker of cultural constructs can make, but a reality of the designation itself. Local artist Jerrod Tobias has been finding his own ways to grapple with these terms over the last few years.
The University of Saint Francis’ School of Creative Arts (SOCA) Student exhibition has regularly been a highlight of Fort Wayne's art calendar, highlighting young talent and giving it the opportunity to find a broader audience and success.
||From Rustic to Refined
One of the largest coastal misconceptions about the midwest is that we are all farmers, and one of the largest misconceptions that urban midwesterners hold is that all rural inhabitants are farmers also.
||Bright young things
The Fort Wayne Museum of Art's 2013 Scholastic Art and Writing exhibition is always one of the highlights of their year, as they award the best and brightest high school students and the work they have created over the past year.
||Planes and Forms: Karen McArdle Retrospective. (1946-2009)
Karen McArdle was known primarily for her ceramic artist practice. As a longtime faculty member at the University of Saint Francis, she taught hundreds of students the elements of drawing forth forms from masses of inelegant clay.
||Artist focus: Carly Schmitt
The human figure has been a constant source of inspiration for artists throughout time. With the near infinite unique details associated with each body, this form allows the artist the depth and breadth necessary to pull the viewer into the worlds the artist creates.
The University of Saint Francis' annual ceramics exhibition has been a mainstay of the local scene for many seasons, and for the most part, has continually improved.
In modern times, textiles carry a shadow of their past influence and aesthetic value. Valued for its durability and ability to present great deals of visual information, textiles like the Bayeux Tapestry (actually embroidered cloth, not a tapestry), have been used to document momentous historical occasions, as well as personal and family purposes to highlight milestones.
||Amy Schreiber: The Vanity of Memory?
What is it that makes the difference between an artist and an appreciator? An operator of a camera and a photographer? A amateur and a professional?
As far as the art world goes, juried exhibitions can be challenging, depending on the "point" of them — their relative importance and the potential benefit which an artist may gain from entering them
||Joel Fremion Retrospective
Now and again, an artist is given the opportunity that allows the Fort Wayne audience to see their work in a new light, more fully rendered conceptually. Joel Fremion has recently received this opportunity with not only a solo exhibition at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, but a traveling retrospective with catalogue.
||Jeffrey Strayer: What is this Thing called Art?
Aesthetics — the philosophy of art, beauty, and taste — has played a central role in the development of modern and contemporary art, especially since the Duchampian revolution in the early 20th century, when the conceptual armature of an art piece trumped the necessity of its objective nature.
||USF Alumni/Faculty Exhibition
Over the last four years, the University of Saint Francis, School of Creative Arts (SOCA) has been successively outdoing itself when it comes its annual Alumni/Faculty Exhibition, a Fall must see in Fort Wayne's art calendar.
Usually, word-based fine art is often subjugated to the realm of political art, or undecipherable conceptual works, neither of which seems to arouse much interest in the average viewer. Without trying, it would seem that Fort Wayne's arts community is well acclimated to the use of words in art, many times finding more of a literary than expository function.
||Sara Blyth-Stephens: Form in Transit
Fort Wayne, Indiana is not known for its exhibition, acceptance, or general practice of producing installation art. This being said, installation art seems to be something that our visual arts community is being drawn to at an increasing pace…
||Worth the Wait
The Biennial exhibition is a gauge of an institution's importance and its city's ability to attract artistic talent. While the international biennales garner the majority of the attention, there are a number of significant smaller biennial exhibitions throughout America which achieve notoriety among their niche audiences within the art world.
||This is Not An Instagram
Photography has long been the populist art. Since the creation of the disposable camera and the snapshot, everyone and anyone has thought of themselves a relevant image producer, and through the wonders of technology, the advent of the smartphone has taken this further.
Members-based exhibitions and organizations have existed within contemporary art since the beginning, and hold a great deal of influence over the trends within the art world…
||Fort Wayne Museum of Art: Illuminated interiors and landscapes
In art, like most human endeavors, the focus is many times placed on the largest, flashiest examples, gaining headlines and earning generous purchase prices.
||Images Collected, and Recollected
While the University of Saint Francis' permanent collection has been covered in the past, the unimaginatively titled, "Recent University Acquisitions" is a superb example of how appropriate and timely this collection is, both as an archive of the great artistic talents which have been, and many who currently are still residing, in Northeast Indiana.
||Jerrod Tobias: Fireworks Inside
Rarely do solo exhibition's appear as seamless and composed as Jerrod Tobias' recent "Fireworks Inside" at Lotus Gallery, which attempts to tell the story of "Willie Hoagland" and other characters through a large collection of images in a variety of media.
||USF’s 2012 Graduate Thesis Exhibition
Terminal degree programs, and those who hold these terminal degrees, are always important contributors to the construction of any economy or sophisticated culture…
||New Abstractions: Karen Moriarty and Robert Vegeler
In certain circumstances, artists and art lovers end up meeting and begin to teach, inspire, and make work together. Karen Moriarty, long time Fort Wayne artist, and Robert Vegeler, local lawyer and avid amateur painter, are an example of these circumstances.
||Artlink National Print Exhibit, Plus
As Artlink has evolved over the last 34 years into a sturdy, stealthy organization, producing great exhibitions within the Fort Wayne community.
||The Next Round
University of Saint Francis School of Creative Arts (SOCA) puts on a stunning display of their students work each Spring, and 2012's "36th Annual SOCA Student Exhibition is no exception.
Each year, thousands of young artists and writers in our region submit original works to compete nationally for scholarships, awards, and bragging rights. The select few from our region are heralded locally and move on to compete at the national level, against students in metropolitan areas much larger, and known as traditionally more "cultured" than the Midwest.
||Sean Hottois, Maker of Makers
As the concept and definition of new media expands in the contemporary art world, there has been a stronger and more prevalent movement toward interactivity, robotics, the question of physical animation within art, and the process and quality of artifacts which in turn create aesthetics products. Sean Hottois' work cuts to core of these issues with pieces like "Howard Hughes and Paula Dean" and "Art-Bot Admires Kinkade," which are not only active and animated, but also produce elements of traditional art like image making and performance.
||Lilliana Hoag: Splintered Sight
Photographers tend to be obsessed with dichotomies. This must stem from the inherent opposition used in every image, as the photographer thinks back and forth, adjusting lighting and placement, black and white, in and out of focus. Lilliana Hoag seems to revel in these dichotomies, and molds them to her favor both formally and conceptually.
||Masquerade: The Constructed Self
The identity of a community is said to reside in the art and culture which it produces. Many times, this expressed identity takes the form of some idealized, projected version of itself, meant to carry a message about the values the community holds.
||Wasteland of the Real
When does reality need to be augmented to tell the truth? Why is the rejection of idealistic thought seen as negative? And when does the use of hyperbole limit a message, and when does it carry it further?
||2011 Round up
After reflecting on 2011, and having enough time to sort it all out, here are some of the highlights that would seem to continue to make large impressions on one's notion of our local arts scene.
||USF Alumni and Faculty Exhibition
It is rare to find an exhibition with dominant and secondary abstract and realistic paintings, caricatured bronzes, conceptual encaustics, and "living" new media robotics all three feet from one on another.
Artlink's 2010 Regional Biennial Exhibition was one of the best in recent history, and ended with three winners, chosen out of dozens of great artists: Justin Johnson, George Morrison, and Jake Saunders.
||Rebecca Stockert: "Monsters and Motherhood"
Rebecca Stockert, a youthful veteran, has been exhibiting her work in Fort Wayne galleries and creating objects full of meaning in one form or another for nearly a decade.
2011 has been an extremely important year for Artlink, Fort Wayne's non-profit gallery which has been exhibiting local art for over 30 years.
||Legit Letter Press
The University of Saint Francis' School of Creative Arts is currently presenting "Wood Type and Letterpress," an exhibition of a suite of posters printed for the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum’s ten year anniversary.
Bambi Guthrie, a local artist and photographer, has been a native of South Calhoun in a number of ways, be it art or music, and is now capitalizing on this natural controlled-chaos feeling with her newest exhibition, "Carnivale."
||Bruno Surdo: Illuminated Images
Not every artist has the patience to practice classical figurative painting. And not every figurative painter has the patience or charity to teach their craft to others. Bruno Surdo, a Chicago native, knew that he was interested in the formal perfection of Renaissance art at an early age.
It isn't often that independently curated exhibitions travel through Fort Wayne since the Fort Wayne Museum of Art shifted its focus onto its permanent collection…
||John Hrehov: Novel Symbols
After nearly two decades of teaching at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) as a painting and drawing professor, and nearly a decade as Chair of the Department of Fine Arts, Hrehov's discipline and passion for education is clear, and can be seen in his work.
For nearly a decade, Motherlode Group, a curatorial collective based in Fort Wayne, has been producing some of the most exciting regional survey exhibitions, based around a sometimes ambiguously gendered template.
||Dominick Manco’s “cynical realism”
In 2009, Dominick Manco began exhibiting his new work again, claiming to be a "re-emerging" artist after nearly a decade long hiatus of life changes and artistic soul searching.
||Justin Miller: Mutations
While many artists look to science for inspiration because of its dissimilarity, Justin Miller, Assistant Professor at the University of Saint Francis, has a more nuanced approach to its integration, and a more complex relationship to its application.
||E4: A culture of collaboration
While the general public still considers the Artist to be a lone individual, most likely brooding, somehow anti-social, and controlled by his woes and ecstasy, reality tends to contradict this romanticized vision at every turn.
||Female Forms & Facets at the FWMoA
In 1985, the Guerilla Girls, an anonymous group of feminists protesting sexism in the international art world, donned masks and responded to the Museum of Modern Art's "An International Survey of Recent Painting and Sculpture." The exhibition included over 169 artists, and only 13 of them were women…less than 8%.
||Summer Break Down
Over the next three months, this nexus of art spaces will be showcases hundreds of local artists, thousands of pieces of art, and drawing people from throughout the region and state.
||USF SOCA Graduate Thesis Exhibition I
One of the key indicators to the vitality of a city's art scene is the size and number of its higher education art programs.
||National Print Exhibition: 31 years is a charm
Artlink's 2011 Annual National Print Exhibition is one of the most satisfying from a viewing experience, and includes some of the most challenging and beautiful prints seen in Northeast Indiana for quite some time.
Each Spring, the University of Saint Francis' School of Creative Arts (SOCA) calls for its student's best work, which is then heavily juried to create the Annual Student Exhibition, a highlight of Fort Wayne's art scene…
||Big, Bright City Lights
Featuring only works in the Fort Wayne Museum of Art's permanent and study collections, "Bright Lights/Big City: Interpretations of the Constructed World" distinctly advocates the strength of our oldest and most prominent visual arts institution.
||Lotus Gallery on the rise
Fort Wayne's gallery scene has always been rather small and scrappy, finding ways to stay open while also promote the large number of talented local artists.
||Art Cislo: Icons for a New Age
The University of Saint Francis is currently presenting "Saint John's Bible Exhibition and Works by Art Cislo," a combined exhibition depicting the works of renowned calligrapher Donald Jackson's hand-written, hand-illuminated Bible with Art Cislo's monotypes, wood block prints, and watercolors.
Without the annual artistic outpouring that is the Fort Wayne Museum of Art's "Northeast Indiana and Northwest Ohio Scholastics Art & Writing Awards Exhibition," our city would miss an opportunity to see some of the tremendous talent hiding in our local and regional High Schools.
Over the last three years, this article's coverage of Fort Wayne's contemporary art scene has included nearly every popular style and genre. However, it is interesting to see how much quality photography is and has been made by our city's artists.
||Grit & Gilt
There are many talented artists in the world, and while a certain degree of a genre or technique may come naturally to an artist, the majority of art is actually very replicable through extreme discipline. This is what makes a talented emerging artist like Amanda Joseph so exciting…
||An Art Sampler from the FWMoA
At any given time, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art houses three permanent galleries, a Print and Drawing Study Center, an ample library, and numerous galleries holding up to five separate exhibitions. With this ever-changing volume of gallery space, it is very easy to miss something without making the museum a regular haunt.
||The Voice of the Region
Every two years, the city of Fort Wayne is graced by a collection of fine art that shows us just how talented our local artist pool can be. The 8th Regional Exhibition is a welcome respite from shows dominated by traditional fine arts, with a large number of young artists taking risks with their work.
||National Ceramic Exhibition at USF
The University of Saint Francis' School of Creative Arts (SOCA) has been a consistent patron of ceramic art. Regularly adding pieces to its permanent collection, organizing excellent far ranging exhibitions, and keeping a generous studio area and programming associated with ceramics has made SOCA a contender in the competitive world of university level fine arts programs.
||Fall Review: Strong season.
While Fall tends to be a strong season for local arts and cultural venues, 2010 is proving to be an extremely active and strong year overall.
Six years ago the Fort Wayne Museum of Art's Regional Biennial was an exhibition dedicated to showing the best that our region offered, be it abstract or realism, painting, drawing or sculpture…
||Ryan Hadley: Monstrosity
With nearly a decade of experience under his belt, Fort Wayne native Ryan Hadley, the self taught fine artist and tattoo artist, is expanding his scope even further into the art world by turning Ryan Hadley Studio into one of Fort Wayne's most exciting gallery spaces.
Arguably the oldest form a visual representation, the landscape, in all of its myriad forms, has permeated every human culture. Even more, this form of representation helped to determine each specific culture's world view in the same way that their language, music, writing and other forms of expression.
||FWMoA’s permanent collection
Approximately six months after the opening of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art's renovation and expansion, Fort Wayne's artists, students, nerds, and illuminati have been able to call this place their home.
||Jake Saunders: Coded Scenes
Many artists use narrative element in their practice. Some artists are capable of actually telling a story. Jake Saunders uses sequestered images culled out of contemporary culture to create sometimes bizarre, but always engaging work that blurs the line between melancholy and apocalyptic.
||Continuum Gallery's Grand Opening
Friday, July 30th, the Continuum Art Gallery (CAG) officially opened its doors for the first time, making it the first of many new arts and culture offerings to come to the newly deemed Fort Wayne Cultural District, downtown.
The Summer of 2010 is turning out to be a very active time for the arts, and is consistently providing some very high quality exhibitions and events, with group shows like "Self-Constructions" at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, as well as Artlink's "Members Show," and the University of Saint Francis' "Three Rivers Invitational.".
In the aftermath of the most connected, global, educated, and cashed up art market in history, many contemporary artists are finding themselves at odds with their own success, making art for a market which no longer exists, and turning this into a new practice.
"Organic Perspectives" is a refreshing combination of local, regional, and national artists whose work all centers around a fascination, representation, and sometimes distortion of the biological world.
||Summer Arts Preview
After multiple seasons of stability and growth during a time of deep recession, Fort Wayne's art scene looks as though it is still growing over the Summer of 2010…
||Cara Lee Wade: Through the Glass Nightly
The invention of modern photography would leave our concepts of daily life, historical moments, and times of human intrigue forever altered. Artists were quick to adopt the photographic medium, and haven't looked back since. Today, fine photography comprises a sizable portion of the art market’s total volume…
||ARTLINK 30th Annual National Print Exhibition
Once again, Artlink is pulling out all of the stops with its 30th Annual National Print Exhibition. The exhibition has the loyal and generous support of the Lincoln Financial Foundation, allowing Artlink to create an unparalleled exhibition of printmaking that includes a small catalogue of works, and over $2,200 in cash awards.
||Tipping Point: Growth of a market
Starting Spring off right, the School of Creative Arts (SOCA) at the University of Saint Francis has produced one of the strongest annual student shows in memory
||Lotus Gallery/Karen Moriarty: In Full Bloom
Just in time for Spring, Fort Wayne's art scene is beginning to get very active.
||Words Of Wisdom: Uzma Mirza
It is a rare thing to find someone who can transition between multiple pursuits, and find ways to merge them all together, compounding their impact on the culture and environment which they are part of. Uzma Mirza is one of those rare people.
||Artlink’s Regional University Exhibition
Artlink has been exhibiting the work of Fort Wayne area art professors for many years now, and with the "Regional University Exhibition," Huntington University has been added to the usual roster of IPFW and University of Saint Francis professors.
||POPULOUS: Wunderkammer Company's New Pop
Pop Art is by far the most successful art movement in Art History. No other artistic style or movement has had the power over both the art world and mass culture.
||Armin Mersmann’s "The Veiled Narrative" at the Saint Francis Galleries
Photorealistic renderings have been done since the mid sixties, but Armin Mersmann's highly technical drawings turn the somewhat dense photorealistic style, and create attenuated, flickering images which retain the lifelike quality which defines a successful portrait.
||Looking back, looking forward
2009 proved to be an eventful year for Fort Wayne's art scene, even in the face of what seemed like a number of large hurtles. As "The Great Recession" continued to push on, which most think of as squeezing art dollars from both a production and consumption standpoint, we saw a real emergence of using restaurants/bars/coffee shops for legitimate art venues.
||Sommer Starks: One ≠ One
Sommer Starks, a local educator and artist, is making some of the most innovative art that his area has seen in some time. Her intense understanding of color palettes and texture relationships, coupled with her clever constructions created with sometimes a dozen or more materials, become at once cruel, objective artifacts, as well as nearly totemic pieces, which evoke a host of meanings.
||Artlink Regional Exhibition
Every two years, Artlink presents an exhibition highlighting three of the region's most active and vibrant artists. Last year at the Artlink Biennial Regional Exhibition, Joshua Witten, Wendy Norton, and Andrew Lemmon were awarded $500 and the opportunity to be a part of a three person exhibition. "Regional Award Winners" is the culmination of work over the last year for those three artists.
||Hidden In the Fort: Lynn Rowe Reed
While Fort Wayne may not be a cultural Mecca, yet, it certainly has a strong knack for having hidden treasures which are quiet locally, and incredibly vocal abroad. One such hidden treasure is Lynn Rowe Reed, a brilliant and highly acclaimed illustrator, fine artist, and published author.
||Tim Brumbeloe: Pentimento
Photography is a tricky thing to judge the quality of. Since its inception in the late 1800's, photography, in one form or another has become nearly ubiquitous with modern human culture. We have become visual creatures because it.
||Yearning to Breathe Free
Although it is not always apparent, the Fort Wayne community truly is a plurality of culture, ethnicity, and origin. Often, one can find newspaper articles speaking of the quickly growing Burmese community, which is reported as the largest community outside of the present-day nation of Myanmar. However, Fort Wayne is also home to sizable populations of many other groups that do not get similar amounts of coverage in our media.
Chuck O'Connor is an amazing asset for the city of Fort Wayne. Being relatively new to the Fort Wayne arts scene, O'Connor is the Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at IPFW. He has a great vision for the institution, and the ways in which it can interact with the community at large.
||Renaissance in Roanoke
The small town of Roanoke, IN is seeing a Renaissance in more ways than one. Not only has it become home to some of the widely respected and critically acclaimed small businesses of Joseph Decuis' and Vorderman Photography, but it has also embraced the arts enthusiastically and created an annual festival, "A Renaissance In Roanoke"…
||Art World Fall Census
Traditionally, the Fall is one of the most active time for the arts. As the galleries unfold their '09/'10 exhibition schedule with the FWMoA Trolley Tour, and with the performing arts venues gearing up as well, arts lovers have busy weekends ahead of them.
||Germs and Skulls
The University of Saint Francis' annual gala exhibition is always a key event on Fort Wayne's art calendar. Starting off the Fall semester and gallery schedule, the gala is usually a solo exhibition of a regionally or nationally known artist, accompanied by a smaller exhibition in the Betty Fischmann Goldfish gallery or throughout the winding hallway of the Ian and Mimi Rolland art center in the Artist Spotlight Gallery.
||One for the Ladies
Motherlode, Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana's only feminist curatorial group, has been creating exhibitions for the past 7 years or so, all exploring feminist attitudes, femininity, and contemporary female artists within the region. Motherlode's next exhibition will take place at the Jeffrey Krull Art Gallery in the Allen County Public Library's downtown branch on September 11 and continues until November 1, 2009.
||Artlink Member’s Show
July is known not only for Three Rivers Festival, but also Arlink's Annual Member's show, which opened July 17th and runs until August 11th. Sponsored by NIPSCO, 816 Pint & Slice, Arts United, and Artlink Members, this exhibition is known not only for its diversity of work, but also its great attendance, bringing in just about everyone in Fort Wayne's arts scene, and even a lot of the fringe art world. An interesting note to also mention is the incredible bargain that so many of this year's entries are going for.
Creating art while living in the Midwest can sometimes seem like a secluded and disenfranchising task. Every corner the artist turns, they find another sign pointing to the coasts and the larger cities to find a more developed art market and all of the venues in which to engage the contemporary voice of the art world.
There is something very natural about performance. Everyone can and does do it to varying degrees of ability and grace. This Summer, Downtown Fort Wayne is coming alive with performances of all kinds. From contemporary dance to traditional African drumming, from aerial acrobats to cloggers, there is going to be a little bit of everything going on over the next few months.
||Audrey Riley: Double Time
Audrey Riley has proven herself as one of the most prolific, capable, and ambitious artists to come out of Fort Wayne in a while. I last covered the progress of this artist a little over a year ago as she was getting ready for her first solo show with Spurious Fugitive Gallery in South Bend, which later picked her up as a represented artist. Riley, the former creative director and owner of the ad agency Riley+Company, has gained further momentum exhibiting her vast and growing body of work, expanding into new genres, new galleries, and new collections.
While artistic production is, in a popular sense, seen as an act of the individual toiling in solitude to create genius in one form or another, many are finding that collaboration and the synthesis of media, artistic genres, and whole bodies of thought allow for more vital creative results. John McCormick and Megan Mirro seem to have this market cornered with their various visual, sonic, and published endeavors.
||Erik DeLuca: The Deep Seascape
The SEAMUS conference hosted at Sweetwater in early April (see FWR #123) lead to an interesting collaboration and workshop/lecture at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art.
You can probably take the pulse of the art market by what’s happening in New York in the Spring. The Armory Show, as well as a number of other fairs like the Pulse, Volta, Scope, and Bridge New York, bring hundreds of large collectors, and thousands of smaller ones to the city to buy up the best of the years available contemporary art.
||“Praise is Such Meager Fare”
After more than four years of a continuous program of exhibitions and events, the South Bend based Spurious Fugitive Gallery will be closing its doors. While this may not initially seem like a pressing issue to Fort Wayne’s art scene, the fact that this was one of only a handful of private contemporary art galleries in the region makes its closing much more relevant.
||Get the word out
It was a new year, and things seemed pretty bad, then we received a new president, and things seem to have stayed on the “negative” side…. now its March, Spring is on the horizon, and the art world is generally terrified at the prospect of hiking up its sleeves, looking this economic threat head on and making some hard decisions.
||Nathan Abels: Expatriate
Employing the most of the unnoticed everyday icons of life through the eyes of a Midwesterner, visual artist Nathan Abels has created a very strong body of art, and gained great levels of success. Abels, a Fort Wayne native and University of Saint Francis BA graduate, earned an MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in 2005 and is currently living in Denver, Colorado, represented there by Rule Gallery.
||Art Off Main
With all of this dreary Fort Wayne winter weather, the people of our great city need some kind of artistic opiate (in addition to the great shows currently available at FWMoA, Artlink, and elsewhere) to take their minds off of the reality of at least four more weeks of cold.
||University of St. Francis Permanent Collection shows diversity, ambition, and promise
The University of St. Francis’ young, ambitious, and diverse collection is one of the most exciting in the area.
||Katherine Rohrbacher: Fort Wayne Expatriate
Although it would be wonderful if young contemporary artists could find a hungry market for their work in Fort Wayne, reality must take over at some point, and they must look to other markets that provide room for them to grow, and opportunities that, currently, just are not present here. Katherine Rohrbacher is one such artist who has not only been fearless in her aesthetic and geographic explorations, but has also not forgotten her roots.
||Diverse talents on display at Artlink’s Fort Wayne Photographers
Although the dead of winter descended upon Fort Wayne early on December 12th, Artlink was filled with artists, collectors, and admirers, keeping warm while admiring some great photography. The show, “Fort Wayne Photographers”, a survey of over 60 area photographers, was preceded by a gallery talk by Cara Lee Wade, photography professor at the University of St. Francis and an accomplished photographer in her own right. The show included works from notable locals like Stephanie Leyden, Joel Hernandez, Stephen M. Perfect, Nicole Croy, Tom Galliher, and Christopher Crawford.
||Joel Hernandez: “Quizas”
With identity politics not seeming to slow down in either the art world or the real world, the term “Identity” has taken on a great deal of importance in many artist’s minds as they explore the relationship between themselves and the world, the concepts behind the term itself, and ways to engage the audience through it. Joel Hernandez, an artist who is currently living in Fort Wayne, has a unique approach to this dialogue between the self and society.
Leave it up to Fort Wayne to create a false controversy surrounding the arts. The exhibition in question is IPFW’s current Visual Communication and Design Senior BFA show. The specific art pieces in question are William Baulkey’s series of bloody fashion photographs entitled “Fashion Victims.” Baulkey describes the body of work as “a blend of crime scene and fashion photography, with four stories intertwined by a serial killer character named Casanova.”
Like most other art scenes, Fort Wayne is the busiest in the fall and spring, usually starting off with the University of St. Francis’ gala exhibition and continuing with numerous shows until the Trolley Tour, organized by the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, and is the collection of numerous galleries around downtown. This has been continued since then with another batch of shows, including Daniel Dienelt’s solo show at Device Tattoos, Steph Leyden’s first solo show at Pint and Slice and St. Francis’ Contemporary Craft show in November, and “By the Numbers”, the group show opening at the Dash-In on Friday, November 7th.
||Good, better, and best
In an art world of gigantic national and international biennials, those who keep up with all of these goings on may look over the smaller shows like Artlink’s 7th Regional (biennial) Exhibition which includes artists within 100 miles of Fort Wayne, but shows like this are an important bridge for early and emerging artists to cross on their way up and out into the larger art world.
||Heavy weight exhibition: Valerio and Tomasula at USF
Fort Wayne’s highest profile exhibition currently is the University of Saint Francis’ show “ James Valerio: Recent Paintings and Drawings” which also happens to be the first in the school’s current year of exhibitions. Valerio is a master of the meticulous photorealistic or superrealistic style of art, which came to great attention in Great Britian and America in the late sixties and early seventies. Some better-known artists such as Chuck Close or Duane Hanson exemplify this style.
||Eero Saarinen's Fort Wayne Village
When you’re talking about great architecture in Fort Wayne, the usual suspects tend to include the Allen County Courthouse — created from 1897-1902 by Brentwood S. Tolan — or one of Alvin M. Strauss’s many accomplishments like the Lincoln Tower, or the Embassy Theatre and Indiana Hotel. But rarely does the Concordia Theological Seminary designed by the world-renowned Finnish American architect Eero Saarinen come to mind.
||Goshen: City On The Go
Few would believe it if they were told that a small city just an hour and a half away from Fort Wayne was currently booming culturally, with art galleries, avant-garde performance venues, a First Fridays program, and scores of trendy shops and restaurants. However, due in no small part to Goshen’s “Downtown Goshen, Inc.” — which is something like Fort Wayne’s Downtown Improvement District, and Gina Leichty, DGI’s director.
||Jessica Baisden: Fashion Forward
The worlds of Fine Art and Fashion have traditionally been something like feuding cousins, both obviously of similar nature, yet each camp demands a separate life, distinguished by both terminology and aesthetic principles.
||Art Journal: NYC
As far as summer road trips go, I tend to stick with the nerdiness of museum going. This year, it happened to take the form of the New Museum and MoMA in New York City, and a temporary project done by Creative Time. All of these institutions are known for their directives of advancing the ability of the contemporary artist to connect with the art world and the public at large with an increasing degree of intimacy.
||Take it to the streets
It is a logical error to equate gang tags with an intricately painted mural. That would be like comparing a kick with a kiss — both may be physical acts, but the essential nature of the two couldn’t be more different.
David Carpenter is a New Haven native who went to the University of St. Francis for his undergraduate degree before spending two years in New York City attending the New York Academy of Art. This is a prestigious institution in the heart of the TriBeCa neighborhood, which is devoted to the advancement of figurative painting, sculpture, and drawing in the contemporary arts and is the only accredited school of its kind in the world.
||The dark humor of multimedia artist Kris Lorenzen
With artists, it sometimes happens that one creative outlet feeds another. Joni Mitchell called it “crop rotation” when she would take a break from singing and songwriting to paint for a season. Prince produces, arranges, and performs nearly all of his songs, and the artist Picasso would capriciously move from one visual media to another on a whim.
||The Importance of Buying Local Art
Every small art market has the same issue: how can we expand interest and sales, on a shoestring budget, and keep producing quality work? Fort Wayne is certainly no stranger to this phenomenon, with only a handful of small profit-based galleries and an even smaller group of dedicated non-profit organizations. The issue gets a bit stickier when factoring in the conservative nature of Fort Wayne’s geographical and cultural position, many times making the arts out to be alternative or outsider, and not a core human motivation.
Every year, there is an amazing show of fine art which I can't miss. This exhibition offers beautiful works from a copious amount of nationally renowned artists, exploring the intricacies of those sometimes-alien terms (to lay people and art lovers alike) like silkscreen, lithography, intaglio and aquatint. The fact that I can view this show at Artlink every time I drive downtown to the main library is the veritable cherry on top.
||A case for the arts
Marfa. This miniscule city in the far west of Texas has interested me for the last 5 years. A city of approximately 2,500 people, sitting on 1.6 miles of land interests me, Marfa is far more progressive and has a better standing in the international art community than Fort Wayne, a city with more than 100 times its population, and sitting on about 50 times as much land.
Spring is always seen as a time of rebirth, but for art students, it is a time of anxiety and constant work. It’s the season for student exhibitions. Fort Wayne, being quite the school town, currently has three exhibitions of student work around the city: IPFW Fine Art B.F.A graduates are currently up at IPFW’s Visual Arts Gallery, while IPFW’s Visual Communication and Design students are in the ACPL’s main branch gallery, and University of St. Francis students are filling both the main art facilities on Leesburg road, as well as the University’s new gallery located on the North side of Spring street, in the former church which is now housing their performing arts classrooms and theatre.
||John Myers: Turbulence
The work of John Myers first caught my eye probably about three years ago when I saw one of his paintings while visiting my friend Beckie Stockert, who was renting from Myers at the time. I remember thinking that his paintings looked oddly tormented and happy at the same time, but had a specific sort of anxious happiness. I was then impressed when I saw his paintings twice last month in the “Alphabet Show” and “Phantasmagoria.” While still being fraught with chaotic forms and cartoonish colors, I could see a clear advance in technique taking form in virtuoso brushwork, creating frothing water, glassed interiors, feathers, and translucent cloths, in incredibly rich compositions, done fully in oils.
||Wide open spaces
Human beings have been making art for 40,000 years for one main purpose: to build a community. I have been thinking about this a lot recently in reference to the Fort Wayne community and all of its current efforts at revitalization and revival. Of course “the Fort” has always had a wealth of public religious art in its many places of worship, and even has its fair share of public civic art like the many sculptures in our parks, the Allen County Public Library’s gallery, and the beauty of the courthouse’s interior downtown. But how do all these pieces and places represent you/us/the Fort Wayne Community?
||On "the scene"
When looking at any urban community, you can usually break it down into a number of related cultural groups which, for lack of a better term, is usually called a “scene.” Scenes have been the economic and social origins for a lot of the cultural success stories of the 20th and 21st centuries. Fort Wayne’s current cultural scene has been growing, and is starting to see a few nice developments.
||Mandy Korchyk: Sexual Intellectual
Mandy Korchyk is one of Fort Wayne’s lesser-known art gems. Over the last four years, she has attended school at the University of St. Francis, getting her two degrees in Fine Art (with a drawing and printmaking concentration) and English. In this time, Korchyk has steadily created a body of work that examines and questions our ideas of sex, sexuality, and relationships.
||Curators among us
Most art viewers, even the seasoned and educated, are unaware of the importance of the curator. This somewhat mysterious position in the art world can include art historians, artists, critics, and even lay people. Museums are usually seen as the competitive market for the curator’s services, but many galleries, collectors, and alternative art spaces also employ them. The curator’s job description can sort of be boiled down into the definition of “caretaker of art.” However, this phrase includes many things, from event planning, aesthetics and art history, design, and personal relations (which can be especially difficult when working with artists).
||Arthur Cislo: visual psalms
I spent a rainy Friday afternoon with Fort Wayne’s resident Renaissance man Art Cislo, chatting about everything from politics, education, Bob Dylan, the idea of “the city,” and one of the only topics that covers all of the above: Art.
||Audrey Riley: form follows function
Audrey Riley’s Fine Art career has exploded over the last four years. In fact, to miss her art in Fort Wayne during this time, you almost had to be purposely avoiding it.