Arts and Culture

Arts and Culture

May 5, 2023 @ 5:00 am June 17, 2023 @ 5:00 pm

The work of Carol Messer and Tom Bartholomew will be at ArtSpace beginning First Friday this week.

From the still capture of a rural moment, to a thrumming hum of more urban life, photographers Carol Messer and Tom Bartholomew will show divergent but harmonious views of “where we are” in an exhibit by the same name that opens Friday, as part of the first Friday Art Walk series, then continuing through June 17. The exhibit will host receptions from 5-8 p.m. May 5 and June 2, then will continue Tuesdays through Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. at Art Space Vincennes, at 521 Main Street.

A word from ArtSpace:

We felt it would be interesting to see the points of connection and divergence that would provoke thought if these two photographers dealing with essentially the same subject matter but with different points of view, were represented together in an exhibition. The two images used for the exhibition postcard, can get us started.

Tom had closed his wedding photography business and was on a mission to explore his own creative work. We saw images on his Facebook page described as “adventures in black and white”. He was driving around Knox County photographing the landscape and buildings, the latter often deserted and falling into disrepair with the passage of time. We were struck by the evocative silence and compelling mystery that seemed to envelope these new subjects.

Carol had embarked on her project of photographing rural farms and fields, often in the magic light of evening, as a path through the isolation of the Covid pandemic. She brought some of her photographs into the gallery one afternoon, and we ended up spending hours with her, newly impressed by every image we saw.

We became aware last year that both Carol Messer and Tom Bartholomew were engaged in photographing Knox County surroundings.
Water surrounds trees whose trunks merge into their reflections. Compositionally we see three horizontal layers. At the top, moving clouds create a band of grays and warm whites. Leafless tree branches reach up to touch the clouds. The middle ground falls from blue into darkness, with a surprising glimpse of coral at the horizon. We can barely discern a road, and buildings that line it, behind the trees. The shimmering river takes up almost the entire bottom half of the format, varying between the greenish blue of reflected sky and the grayer surface of the water, with its light lines and shapes of reflected clouds. The light is fading quickly. Although stillness prevails, all is changing moment by imperceptible moment.

Her work calls to mind the Hudson River School painters whose landscape paintings were intended to evoke the presence of the “sublime” in nature.

In her artist statement Carol writes: “These photographs stop time and capture the “now,” treasuring up for us moments of grace as we contemplate the enormous panorama of earth meeting sky…[they] celebrate the play of light on the earth, the dance of color in our fields and on trees, the dampness of rain in our ditches, the fecundity of our fields and daily, the incredible play of clouds in the skies above us.”
The appearance of farm buildings in Carol’s paintings is significant – they reference the people who work the land, and their small footprint reminds us of the vastness of the natural forms and forces within which we live. One thinks of the landscapes of the Chinese poet-painters, in which the human-made temples and bridges are barely discernible.
Carol’s recent full embrace of photography has evolved from a lifetime of engagement with the fine arts in many forms. She studied painting and drawing, and focused on printmaking in both undergraduate and graduate work. While earning her MFA at the University of Kentucky, she became interested in landscape art and classical European gardens, and began to experiment with landscape sculpture in porcelain. Her many art-related life experiences have included teaching, mounting exhibitions, and serving as Director for the Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs in Bergen County, New Jersey. Her passionate interest in medieval architecture has taken her to the UK and France to visit cathedrals. It was in this travel that she “discovered the art of photography as a means of furthering her involvement in the arts”.
Moving from nature to the constructs of man, this photograph by Tom Bartholomew could be considered a portrait of a building. Like Carol’s photograph, it is also divided into thirds, this time vertically. A dark, imposing structure dominates the format left. Diagonals within and around it create a disquieting sense of potential shift and upheaval. Gray sky provides a backdrop for fire escape ladders in the center and telephone pole with its undulating wires on the right. There are no people, but humans were the builders and their creations have anthropomorphic character, the building on the left heavy and morose, the ladders, telephone pole and wires ephemeral and tentative.
Tom notes, “As a newspaper photographer and as a wedding and portrait photographer my work dealt undeniably with people; the things they did and the way they did them.” What distinguished Tom’s photography, as he served the public in these two differing ways, was attention to how he presented his subject(s). He gave thought to context and composition, offering unexpected paths to the delicate balance of unity and variety and introducing the element of surprise.

In Tom’s retirement journey the human presence in his photographs continues to be essential.

“Driving around in rural America, the landscapes I stop to photograph more often than not bear the marks of people. A pump house, a church or the boarded-up windows of a Main Street nobody visits anymore all tell the story of the people who were there. In rural America it’s frequently the story of people and an economy that have moved on. Of all the images I delivered for this show only one had an actual person in it. But they all have people in them.”

Tom’s work continues to be narrative, telling a story.  This makes sense given his grounding in photo-journalism.  At Columbia College he worked with John H. White, a nationally celebrated photographer who received a Pulitzer Prize in Photojournalism.  Other artists he cites as influential, such as Susan Meiselas, Danny Lyon and Dennis Stock are affiliated with the Magnum Foundation and Magnum Photos. The Foundation is dedicated to expanding creativity and diversity in documentary photography and supports “a global network of social justice and human rights-focused photographers and experiments with new models for storytelling”.

Tom’s interest in social justice, and his compassion for those whose lives are defined by struggle has manifested both in what he has studied and where he has worked.  His studies have included coursework in sociological theory, urban sociology, statistics, Marxian sociology, personality theory, organizational behavior, social inequality, the American elite, behavioral methods, cultural anthropology and social psychology.  He has worked and volunteered in many care settings, including staff and administrative positions in nursing homes, and activities development for the local YMCA Senior Services Project.

The photographs Tom is showing in this exhibition ask the viewer to consider how these abandoned buildings, empty rooms and other-worldly landscapes came to be as they are.  He does so with compositions that foster a sense of mystery and questioning unease.

Thinking about the points of connection one can find between these two artists, I find myself considering what the medium of photography can uniquely offer, and what these two artists are offering through it.

Although technology now offers such a spectrum of ways photography can be manipulated, in the end it still carries a historical sense of being grounded in fact, authenticity, and truth.  “The camera never lies.”  I feel that both artists have arrived, after lifetimes of work, and thinking, and searching, and more work, at discovering increasingly refined “truths” to share with us. But these truths are more like questions or gentle suggestions than bodies of knowledge.  Both ask us to stop, and look at and consider places and ideas we might ordinarily pass by, distracted by the increasing complexity of just getting through the day.  They gift us with the experiences latent for us in what they have learned to see.

Tom’s photographs invite us to connect with the ghosts or spirits or unseen presences of people no longer with us which seem somehow to adhere to or be inherent in the spaces and objects they created and the atmospheric landscapes through which they have passed.

Carol’s photographs, in her words, share her “many sacred and fleeting moments in our farms, fields and woods” with hope that we too can find  the “song within our deepest self that is good and finds itself wonderfully expressed in our connection with nature.” 

Both are asking us to tune into the unseen that is not beneath or beyond what is seen, but is exquisitely embodied within it, present now, outside of time.

–An Art Space Gallery preview of the “Where We Are” exhibit by Andy Jendrzejewski

Free
521 Main Street
Vincennes, Indiana 47491 United States
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(812) 887-6145
https://artspacevincennes.com/

Two point perspective: Bartholomew, Messer show ‘Where We Are’

From the still capture of a rural moment, to a thrumming hum of more urban life, photographers Carol Messmer and Tom Bartholomew will show divergent but harmonious views of “where we are” in an exhibit by the same name that opens Friday, as part of the first Friday Art Walk series, then continuing through June 17. The exhibit will host receptions from 5-8 p.m. May 5 and June 2, then will continue Tuesdays through Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. at Art Space Vincennes, at 521 Main Street.


Arts and Culture

April 4, 2023 @ 12:00 pm April 26, 2023 @ 4:00 pm

Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays in April from noon to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., The Open Gallery welcomes Andrew Chalfen  to display his works in a show titled, “Andrew Chalfen: Mind Constructions.”  Chalfen is a Philadelphia-based visual artist and musician whose work has appeared nationally, winning numerous awards and recognition through publications, including a collection of 84 whimsical pen and ink drawings titled “Look Up Coloring Book.”  These works however are far more than just whimsy and, at times, defy easy descriptions.

Chalfen’s work displays his fascination with patterning and the way patterns radiate, ripple, pixelate, oscillate, cluster, construct and deconstruct.  These patterns , he says, tend to reflect his state of mind in the studio as he creates, a topographical exploration of his thoughts and moods while he responds to these patterns. He explains, “Shapes often spill out over edges, suggesting unseen continuations beyond, while others seek containment…. I follow my instincts, deviate from them when necessary, and trust the process to guide the work to a successful outcome…” Chalfen’s artwork will be on display from April 4th– 26th, including on April 7th, at our First Friday event from 5-8 p.m.   

An Artists’ Talk will be held at The Open Gallery, 329 Main Street, Vincennes, on April 25 at 4:00 p.m.  Chalfen will be on hand to tell us about his creative process for this work and answer any questions about the pieces. The public is invited to attend.

Free
329 Main Street
Vincennes, Indiana 47591 United States
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Arts and Culture

March 3, 2023 @ 5:00 pm 8:00 pm

See what is being showcased in our downtown galleries during the “First Friday” Art Walk held each month! Join friends at Art Space Vincennes, Open Gallery, Northwest Territory Art Gallery, and Shircliff Gallery for the First Friday Art Walk, Friday, March 3.  Downtown galleries will be open 5 – 8 pm, Shircliff gallery closes at 6 pm.

Art Space Vincennes LLC, 521 Main will open Journey through Monotype Prints, Amanda Barrow and Elizabeth Busey.  Barrow, originally from Indiana but now working in East Hampton, Massachusetts and Busey, from Bloomington, Indiana met at a workshop in Brooklyn in January 2020. Both artists work non-objectively with a focus on the interaction of geometric shapes. Barrow’s pieces, influenced by her travels in India, offer ethereal organic abstractions inspired by nature, architecture and the human body. In contrast, Busey’s works are collage based, constructed with clean-edged tesserae of monotype prints, cyanotypes, vintage maps and gold leaf.  Busey also draws inspiration from travel, with references to topography and plant forms evoking feelings of memory, longing and connection.  Both artists will be present at the March opening.

Regular gallery hours: Tue – Sat Noon – 5 pm and by appointment: 812-887-6145 

Northwest Territory Art Guild, 316 Main will present Goose Pond Marsh Madness, featuring over fifty wildlife photos by Guild Member Steve LaRoche. These will include many of waterfowl and other wildlife from the Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area south of Linton.  Staff from Goose Pond have created a window display at the Guild depicting Goose Pond.  Spring themed artworks created by Guild members in a wide variety of styles and media will also be on display and for sale.

Regular gallery hours: Tue – Sat 11 am – 2 pm. Additional hours by appointment; contact the gallery via Facebook.

The Open Gallery, 329 Main will present a retrospective exhibition of works by John Baeder.  Michael Mullen, gallery co-director, has been collecting Baeder’s artworks over the span of a life-long friendship with the artist, and is now sharing this collection.  It offers the rare opportunity to witness the trajectory of this nationally recognized artist’s career, including his diner watercolors, photocollage pieces, and more recent vintage airplane paintings and matchbook paintings. Yale Professor of Art Vincent Scully wrote that it’s his emotional attachment to his subject matter that sets Baeder’s work apart from many of the other Photorealists: “John Baeder’s paintings seem to me to differ from most of those of his brilliant Magic-Realist contemporaries in that they are gentle, lyrical, and deeply in love with their subjects.”      

The First Friday Players will again provide rollicking good Irish music for visitors to enjoy. 

Regular gallery hours: Tue, Thu 12 – 5 pm, Sat 11 am – 4 pm and by chance.

812- 881-6475.

The Shircliff Gallery, First and Harrison Streets, will be showing Diminution of Light: Alternative Photographic Process.  The exhibition presents works by Larry Gawal, Mark Schoon & Casey McGuire, Antonio Martinez and John Steck, JrAlternative process photography is a term used to describe any non-traditional photographic printing processes such as cyanotype, salt prints, photograms and pinholes. A reception for the artists will take place at the gallery on Thursday, March 2.  The exhibition will continue through March 10.

Regular gallery hours: weekdays 9 am – 6 pm; the gallery will be open until 6 pm on First Friday March 3. 812-888-4316

Free

Arts and Culture

March 3, 2023 @ 5:00 pm 8:00 pm

The Open Gallery will open its 2023 gallery season with a unique exhibition of work by artist John Baeder, titled “Collecting John Baeder.” Baeder, who currently resides in Nashville, TN, has had a storied career in art for over 50 years, getting his big break with legendary gallerist Ivan Karp at the O.K. Harris gallery in SoHo in 1972, not long after Karp saw Baeder’s work during a studio visit.  It wasn’t long after that, that graduate student Michael Mullen first saw Baeder’s work and contacted him, beginning a lifelong friendship. Mullen has been collecting his work ever since in a friendship that has spanned 40 years.

This exhibition features that collection, ranging from Baeder’s infamous diner watercolors,  some of his photocollage pieces, his more recent vintage airplane paintings and matchbook paintings.  Yale Professor of Art  Vincent Scully wrote that it’s his emotional attachment to his subject matter that sets Baeder’s work apart from many of the other Photorealists:  “John Baeder’s paintings seem to me to differ from most of those of his brilliant Magic-Realist contemporaries in that they are gentle, lyrical, and deeply in love with their subjects.”  We think you will agree as you view this retrospective.

Please come by The Open Gallery on Friday, March 3, from 5-8 p.m.  for our kick-off First Friday event.  The show will run through the end of March.  All the galleries will be exhibiting new work, so this event should be a great way to get out of the house and enjoy the company of good friends, good music and great art!

Free
329 Main Street
Vincennes, Indiana 47591 United States
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Arts and Culture

January 23, 2023 @ 8:00 am February 3, 2023 @ 6:00 pm

I Think I Made You Up Inside My Head, a two person exhibition featuring the work of Alison A. Smith and Tracy Longley-Cook, two artists working in the directorial, or constructed image form of photography. Alison A. Smith’s still life imagery, reminiscent of vanitas painting, hints at desperation and catharsis. In the work of Tracy Longley-Cook, the Jungian archetypes of books and eggs are transformed by the ritualistic performance of the anonymous figure.

Free
1002 N. First St
Vincennes, Indiana 47591 United States
+ Google Map
812-888-4316
www.vinu.edu/shircliff-gallery

www.vinu.edu/shircliff-gallery

Arts and Culture

December 2, 2022 @ 5:00 pm 8:00 pm

See what is being showcased in our downtown galleries during the “First Friday” Art Walk held each month! The Art Space Gallery, the Open Gallery and the Northwest Territory Art Guild Gallery offer a chance to view and purchase work by accomplished artists with changing exhibitions each month. From 5:00pm – 8:00pm, the public is invited to browse through the galleries, enjoy light snacks and good company. *Check the events listings from this website for the next “First Friday” coming up!

Free

Arts and Culture

November 4, 2022 @ 5:00 pm 8:00 pm

Join friends at Art Space Vincennes, Open Gallery, Northwest Territory Art Gallery, Shircliff Gallery, Dragoon pop-up temporary gallery, and the Democratic Headquarters for the First Friday Art Walk, Friday, November 4.  Galleries will be open 5 – 8 pm. 

Art Space Vincennes LLC, 521 Main will open Terminable Landscapes/Small Dramas, digital drawings, and photo montages by retired Vincennes University Art Professor Jim Pearson.  The exhibition has two interrelated themes.  Long horizontal rectangular compositions reflect the complexity of the natural world and our impact upon it.  Smaller works include figurative imagery and are vignettes of dramas, tragedies, and questions about human life.  They are not intended to be literal, but to leave open possibilities for viewers to consider.  Both bodies of work demonstrate Jim’s sensitivity to the expressive power of tonal value. The exquisite refinement of meaning that results are impacted by his intense focus on his work during retirement, his long history of teaching drawing and printmaking, and his education in printmaking, a discipline whose exacting demands were passed on to him via his excellent teachers, including Rudy Pozzatti, at Indiana University, Bloomington where he earned his MFA degree.

Regular gallery hours: Tue – Sat Noon – 5 pm.  Other hours by appointment; call 812-887-6145.  Closed Thanksgiving weekend, 11/24 – 11/28.

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 Northwest Territory Art Guild, 316 Main will be showing fall and winter-themed works by Guild members, as well as a special sale of works that will continue into December.

These will be in a variety of styles and media and will offer a great opportunity to start thinking about Christmas gift-giving.

Regular gallery hours: Tue – Sat 11 am – 2 pm. Additional hours by appointment; contact the gallery via Facebook.

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The Open Gallery, 329 Main will open These Roads Don’t Move, works by Christina Zimmer Robinson and Sarah Wolfe.  Both artists recently participated in the Indiana Arts Commission On-Ramp program.  Robinson’s works focus on her interest in aligning control, structure, and harmonious relationships between colors.  She explores various mediums and styles, including abstraction, portraiture, sculpture, and textile work.

Wolfe characterizes her work for this exhibition as exploratory and flights of freedom from the many duties both women juggle as wives, mothers, and working artists.  While Wolfe agrees that the two bodies of her work for this show may seem disparate, the abstract floral pieces are “a joyous, freeing exploration of color and textures gleaned from the outside world. The anatomical works are simply the inverse–an examination of our potentially gloriously interesting innards.” The show will run until mid-December.                     

The First Friday Players will again provide rollicking good Irish music for visitors to enjoy. 

Regular gallery hours: Tue, Thu 12 – 5 pm, Sat 11 am – 4 pm, and by chance. 812- 881-6475

Knox County Indiana Democratic Headquarters, 314 Main Street will give viewers another chance to see Fernando Lozano’s powerful prints on stretched canvas in his series Our Rights, Our Freedom, Our Vote.  These 13 pieces, each 20.5” x 3” address the historic difficulties many groups have faced in striving for the right to vote.  
For more information, please contact Marsha Fleming, at 812-890-1688 or Fernando Lozano, at 323-559-1954.

Dragoon (apop-up” gallery) at 517 Main Street will feature photographs with sound interpretations by Ken Park.  This exhibition will only be available during the First Friday Art Walk.  New works are added each month.

The Shircliff Gallery, First and Harrison Streets, will present Flood and Pull, a two-person exhibition of works by Jay Ryan and Ryan Stander, two artists using printmaking techniques in their contemporary practice.

Ryan begins with illustration, creating whimsical and imaginative images with pen and ink. The images frequently depict mischievous wilderness creatures cavorting in ways which serve to reflect on and question our own human behavior.

Stander’s series, Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid explores social and cultural topics through the use of indirect visual symbols. Viewers are encouraged to piece together meaning through loose associations, rather than explicit illustration. He draws upon various cultural frameworks, including his past theological education to express ideas, questions, and critiques.

Regular gallery hours: weekdays 9 am – 5 pm. 812-888-4316; the gallery will be open until 6 pm on the First Friday, November 4.

Free

Interview With a Local – Anne Pratt

Have you ever been on a trip and met someone that made an impact on you? Maybe they were incredibly welcoming or made the new place you were visiting seem less scary. Sometimes a friendly face is all it takes to turn a bad trip into a good one. This is our goal with our Interview With a Local Series; to introduce you to new people—familiar faces—who we hope will not only make your visit to our small towns in Knox County better but also make you want to come back and see more…


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