The Indianapolis-based nonprofit arts organization, Big Car Collaborative, has regranted a total of $60,000 to five artist collectives and five individual artists living and working in the Indianapolis area. These Power Plant Grants — made possible by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts based in New York — fund visual artists and collectives producing public-facing work that’s experimental and brings new energy to the city’s arts community.
Big Car is one of 32 Regional Regranting Program organizations across the United States working to support artists via funds from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Art. This is the third round of Power Plant Grants in Indianapolis. The program started in 2020 as emergency grants distributed during the height of the pandemic. In 2021, Big Car also awarded $60,000 in project grants to artists and artist-run spaces.
“Power Plant Grants energize the Indianapolis arts community and support visual artists by encouraging them to grow by taking chances, realizing untapped potential, trying experimental projects, collaborating with each other, and bringing work to unusual places,” said Big Car program director Shauta Marsh. “We’re excited by the quality, dedication, and innovation we see in the work of these artists in our city. We’re so glad to be able to support them and what they’re bringing to audiences in Indianapolis.”
Power Plant grants support visual artists who live, work, or run spaces in Indianapolis with project grants ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.
These are the funded projects for 2022:
Artist-Run Spaces & Groups
BRIDGE Collective: City Natives Gallery
City Natives Gallery, located on the second floor of the Murphy Arts Center in Fountain Square, the gallery and shop features contemporary fine art, apparel, and more, curated by BRIDGE Collective. BRIDGE works with both emerging and established artists, providing professional gallery space, and imparting our expertise in artist services, formed over the last 20 years working as artists, curators, and arts administrators. This Power Plant grant will support an exhibition with artist Carolyn Harper, Philadelphia-based textile artist to create a new piece about Indianapolis resident Kristine Bunch who was wrongfully convicted of arson and the murder of her young son and spent 17 years of her life in prison and released in 2012.
Healer DIY’s “Natural Infestation & Mad Max RVs”
Matt Panil, the Art Director of Healer DIY, will transform the two currently empty RVS in the outdoor Healer ArtPark, creating two immersive installations in each RV. The first will be an eco-dystopia-themed installation dubbed “Natural Infestation,” focusing on the theme of the natural world overtaking the manmade. The second, a “Mad Max” steampunk installation featuring interactive affixed periscopes, wheels, gears, as well as an animatronic pilot sculpture and several artist-made permanent miniature installations.
1000 Words Gallery
1000 Words Gallery has created a safe space for artists to grow and flourish through
its monthly residency program. The space has hosted over 10 black, emerging artists since the beginning of 2021. Its programs include artist development, art classes, art events, and community engagement. Also, 1000 Words plans to expand their residency with more funding and make it open to more artists.
Chromatic Collective is an artist-run space in Broad Ripple that provides niche art supply and space for both emerging and established artists of all mediums to exhibit their work. The collective creates connections between artists and act as a creative resource for the public to interact with the arts.
Lukas Schooler, Ventiko, and Lauren Curry: Ontogenesis
Ontogenesis is a new, multimedia, durational performance by Lauren Curry, Lukas Schooler, and Ventiko. Ontogenesis illustrates complicated emotions of a ritualistic homecoming where old connections are mourned, and new connections are celebrated. The pilgrimage fosters interconnectedness through journeys of transformation by traveling the Canal Walk and engaging the public.
Kaila Austin: Reimagining the Hardrick Home: Public Art as Heritage Preservation
Reimaging the Hardrick Home: Public Art as Heritage Preservation engages the little-known history of Indiana’s first African American painter, John Wesley Hardrick, born 1891 in Norwood on the Southeast side of Indianapolis. Working with the recently identified Hardrick Family collection and in collaboration with his descendants, Austin’s goal is to replicate a lost mural that was painted at Crispus Attucks High School in the 1930s, and re-installed at the Pride Park in Norwood at its re-opening celebration. This grant will allow Austin to use the Hardrick Family Collection to do studies of Hardwick’s work, read his diaries, learn about his techniques, and research other artists working during the Harlem Renaissance. All of this to replicate a mural that was never seen and to which there are no known photos of.
Landon Caldwell: Hidden World
Hidden World is a spatial and interactive sound art collaborative exhibition series and residency on sound and its relation to ecology, community, and accessibility. This project builds ‘Everything I hear will outlive me’, a spatial composition that was presented at Hidden World along with another work, an interactive sound sculpture titled ‘Touch me so I know I’m still here’ at Gethsemane Green Space on the Eastside of Indianapolis.
Philip Campbell: From Me to You
From Me to You is a series of six handmade, art quilts (or security blankets) that will be exhibited in the Horizon House and then presented to patients at the Pedigo Clinic who are experiencing homelessness and in recovery from a substance use disorder. Each security blanket will be a unique combination of new fabrics combined with recycled textiles. Campbell deconstructs used clothing to make most of his work — using this as a metaphor for healing ourselves. He points out: “Sometimes in the process of repairing things that have broken, we actually create something more unique, beautiful, and resilient.”
Boxx the Artist: The Women In Between
The Women In Between will be a new body of work that explores printing dark skin tone hues on canvas and amplifying detail with acrylics. This project will be featured in an exhibition upon completion for in-person viewing, virtual exhibition, and developed as an NFT project for the digital blockchain. Historically, the chemicals used during this process were not adequate to capture a diversity of darker skin tones. Racial bias was systematically embedded through the color calibration process for printing with the use of “Shirley Cards” developed by Kodak as reference photos for technicians to balance hues that became an industry standard. This lacked range for dark skin, resulting in poorly printed photos. Despite advancements in technology, printing dark skinned hues still lacks details. Boxx the Artists’ collection will focus on the diversity of dark skin tones through canvas printing capturing the details through print and explore this systematic bias within printmaking using acrylics as a solution.
Silvia Vimos Suarez: Stitches of Presence
Stitches of Presence is a space for gathering, recognition, and offering through hand embroidery. Suarez will convene Latina women living in the East Side Indianapolis to get together. During the gathering time, the women will recognize the value of knowledge and wisdom and share this knowledge among themselves and with their community. The gatherings will take place at the Irvington Public Library. The library is a symbolic place par excellence where the knowledge generated by humanity converges and circulates. For this reason, the intention of this project is to build presence in this public place through diverse symbolic gestures, contributing to the convergence of knowledge.