Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

August 17, 2013

Latest temporary art exhibits on display at airport

Installations highlight artists with local ties


Hendricks County Flyer

---- — The next series of art to be featured in the Indianapolis Airport Authority’s (IAA) temporary art program has arrived and is on display in the main ticketing hall and Concourse B at the Indianapolis International Airport (IND).

IND’s temporary art program introduces new works to the airport space while complementing the IAA’s permanent art collection.

The latest exhibits showcase a master in the field of wood sculpture and an artist whose unique take on the collage medium is a nod to the increasing diversity of Indianapolis’ international communities. The installations feature the work of artists with ties to the local community and will be on display through Nov. 10.

Indianapolis-based sculptor Betty Scarpino has worked in wood for more than 30 years. Her pieces start with an object that has been created using a lathe, in a process known as turning, which she then cuts apart and continues to work by carving it or adding other turned elements.

Her design process includes carefully considering the wood’s natural grain, creating a variety of textures within the piece, and developing shapes that are inspired by a sense of the “universal feminine.” Attention to detail in the final surface finish completes the cycle, with a resulting sculpture that is fluid, full of life and movement, organic, and sensuous. Scarpino’s work can be found on Concourse B in the display case near the connector to Concourse A.

Considered a master in her field, Scarpino’s work has been placed in the permanent collections of the Renwick Gallery of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C.), the Mint Museum of Craft and Design in North Carolina, and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, among many others. She considers the pleasure of becoming lost in the creative process as integral to her life, and she believes her creative endeavors are a pathway for the uniquely human activities of giving and receiving.

The medium of collage is explored in two projects developed by the Indianapolis nonprofit arts organization Big Car. To highlight the growing international culture of Indianapolis, Big Car invited artist Ben Valentine to create a collage that would speak to the experience of international travel. The resulting installation combines various cloud images sourced from the Internet, visually encapsulating the experience of moving between cultures and geographies through a space that is open to the individual imagination.

This project is complemented by a collage created by students at Gambold Preparatory Magnet High School of IPS and Enlace Academy on Indy’s west side and facilitated by Big Car teaching artists Megan Hart and Tom Streit. The collage illustrates an array of textures, cultures, and images of foods from Saraga International Grocery Store in the Lafayette Square neighborhood, where 70-plus languages are spoken.

The two collages are themselves visually collaged together, forming a multilayered experience for the viewer. Two versions of the collaboration are featured, installed in the north and south display cases facing Civic Plaza in the ticketing hall.

Valentine was raised in Richmond, Ind., and attended Earlham College. He is an artist, writer, and curator currently based in Berkeley, Calif. His artistic practice frequently uses crowd-sourced and found images to comment on popular culture and the engagement of people with their environment.

Big Car brings art to people and people to art, sparking creativity in lives to transform communities. Its programs boost urban livability, invigorate public places, and support better neighborhoods using an engagement-based arts perspective. One of Big Car’s major programs is Service Center for Community & Culture, a repurposed retail store in the Lafayette Square area that functions as a community gathering place and urban garden.