Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cultural Trail gets its Opie

For those of you who may or may not have noticed the work being done outside the Old Point Tavern on Mass Ave. The Cultural Trails getting a new Julian Opie LED piece. The inaugural lighting of the piece takes place today. I can not make the ceremony but I plan on grabbing a drink at the Old Point later tonight. I guess I can drink and watch ol' Ann dance all night long...

Julian Opie Artwork Returns to Indianapolis

In 2007, the Julian Opie: Signs public art exhibition brought 11 installations by the internationally acclaimed artist Julian Opie to the city. Now, one of the pieces is coming back. The artwork – a four sided light emitting display (LED) featuring an animated artwork of a woman dancing – was on the corner of Maryland and Illinois streets during the exhibition. The LED unit will be installed permanently along the Indianapolis Cultural Trail and feature a new animation purchased for the city of Indianapolis and entitled “Ann Dancing.”

The work will be illuminated and officially dedicated on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 11:30 a.m. Join arts, tourism and Cultural Trail officials, as well as Mass Ave business owners at Tuesday’s event to learn more about the project.

This continues a new tradition in Indianapolis’ public art exhibition legacy. Last fall, three sculptures from the 2005 Tom Otterness in Indianapolis exhibition were installed outside the convention center at the corner of Maryland and West streets.

Artwork illumination: 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 22

WHERE: Intersection of Alabama St., Mass Ave and Vermont St. in front of the Old Point Tavern (Event will take place rain or shine)

WHO: Brian Payne (president, Central Indiana Community Foundation), Patti Perrin (owner of the Old Point Tavern), Mindy Taylor Ross (director of public art, Arts Council of Indianapolis)

26 Responses to “Cultural Trail gets its Opie”

Carla said...
January 22, 2008 at 9:53 AM

I was lukewarm to the earlier Opie invasion. It seemed to represent more top-down money-powered dictation of culture/identity.

But this single piece, an LCD gal outside the Old Point? It's perfect.

Chris said...
January 23, 2008 at 6:54 AM

Something to check out the next time I'm in town. I enjoyed the "Opie Invasion." But wasn't living in Indy at the time, so only saw it twice. I might agree with Carla if I lived there now...

Carla said...
January 27, 2008 at 9:43 AM This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous said...
January 27, 2008 at 9:58 AM

"I went from lukewarm to hot; sleepin on futons and cots
to King Size, dream machines, the green fives
I've seen pies let the thing between my eyes analyze life's ills
Then I put it down type braile
I'm tight grill with the phony, rappers y'all might feel we homies
I'm like still, y'all don't know me, shit!
I'm tight grill when my situation ain't improvin
I'm tryin to murder everything movin, feel me?!"

I LOVE lukewarm!


Carla said...
January 27, 2008 at 8:54 PM

I'm the earlier deletion, trying to communicate with fewer expletives.

The Dude said...
January 27, 2008 at 10:04 PM

Safe bet. What ever happened to the Marbles?

What's gonna happen to the Iny Arts Commish under Ballard?

In the Indy Arts Commish gonna bring in art over the summer?

Or is that all done?

Scott said...
January 27, 2008 at 11:46 PM

Well, Dude...

-As for the marbles, all I feel I can say on that subject is that they got the squash. They were cut from the production. As with every story such as these, there were two side with differing opinions on what went wrong. I for one, felt that despite whatever it was that truely went wrong, the project should have moved forward no matter what, learn from lessons learned, and save face. Now, after all this publicity and attention to the project for it to just vanish, seems wrong.

-As for what the future holds for Arts funding and such in the city under Ballard, I plan on crossing my fingers and hope for the best.

-From what I understand, Chakia Booker is the next on the list to install multiple sculptures here in Indianapolis as did Opie and Otterness. I think that Bookers work will be appreciated more by the arts community that perhaps the other two artists but we shall see. I wonder what the general public will think of her work.

Carla said...
January 28, 2008 at 8:13 AM

Scott, From eveything I heard, the general public loved Opie and Otterness. Those works pretend to be innocuous and fun, but for those paying attention, they have a more subversive meaning. If public work is ironic and subversive, fine; but when the irony is not apparent to the average viewer, when the irony is their ignorance of the subversion???

It's a real struggle to maintain a supportive attitude for that.

Scott said...
January 28, 2008 at 12:36 PM

I agree.

Anonymous said...
January 29, 2008 at 4:46 PM

Why not have full disclosure? Public stewards should acknowledge their failures as publicly as they celebrate their successes.

Scott that is no answer as to what happened to "Play". After CICF and its partners spent so much time selling Mass Ave and the City at large on them I feel that they owe us an honest answer as to why the project failed. New, innovative, site-specific public art was a major selling component for the trail. What happened to the hundreds of thousands of dollars allotted to the development of new work for the site? Instead we get a used Opie. Will the green spaces be replaced with plastic trees and spun as a success for water conservation?

The marbles or "Play" was billed as the first major work for the trail and was featured at the ground breaking attended by former Mayor Peterson. There was television coverage from every major local station and it was written about in all the papers. Yet, we have yet to hear any explanation from any of the former celebrants as to why the project never materialized.

I feel that their and your unwillingness to communicate openly about this obvious failure brings yours and their credibility into question. This is an obvious attempt to protect the reputations of the Arts Council, the CICF and the members of the Public Art Team. Ask the hard questions, get real answers. Shit or get off the pot!


the reason this is anonymous is that I work for the IMA and dont feel like risking my job over this.

Anonymous said...
January 29, 2008 at 10:55 PM

I heard the artist could not bring her self to make it within the budget. So I think that the artist is to be blamed. If you can't accomplish what you porposed, or if it's going to cost lots more, then don't. If the problem was that, then I think it was unresponsable of her and it lacked proper research. It's funny that she was going to have her show at the IMA just when she was chosen. Do you think they kinda jumped into this whitout checking her ability to actually accomplish this?

kid said...
January 30, 2008 at 8:42 AM

Anonymous IMA employee:

Instead of posting charges against Scott for withholding information which most surely isn't public- why not ask the players involved? Brian Payne, Mindy Taylor Ross, and Emily Kennerk are all available if you want to get the scoop.

Scott said...
January 30, 2008 at 1:07 PM

Anonymous IMA employee,

I agree with the spirit of your post and perhaps my credibility or that of OtC is tainted to some degree for not posting in more detail about this issue. I would like for OtC to become more open about the goings on in the community but it is a difficult task for me to take on by myself.

Trust me when I say that I struggled a lot over writing about the vanquished "Play" in more detail. But several problems arise in these situations. No one wanted to speak on the record for whatever reasons, being to save face, protect their job, simply soured by the entire experience or what have you. I am not a journalist, attempting to scratch away at the underbelly of the situation to expose it, though at times I wish I could. If that was something I was good at then the issues at Herron with the Dean would be at the top of my list of targets. I have talked with people on both sides and each have given differing takes on what went wrong. Considering I was not there, have no factual evidence to back up either side, I am forced then to speculate or be held liable. It is a small community and if you or I step on too many toes with out factual evidence to back us up, then we may loose our jobs or future opportunities in the Indy arts community. Iam friends with Emily and friendly with the Arts Council who I temporarily worked for last year, so there is certainly a conflict of interest on my part.

As I said before, despite the problems that came up during this project, be it, budget, timelines, contract issues, artist liabitity, or a simple lack of understanding and communication, or was it a lack on confidence that made the project fall through. I simply do not know for sure. I feel the project should have moved forward. For better or worst, it should have been finished and you learn from that experience before moving on to future projects. I too wonder where all the art will be coming from now. Last I heard, someone was telling me that the Cultural Trail was already over budget. Sad. if true. Especially since not a single portion is finished.

All that said, if anyone of you out there would like to volunteer to write for OtC in a journalistic manner, we are more than happy to publish your thoughts and findings. I am always looking for more writers willing to post on a weekly or bi-monthly basis. My guess is that no one will step forward to do so. I hope I am wrong. People do not want to put their name to what they write for fear that it may impact them in some negative way in the arts community. Where are the people who love to write about art that are not fully involved in the arts scene? If you have nothing to loose in the art scene you could be a wonderful arts critic.

The Dude said...
January 31, 2008 at 8:03 AM

Well stated, Scott.

I think that Scott summed up quite well the difficult situation he and Christopher must be in by running OtC.

But I think that many of his difficulties would plague the "real journalists," say over at the Star or Nuvo. The question is how do you rightly say negative things about a person or orginization in such a small town as this? How do you uncover "the dirt"? The chances are you already know the orginization or person on some personal level.

Is it also a bit of a conflict of interest in that most artists out there are competing for the same money that is awarded from the Indy Arts Council, CICF, and others, or potentially some involvement with Herron, IMA, or iMOCA -- or MiCO?

What's difficult is that the Star and NUVO already publish or post a lot about events in the town, so what can OtC do? Allow people (like The Dude himself) to discuss things from time to time.

Carla said...
January 31, 2008 at 9:05 AM

iMOCA seminar series latest offering:

BridgeBurning 101

Anonymous said...
January 31, 2008 at 1:48 PM

IMA guy says....

I think the real fault lies with the funding organizations, they are unwilling to disclose information that could be embarassing to them. I do believe that if they were more open with information then they could create an environment of constructive criticism.

Scott, I would be careful of posting future press releases from the Arts Council as you did with the Opie work. You knew that it was not the original work designated for that location yet you never addressed it in your posting.

The Dude said...
January 31, 2008 at 6:55 PM

Gee, does anybody feel like calling "IMA Guy's" bluff?

What does the fact that you work at the local art museum have to do with anything? And why are you advising Scott?

Do you have experience in PR or Marketing?

My guess is that you are either a security guard at IMA, or a full of crap.

Anonymous said...
January 31, 2008 at 9:04 PM


That is the funniest thing I heard today!

ANd I'm not being sarcastic.


Carla said...
January 31, 2008 at 10:14 PM

Thanks nanotech,

I am the lecturer, and the first session will be on backpedaling. It's a long shot, trying to retract, but skillful backpedaling can demonstrate a willingness to submit, which may or may not absolve one of whatever they carelessly blabbed. (I'm making fun of myself here).

His Dudeness said...
January 31, 2008 at 10:32 PM

And the Nanotech doesn't think The Dude is funny?

Anonymous said...
February 1, 2008 at 4:39 PM

I also work at the IMA. Though I can't speak to the verity of "IMA guy's" position as a fellow employee, I want to point out that many of our protection services officers have training and prior or current careers in the arts and/or education -- as teachers, working artists, etc. They spend more time daily with actual art than most other museum departments. I believe "the dude" intended to ask why one's place of work is relevent to this topic, and wasn't intended as a slam at IMA guards. But I thought it was important to say our security officers play a crucial role as custodians of the collection and members of the front line of audience experiences.

The Dude said...
February 2, 2008 at 12:16 AM

The Dude appreciates your defense of the IMA "protection service officers."

I wasn't saying anything about them, just that this "IMA guy" was full of crap and for some reason unkown to me using the "IMA" as a position of status to attack Scott's post about the Trail of Culture.

I'm interested, though, in the fact that this post has generated so many responses from so called IMA employees. Why not show your face, IMA employees?

Are you afraid of representing your position there?

Anonymous said...
February 3, 2008 at 12:08 PM

I didn't wanna say anything but me nanotech, also work at the IMA. At this time, I'm going to announce my support to Barack Obama for the next president of the United States of America.

The second announcement is that I have just signed up for Carla's lecture on backpedaling. I think I will need to submit, hoping that all of my nonsense does not backfire on me.


F'in Dude said...
February 3, 2008 at 5:14 PM

Seriously, the nanotech works at IMA?

Scott do you work there too, now?

Anonymous said...
February 4, 2008 at 12:15 PM

IMA guy says....

dude... if you read my post and scotts reply

My point was that there is an unhealthy system of centralized funding in the arts community of the city. This combined with the many conficts of interest both personal and professional do not allow for an honest dialogue about the arts.

Since the Cultural Trail's public art was coordinated by the Arts Council with the support and advising of IMA staff among other, to critize them openly may put your current position or funding posibilities at risk.

True or not, preception is reality. Trust me I am not the only person who feels this way. I believe the way around it is for organizations such as the Arts Council to be more transparent and willing to admit mistakes.

Scott said...
February 4, 2008 at 1:18 PM

F'in dude,

For transparency sake, I have never been paid by the IMA. I am a member though and I am a member of the Contemporary Arts Society. I once applyed for a job at the IMA and never heard back from them. I do however have a rather open and friendly relationship with the IMA and have a number of personal friends and accquaintences who work there.

IMA Guy,

you stated:
"I believe the way around it is for organizations such as the Arts Council to be more transparent and willing to admit mistakes."

I completely agree with you on this topic for the fact that they are a public entity and should be more transparent about how they are spending funds.

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