The Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) is honoring Indiana’s 200th birthday with a new exhibition, 19 Stars of Indiana Art: A Bicentennial Celebration. The mixed-media exhibition features artwork from 19 men and women who were born, were raised, or worked in Indiana. It includes approximately 75 works of art from the IMA’s permanent collection and focuses on the regional, national, and international legacies of Indiana artists.
The number of artists featured in 19 Stars reflects Indiana’s status as the 19th state admitted to the Union. Some of the artists in the exhibition are household names like Robert Indiana—whose iconic LOVE sculpture bookends the Sutphin Mall—and architect and product designer Michael Graves, an Indianapolis native. Other artists, such as Garo Antreasian, Felrath Hines, and William Majors, are less widely known, but have made significant contributions in their respective fields. 19 Stars presents these artists side-by-side, and celebrates creativity from all angles: painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, pottery, metalsmithing, fashion design, and design arts.
Rather than be presented in chronological order, the artists of 19 Stars are categorized into five different groups: “pioneers and inventors,” “entrepreneurs,” “nature lovers,” “teachers and trainers,” and “visionaries and dreamers.”
The “pioneers and inventors” are typical of the originality and diversity of Indiana’s contributions to the the visual arts. “Entrepreneurs” are those who have strong, creative roots in Indiana, such as the Overbeck Sisters of Cambridge City. The “nature lovers” group showcases artists like T.C. Steele and George Winter, who responded to the beauty of Indiana. Leaders in art education are included in “teachers and trainers,” and the “visionaries and dreamers” group highlights artists who encouraged other planes of thought and understanding, such kinetic artist George Rickey.
Individuals can determine which group he or she aligns with by taking the “Whoosier You?” quiz on the iPads at 19 Stars or on the IMA website. Results from the quiz can be shared on social media using the hashtag #IMA19stars. The exhibition features additional interactive activities, such as a hands-on art making space where children can contribute to a larger-than-life community landscape.
19 Stars runs through January 8, 2017. The exhibition is included in the price of admission, and docent-led tours are available.