Combining the strength of their individual artwork into exhibitions of exceptional depth, 30 Indiana Artisans have partnered on Indiana Artisan: Paintings and Drawings. The statewide series continues at IU East’s Room 912, located at 912 E. Main Street in Richmond, Ind., now through Dec. 19. IU East and six of the artists will host a reception at the gallery Fri., Nov. 7, from 6–8 p.m.
Curated by Ed Thornburg, the IU East Art Galleries director, curator and fine arts lecturer, the exhibit is the sixth of this partnership of Indiana’s contemporary masters. Nearly 40 paintings and drawings in virtually every medium – watercolor, acrylic, oil, pastel, graphite, and more – will be exhibited at Room 912 by Indiana Artisans Patricia Rhoden Bartels (Nashville), Rena Brouwer (Delphi), Cindy Cradler (Brownsburg), Mary Ann Davis (Indianapolis), Charlene George (Brookville), Michael Janosky (Noblesville), Joyce K. Jensen (Zionsville), Pam Newell (Fishers), Alan Patrick (Albany), Lynn Retson (Porter), Sara Vanderkleed (Lafayette), and Carol Strock Wasson (Union City).
IU East’s Room 912 gallery hours are Monday, 1-4 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4, Friday 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and Saturdays, 1-4 p.m. Admission is free.
Room 912 is comprised of an art gallery, classroom, and studio space. IU East’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences program in fine arts offers courses in the techniques of creating various types of art such as drawing, painting, sculpture, and ceramics.
Indiana Artisan identifies, recognizes and promotes exceptional works of art and food created by Hoosier artists. It is an official, state-sanctioned designation for work of the highest caliber, with applications reviewed annually. Different panelists are engaged in each of the two annual reviews, and art panelists include artists, collectors, gallery owners and managers, folklorists, museum curators and directors, art educators, retailers, and others with an appreciation of fine art and craft.
One criterion of particular importance is the work’s relationship to the Hoosier State. The work of successful applicants is “juried in” to Indiana Artisan, meaning it becomes part of the Indiana Artisan brand and the artist may take advantage of the organization’s business development opportunities. Currently the work of 268 Artisans in 57 Indiana counties is part of the brand, and Wayne County is home to three Indiana Artisans – silversmith jewelry makers Linda and Nathan Jones and stained glass artist Dan Sims. Since the organization’s launch in 2008, more than 1,400 applications have been reviewed, with fewer than 20 percent successfully “jurying in.”
Indiana Artisan is an economic development organization that leverages the work of the state’s exceptional art and food artisans, helping them expand their businesses and, in turn, supporting the economies of their communities. In addition, the organization works with 10 “artisan trails,” encompassing 44 Indiana counties, including Wayne County, which is part of the Indiana Glass Trail.
The work of the Indiana Artisans comes together twice annually – at the Indiana Artisan Holiday Marketplace, Nov. 29 and 30, 2014, in downtown Fort Wayne’s Grand Wayne Center, and at the annual Artisan Marketplace, at the Exposition Hall at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. In 2015, the Marketplace will be March 28-29. More information is at IndianaArtisan.org.
Photo: Autumn Haze by Charlene George of Brookville, IN