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First Friday -- Your Five-Stop Guide 

From nighttime landscapes to a trolley tour to Indianapolis galleries, September's First Friday promises to offer intriguing cultural experiences and some mini-adventures. Whether you love Alice in Wonderland or glitchy YouTube videos, there is an art exhibit waiting for you. Here are our five recommendations.

Starry Skies at the Harrison Center

The Harrison Center for the Arts' "Paragon" show includes a number of artists: Arlon Bayliss with a retrospective that is part of Indy Glass Month, Lobyn Hamilton's place-based art made of vinyl records, Quincy Owens and Luke Crawley's ArtPrize sculpture and a new multimedia storytelling work from Start the Car. But the Harrison Gallery exhibit, Johnny McKee's "There is Nothing Here for You," is my must-see this month. His horizons include swirling stars and rolling hills in day and night. See more on his work with this video:

Glass Appeal

This month, many Indianapolis spots are highlighting contemporary fired and blown art for Indy Glass Month. But you can get two glass shows with one stop at the Circle City Industrial Complex. Husband and wife duo, Anna Lee Chalos-McAleese and Andy McAleese's collaborative work is featured in Nancy Lee Design Studio. In Five Season's Gallery, past Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellow and Indianapolis Art Center glass studio chair Benjamin Johnson shows his work.

Degraded Digital Designs

At General Public Collective, Herron School of Art and Design and University of Nevada-Las Vegas graduate Austin Dickson's "Cool New Shapes" focuses on our relationship with our extensive online visual world. With broken-down images reshaped into brightly colored digital prints, his work transforms digital content into forms that feel almost organic. As Dickson wrestles with our evolving communication, his pieces rearrange technology's missteps into compelling images.

Austin Dickson's "Cool New Shapes" opens Friday at General Public Collective, and Mab Graves' "Through the Looking Glass" at Monster Gravity features a sculpture, prints and paintings.  - AUSTIN DICKSON / MAB GRAVES
  • Austin Dickson / Mab Graves
  • Austin Dickson's "Cool New Shapes" opens Friday at General Public Collective, and Mab Graves' "Through the Looking Glass" at Monster Gravity features a sculpture, prints and paintings.

Next Stop Wonderland
Pop-surrealist and Monster Gallery co-owner Mab Graves makes room in her own exhibition space for a headlong dive into the world of Lewis Carroll's Alice. "Through the Looking Glass" gets inspiration from the unique characters, potions and twists of the classic Alice novels. The exhibition includes paintings, illustrations, miniatures and sculptures -- some 3D and some interactive, as well. Check back later this week for a profile on Graves here on Sky Blue Window.

Artful Transport

First Friday originator IDADA is reviving -- for just this month -- its trolley tour. For $15, ticket-holders get a "swag bag," insider information about the local art scene, special cocktails and a fun experience visiting a range of Indianapolis exhibition spaces. Stops include the Art Bank, Gallery 924, the Harrison Center, Circle City Industrial Complex and Fountain Square.

Cover image credit: Johnny McKee, courtesy of Harrison Center for the Arts.

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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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