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February’s First Friday: 7 Strange and Lovely Adventures 

February's First Friday offerings demonstrate how diverse, strange and exciting Indianapolis' art experience can be. Here are the various, singular events that make an outing in our winter wonderland a must for your weekend plans.

The One with a Jacuzzi
iMOCA's new exhibition, "The Empire Never Ended" is inspired by science fiction author Philip K. Dick's VALIS. Dick's work provides a strong starting point for visual arts, given his narrative use of androids, pseudo-realities and pharmaceutical products. Participating artists Prince Rama, Marc Bijl and Serge Onnen present work that includes holographic projections, a kaleidoscope and a hot tub -- one that museum members can pop into at the event.

iMOCA's "The Empire Never Ended" includes work from Prince Rama (pictured above), Marc Bijl and Serge Onnen, all inspired Philip K. Dick's novel VALIS. - PRINCE RAMA
  • Prince Rama
  • iMOCA's "The Empire Never Ended" includes work from Prince Rama (pictured above), Marc Bijl and Serge Onnen, all inspired Philip K. Dick's novel VALIS.

The One with Up-and-Comers
Primary Colours' First Friday event features three Herron School of Art and Design masters candidates: Melissa Hopson, Hillary Erin Russell and Marna Shopoff. The artists have divergent approaches and themes -- from paintings using a classical approach to consider the built world (Shopoff) to installations designed to spark interaction with viewers (Hopson). Hopson and Russell, whose multimedia and performance pieces address trauma and language, previously worked together on the interactive installations at the We Are City summit last fall.

The One about Love
Feeling frustrated with the city's DPW's work with the recent snowfall? A different DPW, the Department of Public Words wants you to feel and express love -- love for neighbors, friends, family and city displayed through "simple, profound acts of kindness." The group, most recognized for their partnership in bringing the "You Are Beautiful" installations to Indianapolis, will have artwork celebrating topics including forgiveness, generosity and perseverance on display at the Art Space in the Athenaeum.

The Other One about Sports
Yes, they are celebrating both Indy Eleven and Indianapolis iconography at the Harrison Center, but at the Stutz, the Kevin Neal Gardner: Scrimmage covers a different football -- the American one. Gardner explores the game and its culture through his large-scale paintings. Fan devotion intrigues the artist, who describes this show as "an outsider's take on an insider's game."

click to enlarge Gardner's exhibition at the Stutz focuses on American football culture. - KEVIN NEAL GARDNER
  • Kevin Neal Gardner
  • Gardner's exhibition at the Stutz focuses on American football culture.

The One with the Boldest Title
At General Public Collective, "The Worst Person in the World" may win the prize for most catchy show title -- but it also has interesting work. The show features recent work from Kyle Herrington with phrases pulled from texts and other pop culture phenomena set over starry skies, continuing in the style he had on display in two exhibitions in late 2013.

The One about Rock and Roll
Photographer Lora Neal Olive decided in 2008 to follow her teenage dream of being a music photographer. Fast forward six years and her work featuring a wide range of artists is the focus of M10 Studio's First Friday opening at Circle City Industrial Complex (CCIC). Her photos include quite the variety of national acts, such as Marilyn Manson, Willie Nelson, Pink, Mumford and Sons and Bonnie Raitt -- plus locals Lily and Madeleine. Also at CCIC: Rad Drew's photography in Nancy Lee Design Studio, Dave Voelple's abstract watercolors in Martha Nahrwold/Five Seasons Gallery, Noelle Hooper's Singletooth Productions porcelain sculptures and Katrina Murray's "The California Series Yet to Be Named."

The One for Artifact Collectors
If you're in need of a retired roadside arrow sign, a lovingly collected deer antler, a collection of vintage beakers or nearly any other archival object, The Inventorialist will be open again for just First Friday. After an adventure to the even-colder state of Minnesota, Kristofer Bowman is seeking homes for the special things he finds.

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About The Author

Kirsten Eamon-Shine

Kirsten Eamon-Shine

Kirsten has written for a number of online outlets, a handful of nonprofits and a mighty little food truck. She was raised by a writer-photographer-editor and an engineer, both lovers of museums and books. In her spare time, she dances to vinyl records with her husband, son and two cats.

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