Memory, Myth, and Metaphor is a FREE, 5-week series for women and femmes only, that will explore the themes of memories, myths, and metaphors while exploring topics such as the body, self-presentation, and gender roles.
Join us for the first segment of the series in a special meetup with shehive. This meetup will include a dialogue about identity in the craft fields of wood and metalworking. Together, we will create pieces that explore a multi-faceted self. Bring materials that inspire you.
The following items will guide our conversation:
-article on gender construction:
-article on women and power tools: http://www.slate.com/
-website for a women-centered space:
-article about Vivian Beer:
Facilitated by Brittany Rudolf.
Brittany Rudolf is serving as a Public Ally with Big Car Collaborative for the 2016-2017 term. A graduate of Herron School of Art and Design with a BFA in Furniture Design and Sculpture, she combines her various creative interests with a love for people.
shehive is a grassroots project based in Indianapolis creating spaces to deconstruct gender inequity. Meetups are informal, gender neutral gatherings to explore gender issues in pop culture. To learn more about the project, visit shehive.org!
Reminder that shehive meetups are informal and gender inclusive gatherings to discuss gender issues in pop culture. Children ages 16+ are welcome. The conversation will not be censored.
*image by J.D. Hollis. http://densityofspace.com/
Join us for a Pop-Up Woodworking Workshop led by teaching artist Brittany Rudolf.
ALL materials are provided. No previous experience is necessary, as we will use pre-cut pieces, so come in with an open mind and leave with a handpiece work!
This workshop is FREE and FAMILY FRIENDLY; however, space is limited and children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Reserve your spot by clicking here!
Brittany Rudolf is a multi-disciplinary artist who is serving as Public Ally with Big Car Collaborative for the 2016-2017 term. A graduate of Herron School of Art and Design with a BFA in Furniture Design and Sculpture, she combines her various creative interests with a love for community engagement.
The Indianapolis 48 Hour Film Project is produced by Big Car. It is open to professional, amateur and first-time filmmakers in Indianapolis. It is awesome. You should do it.
On Friday night, July 31, all registered teams meet to get a character, a prop, a line of dialogue and a randomly-chosen genre, all to include in your movie. [Animators and puppeteers welcome!] Then you have exactly 48 hours to make it all happen—from story to soundtrack to editing. Turn it in. High-fives. Take a long nap.
All on-time films screen to cheering audiences at the Tobias Theater at IMA the evening of Saturday, August 8. One winning team from Indianapolis will screen their film at the international Filmapalooza in Hollywood.
The sooner you sign up, the cheaper it is, and you can get started recruiting cast and crew. Prices are per team, not per person. Registration opens May 27, 2015 at 48hourfilm.com/indianapolis. Register before July 6 and pay just $140. Between July 7–July 21? $160. July 22–July 31 = $175
Gutzine is a new publication that will be distributed via the bathroom gallery at The Show Room, the Loo-vre, and possibly in other bathrooms near you! I look forward to seeing your ideas and please feel free to ask any questions!
DEADLINE: May 18, 2015
Want your work to be seen but have a hard time getting people to look? Put your work where people can focus, the bathroom. Big Car’s new bathroom and bathroom lobby gallery focusing on digestion, The Loo-vre, seeks a call for submissions for bathroom reading material focusing on bodily functions.
For inspiration visit the Loo-vre at The Show Room (3739 Commercial Drive) or check out some pics at the Flickr page above.
SPECS: The final product will be in standard zine format using letter paper (8.5” x 11”) folded in half, your piece can be single page or spread. Color or BW, 300 DPI, JPG, PDF, or DOC. Please submit materials with your name and the title of your piece. ex: yourname_title.jpg
(above) Holly Combs gives a talk about letting go of labels at TEDxIndianapolis
Thanks to all the presenters, sponsors, partners, volunteers and attendees to TEDxIndianapolis 2014! A stimulating day of Big Ideas. Explore the photos on Flickr and Instagram, and the ongoing conversation on Facebook and Twitter. View 21 videos of the talks and performances on YouTube here!
This year was a busy but successful one for Big Car. It started with our three-year pop-up socially engaged arts experiment, Service Center for Culture and Community, closing after a market-rate tenant leased the space. In the middle of relocating and expanding our work to include Downtown Indianapolis, we accomplished much, including:
• Three major public events attracting 5,000 people (the TEDxIndianapolis conference at Hilbert Circle Theatre, the Art in Odd Places public art experience Downtown, and No Brakes 10-year Big Car retrospective at University of Indianapolis).
• Pop-up cultural spaces on three sides of town lacking easy and free access to cultural opportunities (Lafayette Square, Far Eastside, Near Southside) including a new sound-art gallery curated and organized by one of our artist fellows, John McCormick, a recent Herron School of Art MFA graduate.
• Three major murals in Central Indiana and nine more nationwide — all created in collaboration with community members, involving more than 2,500 people in making art, and helping beautify a variety of public spaces.
• Design work for 15 fellow nonprofits, including a virtual historic tour of the Athenaeum — and logos and other materials for Ensemble Music Society, iMOCA, White River Festival, Garfield Park Neighbors Association, Reconnecting to Our Waterways, and Youth Power Indiana.
As part of a NUVO Newsweekly cover story in September highlighting Big Car’s 10 years of working Indianapolis, writer David Hoppe called Big Car artists “impresarios of the imagination,” using our creative expertise to “benefit people where they live.” This, as always, continues to be our goal. Read the rest of Hoppe’s story here.
In 2015, the theme of the annual TEDxIndianapolis big ideas conference we lead will be “Keep it Simple.” We plan to use this as a guiding principle for our approach for 2015. One way we plan to simplify is to focus more of our programming this year on a particular neighborhood — Garfield Park just south of Fountain Square. Look for exciting details soon on a new home base we’re establishing there. A good portion of our work in the early part of 2015 will be focused on launching this location while also advocating for neighborhood-wide improvements and furthering our relationships with community partners there.
We’ll continue pop-up programming and projects in Lafayette Square and the Far Eastside, including the summer-long partnership with the Indianapolis Public Library that pairs our mobile art-experience unit — the DoSeum — with the Bookmobile, making stops at apartment complexes in very challenged areas of the city. There, Big Car artists make art with young people and share free, healthy snacks. We call this entourage Fun Fleet and we look forward to another summer of fun in these neighborhoods.
And we’ll again bring a few major citywide projects to Indianapolis in 2015. The biggest is a partnership with the City of Indianapolis to bring arts programming to Monument Circle from June to September. Funded by a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town awarded to the City and Big Car, this work — also in partnership with Art Strategies — will include temporary, site-specific cultural programming that helps the community reimagine what can happen at the Circle.
We’ll also further expand our work to make public sculptures using salvaged honeysuckle wood removed from waterway areas around the city. We’ve created a system for volunteers to clear the invasive honeysuckle, which blocks views of our waterways and kills native species, and then repurpose it as building material for chairs, benches, arbors, and other sculptures. Our artists work with volunteers, including young people from the TeenWorks program, to design and collaboratively build the pieces, which are often placed in public areas near the waterways.
Our audience in 2015 will continue to be a blend of primarily lower-income residents who don’t have easy access to art, and an arts audience (including many local artists) that continues to support Big Car and our work. We believe connecting people who are newer to the arts with existing arts supporters and artists is crucial to expanding the arts audience in Indianapolis. And we believe involving people in making art helps them better connect with it and appreciate it.
All of the artists at Big Car see working with people to improve the quality of life as our artistic practice. It’s not a side outreach program. It’s not something we do for a living, begrudging, while we wish we were doing our art. While many of us still make other kinds of art, our work with people is integrated with this practice. And our personal passions — the issues that mean the most to us — are integrated into our approach to the work we choose as an organization.
What we strive to create at Big Car is a better world, starting with our own community and our own neighborhoods. We use the tools and the power of art to help people become more culturally and creatively inclined, happier, healthier, more active and engaged, and better connected to each other in an increasingly divided world. That’s our art, as it should be. And, ultimately, it’s everybody’s art.
By Anne Laker
“Social practice art” is a term we use to describe Big Car’s work: creativity in relation to making the community better. Social practice art comes in many forms. It may address social justice issues head-on. It might offer experiences to participants that end up having healing benefits. Or it might focus on the built environment and creative placemaking. All position the artist as creative problem solver, existing in real-time relation to people or place. All treat people as collaborators in the making.
This year I had a chance to attend two conferences related to social practice art. Said author Lewis Hyde—who spoke to a full house at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago at the A Lived Practice symposium—an artist is “a skilled host of our collective consciousness.” It’s even more true in the world of social practice.
Diverse examples of social practice art include:
- A Virginia artist named Charlie Brouwer I met at the Open Engagement conference in Queens, NY last May asked the citizens of a struggling working class community to loan him their ladders. He made a huge sculpture of them (with clear metaphoric power).
- A team of artists strapped mini cameras on little boats and invited people to pilot them to see beneath the surface of the polluted waterway in New Town, NY.
- Artist Ernesto Pujol was asked to perform a ritual cleansing of a traumatized historical site in Hawai’i.
- In the 1970s, Mierle Laderman Ukeles asked to become the artist-in-residence in the New York Sanitation Dept., engaging workers as collaborators in street-weeping dances and strapping mirrors on trash trucks.
- Behavioral artist Marcus Young works for the City of St. Paul engraving hundreds of poems in sidewalks.
- Last week, Big Car hosted a visit from Dawn Weleski, an artist who sets up new forms of dialogue around conflict and violence, often using food and music as tools for connection.
The “why” is clear. Social practice art is a creative response to the challenges we face in civic life: a lack of beauty and connectedness, environmental degradation, crime, historical memory loss, and diminishing democracy. The artist catalyzes, and then convenes people to remember, recover, re-make or make. Not simple to do, but potentially profound. Many questions emerge:
- What prepares an artist to do work that involves people in the most transformative way?
- If listening and witnessing are key to social practice art, how do you know what to do with all that vulnerable information?
- Can an art project or organization change the way we live in relation to each other?
- Is it relevant to ask about the difference between artwork and social work, as the artist works to curate society?
- Is creating unity and a sense of belonging the goal of social practice art? (so says Ernesto Pujol). Leaving a place or a person in better condition than you found it?
My gut feeling is that social practice art comes down to listening and observing, and then designing an experience or intervention in response. A difficult and delicate act, well worth trying. An exhibition that is never over. A ladder toward a better place of being.