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Couched Constructions

March 2 - April 19
Robert B. Berkshire Gallery
Dorit & Gerald Paul Gallery
Eleanor Prest Reese Gallery

March 2, 2012
5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Sometimes a couch is just a piece of furniture and sometimes, through the eyes of a visionary, a couch becomes a source of alternative building materials, a commentary on our prodigious solid waste stream and a view into the lives of the most economically disadvantaged citizens of our city.

Couched Constructions, a new exhibit opening at Herron School of Art and Design’s Eskenazi Hall on March 2, will challenge the viewer’s concept of the couch’s purpose. The free public reception begins at 5:00 p.m. through 8:00 p.m. outside the Berkshire, Reese and Paul Galleries in Herron’s Grand Hall. The exhibition continues through April 19.

Couched Constructions: Part 2 opens March 6 and runs through May 4 at the JCC. The public is invited to a reception on Wednesday, March 21, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. for complimentary refreshments mingling with the artists in the JCC Art Gallery. The Arthur M. Glick Jewish Community Center is located at 6701 Hoover Rd. in Indianapolis.

The works in both shows are being created out of couches retrieved from the curbsides of Indianapolis. They are meant to be explored by visitors who may reconsider their relationships to conventional items and, in a broader sense, to the ephemera of our lives. The exhibits implore us to rethink the purposefulness of standard objects and to find ways to reuse them.

Wes Janz, professor of architecture at Ball State University and the exhibition’s curator, included a number of architects by training among the artists in shows.

Herron Gallery Director Paula Katz said she was “blown away” by Janz’s exhibition Big/Small at the Swope Museum in Terre Haute. “The depth of exploration achieved in sustainability issues was tremendous,” she said. “I knew this was the type of learning I wanted to bring to Indianapolis.”

Full Slate of Companion Events

Interest in the sustainability issues examined by the Couched Constructions exhibits has triggered a full slate of companion events at Herron and the JCC. For more information see below and check the events calendar in this newsletter:

Opening day events at Herron School of Art and Design

9:00 a.m. to noon:Found Objects Workshop: led by Ana de Brea, Ball State University; Shaun Krenzke, graduate architect, Crown Point; Donna Sink, architect and educator, Indianapolis; Andrea Swartz, Ball State University; Parker Williams, graduate architect, Indianapolis

Noon to 1:00 p.m.:Lunch with participants

1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.:Conversation with Couched Constructions exhibitors.

All events are free and open to the public, but reservations are kindly requested for the opening day workshops. For more information or to R.S.V.P., please contact Herron Gallery Director Paula Katz at or at 317-278-9419.

Fourth World Film Festival—a 29-hour movie marathon beginning Friday, March 30

Presented in the Basile Auditorium in Herron’s Eskenazi Hall, this collection of 15 thought-provoking yet entertaining movies examine social justice themes of Fourth World economies and were selected by Olon Dotson, an associate professor of architecture at Ball State University.

Related Events at the JCC

Couched Constructions: Part 2 is part of a three-event series in March called Repurposing the Stuff of our Life. The programming was developed collaboratively between the JCC, IndyTalks, Herron School of Art and Design and Heartland Truly Moving Pictures. Check the JCC website for more information.

Ticketed Film Screening: Waste Land
Monday, March 12, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

IndyTalks: Our City Under the Radar: Neighborhoods on the Edge
Wednesday, March 28, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
A moderated panel discussion and public conversation about what to do with the growing number of more than 10,000 abandoned houses in Indianapolis. The decisions our officials make about what to do with these properties will shape the city’s future.

Moderator: Erika D. Smith–columnist, Indianapolis Star

Panelists: Olon Dotson–associate professor of architecture at Ball State University; Frank Hagaman–chairman, Land Bank of Indianapolis; Wes Janz–professor of architecture at Ball State University; and Connie Zeigler–president of C. Resources, architectural historian and chair of the Southeast Neighborhoods Alternatives to Demolitions Task Force.

Table discussion leaders: David Andrichik–community activist and owner of Chatterbox Tavern; Laura Henderson–founder and director of Growing Places Indy and Indy Winter Farmer’s Market; Michael Hurst–program director of the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention; Tim Irwin–artistic director, Heartland Truly Moving Pictures; Paula Katz–Director and Curator, Herron Galleries; Anne Laker–assistant director of public programs, Indianapolis Museum of Art; Wil Marquez–architect, urban designer and owner of With Purpose; Shauta Marsh–co-founder of Big Car; Mary Milz Eyewitness News City Beat Reporter, WTHR Channel 13; Suzanne Rothenberg–senior neighborhood liaison for Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard; and Jim Walker–co-founder of Big Car.

Couched Constructions and Couched Constructions Part 2 Exhibition Participants:
Anne Filson and Gary Rohrbacher, University of Kentucky http://www.
Rod Fluker, Tuskegee University
Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorova, Transylvania University
Timothy Gray, Ball State University
Charmalee Gunaratne (Kansas City), Kate Lengacher and Rebecca Staley (Indianapolis)
Wes Janz with Tayler Mikosz and Ashley VanMeter
Kevin Lair, IU-Columbus and
Paul Puzzello, Oksana Tretyak, and Wil Marquez, Indianapolis
Cory Robinson, Herron School of Art & Design, Indianapolis
Janice Shimizu and Josh Coggeshall, Ball State University
Sean Starowitz, Kansas City

Herron Gallery Director Paula Katz said “This is such an exciting opportunity for partnerships on so many levels. It is thrilling to have so many participants. A big thank you goes to and Jeremy Efroymson and the Efroymson Family Fund, a CICF Fund, for their support of and interest in the project.”

Parking Information

Park courtesy of The Great Frame Up Indianapolis in the visitor section of the Sports Complex Garage (west of Herron’s Eskenazi Hall), or park on the upper floors of the Riverwalk Garage (south of the Sports Complex Garage) until 6:00 p.m. Park on any floor after 6:00 p.m. Bring your parking ticket to the Herron Galleries for validation.

Complimentary parking courtesy of:

Gallery Hours

Monday–Tuesday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Wednesday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Thursday-Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday Closed