Until recently, the color-themed
holiday show at the Harrison Center (1505 N. Delaware St.) was going to focus on black.
Tuxedo tails. A breathtaking expanse of nighttime sky.The
decision then changed to amber, inspired in part by Booth Tarkington's Pulitzer
Prize-winning novel, The Magnificent Ambersons.
Glassware. Jewelry. Woodruff Place.
click to enlarge
Courtesy of the Harrison Center
For more details about the Harrison Center for the Arts or December's First Friday exhibits there, visit the center online or on Facebook.
"Magnificent Amber," marks the 13th year the Harrison has hosted its annual color-inspired
event. Previously celebrated hues include white (sponsored by White Castle),
brown (sponsored by UPS), and forest green (a nod to Nottingham Forest in
support of the Nottingham
Realty Group). One of the first years featured a
large sculpture made from hundreds of red Nordstrom shopping bags.
The upcoming holiday
show will showcase more than 90 pieces, making it the largest exhibition to
date. Although the original one, with its 45 works of art, was no small gallery
event, this is the first year the Harrison Center had to turn people away.
"We usually try to take
something from everyone who submits," explains Harrison Center curator and
The exhibit has gained
enough momentum that artists outside of Indiana will have work
on display. The show features a wide variety of talent; the youngest 'amber artist'
is still in high school. That said, the talent has
been even younger. Ragsdale recalls the year when a five-year-old artist had
work for sale.
Of this event, Ragsdale
says, "We wanted to do a holiday show that had a range of established artists
and artists who were just getting started," he says, noting the inclusion of student
work, "little kid work," crafts, furniture and "sometimes more experimental
installation pieces." Visitors to the gallery on Friday night and throughout
the month of December will be able take in photography, handmade books, and
perhaps even some ceramic work.
Magnificent Amber will
hang in the Harrison Gallery and Gallery Annex and, according to Ragsdale,
celebrates the chance to buy local and give Indy artists a showcase for their
work. Despite the show's slow start more than a decade ago - "We would have
been happy to get 100 visitors," Ragsdale says with a laugh - the Harrison now
draws upwards of 1,000 visitors on First Fridays.
The Magnificent Orson Welles (left) by Kyle Channing Smith and Invader, Cut Paper by Christina Hollering will both be part of the show.
"It'll be festive,"
Ragsdale says. "There will be a lot going on that night." (Foreshadowing!)
addition to the Magnificent Amber show, the Harrison will be hosting several
Friday night marks one of the Harrison's
quarterly Open Studio Nights, which is a chance for event attendees to meet and
see the work of the center's 33 working artists.
Gallery No. 2 will feature new work by Quincy Owens,
who was recently profiled in the Harrison's Studio Visit series,
compiled by visiting artist Asa Gauen. (Check out Kyle
Ragsdale's video here.)
The show, "The Pursuit of Happiness (Everything Will Be Gold)," is the result
of Owens' Creative
Renewal Fellowship, which requires grant recipients to
share their work with the community.
The City Gallery, which specializes in
local art about Indy, will be home to Shannon
Hinkle's "Here & There," an exhibition of photography,
drawing and block printing.
"Conversation Pieces," a thesis show from
Herron School of Art seniors Amy Applegate, Naomi Carr
and Lynette Sauer, will take place in Hank & Dolly's Gallery.
Indiana author Dan Wakefield,
well known for his novel Going All the
Way and writings on spirituality including How Do We Know When It's God?, will present "Corn, Limestone and
Books: Why Hoosier Writers Sell Best," a talk in four parts beginning at 6:45
The artwork in the
Magnificent Amber show and in the Harrison's surrounding galleries will be on
display through Dec. 26. The First Friday event will take place from 6 p.m. to 10
p.m. and is an ideal time to get started on your holiday shopping. Or to re-evaluate
gifts you've already acquired, purchase something entirely different, and get wild
with the wrapping paper and ribbons all over again.
Steve Nyktas' Mustard Bottle, an inkjet print, will be on display at the Magnificent Amber show.
Chi Sherman enjoys writing essays and poetry, being a documentary nerd, and hanging out with her family and friends. Her work has appeared in NUVO, The Huffington Post, and, sporadically, on her blog.
This Saturday Clowes Memorial Hall will bring It Gets Better to the stage for a powerful and entertaining message of hope and support to the LGBTQ community -- and especially to its youth and their loved ones.