First Friday Art Tour Preview: May 2010

Friday, May 7 is the first Friday of the month, and every cultured Hoosier knows what that means. Indianapolis art galleries across the city open their doors for visitors to meander in and out of as they travel from gallery to gallery. Sponsored by the Indianapolis Downtown Artists and Dealers Association (IDADA), the First Friday Art Tour has become an anticipated Indianapolis event. This Indianapolis art event is perfect for art patrons hoping to peruse the latest offerings of Indianapolis artists. Whether viewers have checkbooks in hand or not, all are welcome to receive the wonderful arts culture in the Circle City. Read on for a preview of the work being shown this May in the First Friday Art Tour

Harrison Center for the Arts

I Am May at the Harrison Center for the Arts, Indianapolis, IndianaThe Harrison Center for the Arts, in the historic Old Northside of Indianapolis, presents “I Am May” during this First Friday Art Tour. This collection of work from Indianapolis artists includes the work of Phillip Lynam, Ben Valentine, John Ross, Lindsey Lord, Amelia Morris, Tascha Horowitz, Thomas Lemanski, Gary Hutchison, Heather Hudson and Kris Arnold. The exhibit expressed various viewpoints on seasonal changes and, in particular, each artist’s personal perspective on the month of May. Known as a month of new life, blooming flowers and baby ducklings, May has quite a reputation. But how do we each see this portion of the year in a different way?

Also at the Harrison Center for the Arts in Gallery Number 2 is “Into the Maelstrom,” new work by Brian Hull. The Hank and Dolly Gallery and the Gallery Annex will be filled with artwork from the inaugural class of Herron High School seniors. Marie Claire performs in the courtyard. And Youth Music Exchange will occur across the Harrison Gallery. Plus, the Harrison Center for the Arts twenty one artist studios will be open for exploration.

Read more about the art at the Harrison Center for the Arts by visiting their website!

Big Car Gallery

Big Car Gallery May Show, Indianapolis, IndianaThe Big Car Gallery, located in the Indianapolis cultural district Fountain Square, presents “Replanting the Garden Group Show.” Considered to be Hieronymus Bosch’s greatest work “The Garden of Earthly Delights” remains even today an enigmatic piece of art. It is at once alluring, beautiful and ambiguous by design. Though many have presented varied theories on the hermetic iconography in the work, to this day no one has been able to definitively pin down what the artists actual intentions were and why. “Is it a visual representation of the alchemical process? A cautionary depiction of the dangers of the flesh or just the opposite; a voyeuristic revel extolling the pleasures (and consequent dangers) of free love?”

More important than what it actually means is the meaning each individual viewer places on the work. It functions as a mirror of the viewer, who takes away from it what ever they wish to see. In this way Bosch’s greatest work is chameleonic, becoming many things to many people. Big Car Gallery’s latest offering, “Replanting the Garden,” asked forty artists and craftsmen from across the United States to create a piece in response of Bosch’s masterpiece.

The exhibit is curated by New York based artist Richard Saja and features art from Emily Thompson, Elizabeth Corkery, Guy Davis, Aaron Nicholson, Marina Borker, Jeff Grant, Larrybob Phillips, Joel Blazer, Robin Vanvalkenburgh, Mark Meadows, Steven Levan, Amanda Cartagena, Mab Graves, Jenny Hart, Martin Bland, Michael Aaron McAllister, Diane Field, Bascom Hougue, Penny Nickels, Johnny Murder, Stacey Holloway, Albo Jeavons, Ryan Wilson Kelly, Britt Browne and Brooke and Justin Rothshank.

In-conjunction with their First Friday Art Tour the Big Car Gallery will feature music from Tonos Triad, Sonic Assault Duo and Mark Ferrari. For more information about the Big Car Gallery, visit their website.


Jean Jacques Porret at ArtBox, Indianapolis, IndianaArtBox, on Mass Ave, features the work of Jean Jacques Porret in their First Friday Art Tour contribution. Porret is an abstract sculptural artist who focuses on a sense of “rightness” in his work to express clear emotion and stimulate senses. He explains, “Achieving a sense of ‘rightness,’ even in the most uncertain circumstances, is the motivating concept behind by sculpture. The work is figurative but is not about the figure. I consider myself an expressionist, as I am more interested in communicating an abstract feeling or idea than an actual image. I use recognizable forms to evoke emotions and stimulate sensations.”

Working in many different mediums, from marble to bronze, Porret manipulates human forms to create a stunningly modernistic and seductive interpretation of humanity. Porret speaks to his process saying, “I work without any preconceived idea. . . I continue instinctively, with one shape leading to the next, until the figure is simply rhythm in space.” See his work at the ArtBox Gallery on Mass Ave through May 31. To learn more about ArtBox, visit their website.

McFee Gallery and Studios

Orlando Peleaz at McFee Gallery, Indianapolis, IndianaThe artists of the month at the McFee Gallery, on Mass Ave, is Orlando Pelaez. Pelaez creates contemporary Latin American art, utilizing vibrant color and distinctive lines. His images can be described as passionate, bright, striking, colorful and hot. Born in Columbia, Pelaez moved to the United States after studying commercial art, drawing and painting in his homeland. For many years, his work has been inspired by a vivid imagination and clear memory. Influenced heavily by Latin music, he art reflects distinctive rhythm, often times leaving viewers with a sense of musicality.

Of his work Orlando Pelaez says, “My art is a window to Latin America: its multifarious history, values, magic, beauty and color. My South American identity resonates deep within my heart, flowing through my creative instruments to illuminate my artwork.” Pelaez works in many mediums: painting, drawing and digital. See his work all month at the McFee Gallery in Indianapolis downtown. For more information about the McFee Gallery, visit its website

Other Participating Indianapolis Art Galleries

Remember, there are dozens of art galleries throughout Indianapolis that participate in IDADA’s First Friday Art Tour. Take a walk around any of the Indianapolis cultural districts or Indianapolis downtown to discover open door galleries across the Circle City. Here is a complete list:

Make plans to do some First Friday Art Walking this weekend. After all that exercise, your appetite will be raring to go. Grab dinner at any of these yummy Indianapolis restaurants. Or share your thoughts on the art you’ve just seen over cocktails at any of these refreshing Indianapolis bars.

Make Indianapolis downtown art galleries your playground this Friday during the IDADA First Friday Art Tour. Stay tuned to Indianapolis News, Events and Information on Fun City for all the latest on fun things to do in Indianapolis. Get out in Indy and find some fun!

IDADA First Friday Art Tour
Friday, May 7, 2010