Costumes, Casinos, and a Cause – “Photo Booth” @ Raising the Stakes for Noble of Indiana

Fundraising events are necessary for any philanthropic/non profit organization.   The more engaging the event, the better.   Last week I was asked to provide my photography skills for Noble of Indiana, and organization that “creates opportunities and provides learning disability services for the developmentally disabled to live meaningful lives in Indiana.”

“Raising the Stakes” is an annual event with a casino feel filled with a variety of staple casino games, and also includes a classy dinner and multiple raffles/auctions.   This year they added a “Photo Booth” where people could let loose and wear a variety of ridiculous costume items.   My job was to snap the photos, of course.

I’ve done the “Photo Booth” at several events around Indianapolis and I am continually surprised at how excited people get to pose for these pictures.   It’s a great addition to any event, raising the energy level and enthusiasm of everyone present.

I’ve provided a link  to the pictures on my Facebook business page below.  Take a quick look…I’m sure you’ll have a couple laughs.  Congrats to Noble of Indiana on a successful event.

“Photo Booth” @ Raising the Stakes for Noble of Indiana

Artist Spotlight: Lois Main Templeton

The works of notable abstract artist and poet, and long time Indianapolis resident, Lois Main Templeton were unveiled recently at the Conrad Indianapolis.  I was honored to be given the opportunity to attend the event and visit Lois in her Indianapolis studio.

Organized and presented by the Modern Masters Fine Art, this collection of work is the first solo exhibition for the  storied 84 year old artist at the Conrad.  She has had solo exhibits in seven other states and her work has been exhibited in four museums, and twice showcased by the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Guests of the artist reception enjoyed live music, complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres, as well as a book signing by the artist herself.   In addition to book signings, Templeton was on hand throughout the entire event to take pictures and strike up conversations with those patrons who came to see her works.  Templeton creates vibrant combinations of contemporary art and poetry. Her specialty is abstract paintings done in oil on paper, but she also makes use of acrylics, charcoal and other mediums as well.

Check out the entire photo gallery

Following the exhibition I was offered the chance to stop by Ms. Templeton’s studio, where I had the opportunity to see the artist in her element.   I was humbled that an established artist such as Ms. Templeton would allow me into her studio space, speak with her about her works, and even let me watch as she prepared another piece of work.

Lois shares the space with another established Indiana artist, Phil O’Malley.  Together they gave me a tour of the studio and elaborated on projects they collaborated on, including work they did for the youth in the area.  They even worked on a children’s book together, which Lois wrote and illustrated herself, titled “Who Makes the Sun Rise?”

Before visiting the studio I had sent Lois a handful of questions.  My purpose was just to give her a few talking points, but what I got in return was far more than I expected.  Lois provided me with pages of hand written answers, a treasure trove of thoughts and ideas from an amazing artist.  It was as if she had invited me into her world and how she perceives it.  After reading her responses I gained a greater appreciation and even a deeper understanding of her work.  I have shared her responses to my questions below.

To say it was a privilege to spend the afternoon with Lois Main Templeton would be an understatement.

What does it mean to you to have your works on display at the Conrad?

The Conrad gives my work a voice, along with Constance Edwards Scopelitis and Walter Knabe.  The really great artists of Pop Art constantly surprise, and make the Conrad an exciting place as well as a gorgeous hotel.   The fact that three Midwestern Artists are included with the greats seems to me an extension of the hotels philosophy as well, of course, of Rhonda Long Sharp (Owner-Modern Masters of Fine Art).

My work is itself; Independent of me.  While in the studio a painting and I have a grand tussle together (from the first marks to the point where it says, “Back off, Lady”).   When it leaves the studio, it is on its own.  If in a home, it becomes part of that person/family.    In a corporate or public space, I hope it says “Hello there!”  I would rather it be somewhat bumptious than just part of the scenery, just another furnishing.

Could you describe your friendship/relationship with Rhonda Long Sharp and how that influenced your career?

I think Rhonda and I took one look at each other and said, “What have we here!”  She hears a piece and places it right where it can sing.  We are direct with each other, can speak our minds freely.  She is a very knowledgeable woman, so I am honored (and a little surprised) that she thinks so highly of my work.  Both of us are family people, a fact very important in my case.

While very much a Middle westerner,  I was more than ready to get out of Dodge.  Indianapolis has been very welcoming and now it was high time the work take off in the hands of a person who has live contacts in and beyond the USA.  Rhonda’s enthusiasm and the energy she puts into her life’s work, are mind boggling.  Plus she’s more darn fun to be with.

What inspired you to include lines of your poetry in your artwork?

Most of us are more than just one person.  We are often a colony of persons – is that how to put it?  I scribble my thoughts as they come.  Just as painters like paint, so I like language.  Faced with a big white surface, I need to mark it up – words, gestures make it my world.  The words don’t have to be mine, for goodness sake, at some point the itch to paint strikes.  Most of those writings and marks will be covered by paint; some are discernable.  Perhaps writing returns as calligraphic gesture in paint or with charcoal.  We are, all of us, body AND mind.  Often my work is a reflection of that common fact.  We are, most of us quite complicated persons – a colony.

Any new projects?

You never can tell!  For instance, lacking studio space for several months in 2011 meant that all I would so was water color…drove me nuts.  An oil painter pushes, scrapes, and digs the paint.  It is very physical.  It is definitely “interactive” – Constantly!  My watercolors include ink, graphite, spit, and gouache.  Rhonda and I decided they should be classified as “mixed media art work”.  Perhaps most importantly, they can be little things done on a dining room table.  So, in answer to your question, it depends on the cards you’re dealt – to some extent.

My new project is that at 84 – I am digging up bits of sketches, snapshots, notes that are here in the Indianapolis studio.  Pinned to a wall here I spotted a remark of Billy Names (he was a photographer of the 1960) “I don’t mind being an antique.  As long as you do something authentic you stick around.”  SO- I am powering through bits of what is to see what feels authentic and THEN see if I can run with it.  Remember what I said about no fear?  Hogwash.  I, at any rate, have fear – until I begin, at which point the paint takes over.

Being authentic is all it takes – and what it takes.  Hmmm?

Check out the entire photo gallery

The Super Bowl & Social Media…plus a few more pics

A great wrap up of Super Bowl in Indianapolis, from the online world point of view, as presented by Exact Target.  The ability to get such a clear snapshot of an event as big as the Super Bowl, with this short of a turn around, is a great testament to the power of online media.  Check out the stats.

Social Media and Super Bowl XLVI(Infographic)

Oh and here are a few more pics I shot from the Super Bowl festivities.   Check out the whole album HERE!

Super Art for the Super Bowl: Indy showcases its rich culture

It comes as no surprise to those who know me that a sports nut I am not (shocking right…calm down)  But even I’m jazzed to have the nation’s largest sporting event blocks from my door.   In my three plus years living it the heart of  Indianapolis I’ve seen new hotels built, great restaurants open, and a SURGE of artistic expression all throughout the city.

My hope is this Super Bowl will show visitors that we are more than just a city where the Colts play. (all you nay-sayers spouting that Indy is not a “destination city”…to you I say “shhhh” 🙂 )  We are indeed a vibrant city with a vibrant culture all our own (I’ll touch on our great micro-breweries another time)   If you are visiting Indianapolis for the big game or if you live in the area, here are three great cultural  things happening in the city right now.


I posted a story about this in an earlier blog, but it bears repeating.  The 46 of XLVI is an amazing project put on by the Arts Council of Indianapolis that has turned drab building facades, overpasses, and much more,  into works of art.  Located throughout the city, you never know what masterpiece is just around the corner.  Below are some pieces I stumbled upon just the other week while on the canal.


If you don’t feel like driving/walking all around town…head over to TURF.  Taking place January 14 – February 5 in the old Indianapolis City Hall, TURF looks to “represent local Indianapolis and Indiana artists on their turf to the audience visiting for the Super Bowl, another event that takes place on turf, played by teams who will be representing their own hometown turf.”
Put on by the the Indianapolis Downtown Artists and Dealers Association (IDADA), TURF  will introduce a national and international group of visitors to the world-class art galleries that are located in downtown Indianapolis.  The event will be free Tuesday through Sunday from 10 AM – 7 PM.

I hope you take advantage of this truly inspired event.  I myself think it’s a tremendously original concept.


Finally, if you can’t make it to Indy, can’t get out of the house, or simply run out of time to see everything (which is quite possible) check out the musically artistry of some of Indy’s best right on your computer.

The XLVI Indy Music Project showcases 46 local Indianapolis bands in conjunction with the Super Bowl.  Each  band has a song available to download or embed on your own site.   I am a little late to the local music scene I must admit…so this online gem has proven to be invaluable.  In fact I have to give a shout out to Mr. Kinetik, a good friend and a true musical artist. His song is #5 on the list, but I’ve provided it below.  Check them all out for yourself, and if you like em….well then spread the love.

Hopefully I’ve wet your cultural palette and inspired you to check out a side of Indianapolis that you may not be all that familiar with.   I will be experiencing as much of the Superbowl as I can.  I just hope there is enough time to see it all.

Discovering art on a warm winter’s day…you read that correctly

The date is January 6th, 2012.
The temperature is 58 degrees.
I live in Indianapolis, IN.

I’ll let those three facts sink in for a moment…a moment…okay good.  Today is one of those days that you hardly ever see during the winter, so much so that you are almost required to take advantage of it.

I did just that.  Originally I planned to run out for a cup of coffee, maybe do a loop or two around Monument Circle including a part of the Cultural Trail, and then head back  to the apartment.   After  I did the first two things I mentioned I found myself headed down to White River State Park and eventually to the Canal, where I found these newly completed paintings.

These paintings are part of the beautification of Indianapolis leading up to the Superbowl, the 46 for XLVI, put together by the Arts Council of Indianapolis.  For the longest time I’ve seen the facades of buildings and overpasses getting a creative face-lift.  The transformation bodes well for the city.  Although today was the first chance I saw the completed works on the canal.   Combined with the mild temperatures, my little excursion felt more like a pleasant April afternoon.

If you live in Indy I highly suggest taking advantage of the next warm day and take a stroll down the streets, and canal, of downtown.