In partnership with the Indianapolis Airport Authority, the Arts Council of Indianapolis manages the award-winning temporary exhibition program at Indianapolis International Airport. The Arts Council curates rotating installations in closed cases in the main terminal, commissions new work for the video screens above the main escalator/staircase, and operates a long-term loan program for large sculpture outdoors in the North Terminal Garden.
Currently on view:
Madiha Siraj: Shattered Tessellations
The art of Islamic geometric patterning originates in theories of mysterious and sacred universal harmonies. Circles express the infinite and the endless unity of the universe, whereas squares represent the material world in which everything has a beginning and an end. Madiha Siraj recontextualizes and reinterprets traditional patterns seen across the Islamic world using her chosen medium of polymer clay.
In this series, Siraj takes patterns and shapes that traditionally fit closely together (“tessellated”) and “shatters” the tessellation by interpreting specific aspects of the pattern. The project is part of a larger examination of Islamic patterns and her own identity as a first-generation Pakistani-American.
About Madiha Siraj:
Madiha Siraj is a multimedia artist based in Indianapolis. Her practice is heavily influenced by Islamic geometric patterns and the theoretical foundation on which these patterns were built. By using Islamic geometric patterns as inspiration, Siraj joyfully pays homage to the perfection of God’s universe.
Siraj utilizes acrylic paint and polymer clay––a malleable plasticine clay that is baked at low temperatures to harden it. The dense compositions in her three-dimensional artworks are meant to draw the viewer in, welcoming them to a world of minute detail.
Madiha Siraj is the recipient of multiple awards, has exhibited her work in both solo and group shows locally, in the United States, and in the United Kingdom, and has been featured in numerous publications. She has a B.F.A. in studio practice and a B.A. in Art History, Theory, and Criticism, both from the University of California, San Diego.
Samantha Ortiz: The Spider's Tale
The Spider's Tale is a compilation of ten artworks displayed in a sequence of five installations of five columns. Artist Samantha Ortiz spends many intense hours in the creation of these artworks - embroidering, knitting, and painting in active meditation. A lot of love and thoughts are imprinted in the seemingly simple pieces.
The skirt is made of canvas, the same fabric that is used for a painting. The dress contains memories hand-embroidered in the sequins. The amulets and the gloves talk about our self-healing power. The childrenswear was made by Ortiz's grandmother for her daughter, with pieces of French lace that were in the family for over 100 years. Similarly, the doll and the mirror belonged to her husband's grandmother.
The compilation is created in homage to all the women who came before her who also had the call to make objects from thread with their own hands. Ortiz thanks them with all her heart.
About Samantha Ortiz:
Samantha Ortiz is a visual artist working within the intersection of slow clothing, art jewelry, and fine art. Her work, using a wide variety of media including knitting, painting, language, and others, explores the power of human form and its self-healing. Ortiz’s thoughtful voice invites viewers into interactive installations, sculptures and objects to wear or to hold. Ortiz has had her work exhibited at the Venice Bienniale, and has lectured and exhibited in art museums, galleries, design stores and art institutions in Lisbon, New York, Madrid, Valparaíso, Indianapolis and many cities in Brazil. She currently lives in Indianapolis.
TICKET HALL (NORTH AND SOUTH)
Flight + Mode: Curated by Gary Gee
Flight + Mode is a first class crew of collectively cultivated creatives, on course to stimulate your senses.
A group of soulful artists, collectively flying through the atmosphere, soaring to new heights.
A brilliant display of imaginative, unrestrained creativity.
A particular form, a variety of ideals, transporting new modes of communication. A manner of expression.
A different mode of living, a manifestation of an underlying substance. Style. A particular functioning arrangement of condition. Status.
Gary Gee, curator
Hector Del Campo
KIND Gallery (Concourse A)
Funky Naptown: Celebrating the Legacy of Indianapolis Soul Music
Indianapolis is home to a significant history of R&B music. Many music historians trace the roots of R&B back to Indianapolis’ Leroy Carr, a popular blues singer based in the city’s Indiana Avenue neighborhood. The songs Carr wrote in the 1920s and 1930s were later recorded by early R&B stars, including Ray Charles and Big Joe Turner.
During the 1930s, the vibrant Indianapolis music scene gave birth to the Ink Spots. In 1989 the Ink Spots were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—the only Indianapolis group to have received this honor. The Ink Spots inspired scores of Indianapolis teenagers to form their own singing groups, including Thurston Harris. In 1957, Harris scored a top ten Billboard hit with "Little Bitty Pretty One”.
During the 1960s, R&B bands like The Moonlighters, The Presidents, and Billy Ball’s Upsetters packed local clubs like The Place to Play and Blue Eagle. With the goal of putting the Indianapolis R&B scene on the map, a young Indianapolis firefighter named Herb Miller formed Lamp Records in 1969. Miller recorded important funk and soul acts in Indianapolis, launching the careers of Billboard-charting artists like The Vanguards and the Ebony Rhythm Band.
The arrival of the 1970s saw the rise of funk bands like Amnesty, Rhythm Machine, and Manchild. Manchild featured a gifted young musician named Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, who has since reached national prominence. Babyface credits the Indianapolis R&B scene for providing him with the tools to succeed. Today, R&B stars like Tiara Thomas continue to spread the legacy of Indianapolis soul music.
This exhibition of contemporary and vintage photographs and objects, curated by the award-winning Indianapolis-based music journalist, DJ, and radio personality Kyle Long, highlights the people, places, and recordings important to the enduring richness of R&B in Indianapolis. For more, check out the online archives of Long’s radio programs Cultural Manifesto and Echoes of Indiana Avenue at www.wfyi.org.
Photographers featured in the exhibition include Indianapolis-based Jes Nijjer, Ted Somerville, Herb Miller, and Ernest Stuart.
I Carry My Loved Ones With Me
I Carry My Loved Ones With Me is a video of an art piece created from that moment of saudade, a Brazilian word that has no translation to any language but the closest of the profound meaning of it is, missing those you love (saudade has also a melancholic energy to it).
The looping of the video references many lives (in this life!) that the artist has lived lived, as well as the many layers of the button. The button was made with ecru cotton, printed and then stitched. Ecru cotton fabric is a reference to a story still to be written. The words are printed letter by letter and then hand stitched as a reference of the time spent, dedication, care, attention, and of course, LOVE.
Concourse Vinyl Murals
Indianapolis International Airport
The murals in the airport’s concourse connectors and parking garage, coordinated by the Arts Council in partnership with the Indianapolis Airport Authority, showcase the work of artists based in Indianapolis and the surrounding area. They are elements of larger artworks, selected through a competitive process for the stories they can tell about life in this place and at this time. The murals provide inspiration for travelers, whether they are visitors to the city or are returning central Indiana residents.
Life in the Time of COVID, 2020
Original artwork: encaustic and burned shellac on birch panel
Reproduction located in the Level 3 lobby of the Parking Garage
[Image coming soon]
“This work is abstract like all my paintings. It encompasses my thoughts working from March to September 2020: dealing with feelings of overwhelm, but with splashes of hope and positivity mixed in.”
Ritch Hanna is an Indianapolis-based painter. He first received a degree in theatre arts, then received his B.A. in Art History from the Herron School of Art & Design, IUPUI. Working primarily in encaustic (liquid wax) paints, he is a member of the Stutz Artists Association and exhibits frequently in the Indianapolis area.
Finding Joy, 2020
Original artwork: acrylic on canvas
Reproduction located in the Concourse B connector
“Finding Joy represents a visual processing of emotions through painting. Layering paint and oil pastel and then scraping parts away is symbolic of the emotional work we do every day as humans. Some colors and lines are thinly veiled, while others are bold and bright. The landscape of our emotions is expressed here through the colors playing off of each other, some raw and rugged when we are struggling, while others are filled with energy and vibrancy on our best days.”
Molly Meier is an Indianapolis-based artist who is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Registered Art Therapist, careers which strongly influence her expressionistic style. Her abstract art is a response to the healing work she does with her clients and helps her to restore her own balance and grounding. Molly has a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art with a focus in Ceramic Sculpture from Illinois State University and a master’s degree in Art Therapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Kevin James Wilson
Kings of the Castle, 2008
Original artwork: Prismacolor on matte board
Reproduction located in the Concourse A connector
Kings of the Castle was inspired by the men the artist used to see playing checkers in the barber shop as he grew up. It was like a “country club” where Black men could speak their minds about politics. religion, women, America, etc without repercussions. Years later, he noticed that similar men habitually gathered at the White Castle at 38th and Keystone, and to him the restaurant seemed to serve the same function. The composition pays homage to Norman Rockwell, a great influence on the artist’s work.
Kevin James Wilson is a graphic and commercial artist and art teacher who also creates works of fine art. He has taught at International Business College for 22 years, currently holding the position of head of the Graphic Design Department, and also teaches art at community-based arts institutions. Wilson’s specialty is creating works in graphite and colored pencil.