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Laura Ortiz Vega:No USA return

Laura Ortiz Vega:No USA return

For her debut solo exhibition at Tube Factory Art Space, Laura Ortiz Vega presents a new series of “thread paintings” inspired by the rhetoric surrounding President Trump’s proposed US-Mexico border wall.

Vega takes as her departure point the now famous images of the eight border wall samples President Trump browsed in 2017 as they were being tested along the actual border between San Diego and Tijuana. Listening to the speeches Trump has given about the wall, and reading his tweets on the subject, Vega then extracted the eight adjectives the President most frequently used to describe the project.


Each word an imposing declaration; each wall sample an impenetrable facade.

Seizing the chance to subvert public perception of these messages, Vega presents the adjectives like graffiti on the border wall samples, turning each section of wall into a billboard advertising its own hyperbolically alleged attributes.

Says Vega, “I saw the opportunity to present this matter in a positive note. I envisioned the wall as a blank canvas for expression, and in a way, made him eat his own words. [It is] a chance to reject the negativity and turn this around.

Vega models her distinctive thread painting method after the traditional craft techniques of the indigenous Huichol people of western Mexico. She first covers a surface with cera de Campeche, a natural beeswax from the Mexican state of Campeche. She then “draws” on that surface with cotton Perlé embroidery thread, using a palette knife to embed the thread into the wax. It is a long, delicate, and sometimes messy process, and takes weeks to finish a single piece. The resulting image-object has a texture reminiscent of a woven textile, yet is inflexible.

Vega was born in Mexico City in 1975. She studied Industrial Design at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, earning her BFA in 2000. Her work has been exhibited extensively, including at the Museo de Arte Popular de la Ciudad de Mexico, Lyons Weir Gallery in New York, The Shooting Gallery in San Francisco, Breeze Block Gallery in Portland, OR, and Galerie Ernst Hilger in Vienna, Austria. It has been featured at Zona MACO, Pulse LA and MIAMI, Houston Fine Art Fair, Art Chicago NEXT, Art Market San Francisco, Art Toronto, London Art Fair, PINTA Art Fair, and Supermarket Art Fair, Sweden. It was selected for the Tequila CENTENARIO Award at Zona MACO and was awarded with an Honorific Mention at the Bienal de Artes Visuales de Yucatán in 2009.


Flannelly’s of the Future Festival

To celebrate their marriage and the role music played in bringing them together, artists Brelyn Gerard and John Flannelly organized an experimental music festival. Flannellys of the Future Festival will take place April 30, 4-10 p.m. at Tube Factory artpace, 1125 Cruft St. Several musical acts were part the formation of their relationship so the pair wanted to share the music with Indianapolis by means of a free concert. The bands that will be featured are: Bad Psychic (Bloomington), DJ Littletown, Duncan Kissinger, Exploding Head Scene (Philadelphia, PA), Glitter Brains (Bloomington), Oreo Jones & Sirius Blvck, Jeron Braxton & the Tamagotchis (Bloomington), Rev//Rev (Lafayette), Rob Funkhouser, Sedcairn Archives, Skything (Marlboro, Vermont), Teen Brigade (Lafayette).

“Both of us are the kind of people who strive to view life from as many angles as possible, to feel from all those angles even if it means crawling around the floor of the house to feel the space usually reserved for our knees and ankles, or chilling in the bathroom for a shift in perspective,” says Gerard.

Many of the musicians in the festival were part of Gerard and Flannelly falling in love. Flannelly’s music was the first time experimental music clicked for Gerard. “Sitting in our friend’s living room, watching John deliver the experience of his art, I had an ethereal space to sort through my feelings. It was a space that somehow managed to be safe and challenging at the same time,” says Gerard. “After his set at Free House, he threw the flower he’d been wearing on his vest to the audience. I seized it. To this day, that flower still graces my bookshelf.”

Soon after that, on Valentine’s Day 2015, Gerard and Flannelly enjoyed their first date — at the Fountain Square music venue Grove Haus. Gerard sang back up for the band Memory Foam. She found out that Flannely had toured with one of her favorite bands, Shame Thugs, and that he was in the music video for her favorite Sirius Blvck songs. Eventually, Flannelly moved from Bloomington to Indianapolis into Gerard’s friend’s house. After a recommendation from their mutual friend, artist Erin K. Drew, Flannely got a job at the same place where Gerard worked.

“Now, we’re getting married and we’re doing it our way. With all the art projects in the community we’re involved with, neither of us are interested in fussing over centerpieces and flowers. We want to celebrate our love by sharing the music we love, made by the people we love,” says Gerard. “We can’t wait to groove with Indianapolis at the Flannellys of the Future Festival!”

Gerard has a new book, iForgot, out and Flanney a new album, Peace and Quiet now available. For their honeymoon after the festival celebration, the two will travel the country to promote their works.