Archive for December, 2013

‘A Night Without Digital Technology’ at Big Car Service Center

December 31, 2013 Leave a comment
Big Car Logo

Big Car Logo provided by Big Car Gallery
and used with written permission.

By Jim Walker
Big Car Service Center

Visitors to Service Center for Culture and Community on the evening of Jan. 10, 2014, will join in what is becoming an underground national phenomenon — people finding fun ways to go analog and enjoy the moment in a time of near-constant digital connectivity.

From 6-11 p.m. on Jan. 10, people of all ages can drop by the Big Car Service Center for this by-donation event. Visitors will be asked to check in their devices and experience untethered life for as long as they’d like. During this time, they’ll find plenty to do: talk, eat and drink, participate in easy collaborative art making, enjoy music, play games, and enjoy a fire in Big Car’s outdoor pizza oven (see more details below).

Service Center, the tire shop in front of Lafayette Square Mall (3819 Lafayette Rd.) repurposed by Big Car Collaborative, is the perfect place to disconnect. The space is designed for face-to-face conversations, strolling in the snow-covered and art-filled parking lot garden, getting creative with old-fashioned art making, listening to unplugged local music — even playing a little indoor soccer in the garage.

Attendees can experience:

·      A “campground” with tent and trees by BrainTwins
·      Disruptus and other board games
·      Collaging with Big Car and collaborative painting facilitated by “Artrageous with Nate” (aka Nathan Heck)
·      Art fun with the Department of Public Words
·      16 mm films curated by John L. Clark, as well as ViewMasters
·      Polaroid cameras and a wall to post them where people can “like” pictures
·      Roast-your-own food in a brick pizza oven (people should bring their own roastables…’smores supplies will be provided)
·      Old-fashioned letter writing station
·      Indoor soccer in our garage-bay-sized field (complete with artificial turf)
·      Fowling: a cross between football and bowling
·      Acoustic music by Tonos Triad, Hank Haggard and the Texas 3, Kipp Normand, Nat Russell and more.
·      Local craft beer for sale
·      A penalty box for anyone caught tweeting…and a roving referee wearing stripes and armed with a whistle to enforce the rules!

Why Digital Disconnect?

They say Abe Lincoln was addicted to the information flow coming off the telegraph.  What it’s like to be here now, in real time?  “Big Car is all about helping people connect with each other and their creativity,” said Big Car program director Anne Laker.  “Big Car uses social media a lot to engage people, but sometimes it’s great to pare down to the essentials, experience the elements and activate all your senses.”

Centric, a local innovation network, is supporting this event because, says Centric Communications Director Jason Williams, “it’s those moments of disconnect that help drive our innovation efforts. Many business and creative experts agree that some of the best ways to get ‘unstuck’ include stepping away from our work, doodling, taking a walk, or trying a new place for lunch. But how often do we actually take this advice? Centric is excited to help provide a purposeful evening of ‘Digital Disconnect.’ ”

Everyone’s invited to start 2014 off on the right foot by tuning out life’s digital interruptions, practice new creative techniques, have some fun with friends, or simply play for a few hours.

About Big Car
An Indianapolis-based 501c3 nonprofit, Big Car uses creativity as a catalyst to a better city. By providing and supporting unique, educational, participatory, playful and personal experiences, Big Car engages people of all ages and backgrounds in art making and creative problem-solving — inspiring them to be creative thinkers and involved, connected citizens. Big Car is the organization behind the projects Service Center for Culture and Community, TEDxIndianapolis, and more. Learn more at

About Centric
Centric is a local innovation network actively recognizing stories of successful innovation, increasing members’ access to knowledge, skill sets, and resources, and striving to improve the success rate of innovation in Indianapolis to drive recognition of our city as a global innovation center.

Pro hockey returns to the State Fairgrounds in 2014

December 30, 2013 Leave a comment
Construction proceeds at the State Fairgrounds Coliseum.

Construction proceeds at the State Fairgrounds Coliseum.
Photo provided by the State Fair Commission and used with written permission.

By Andy Klotz
Indiana State Fair Commission

Professional hockey is coming back to the Indiana State Fairgrounds.  The Indiana State Fair Commission has approved an agreement with Indiana Hockey Club, LLC, an ECHL expansion franchise that will become an anchor tenant for the fairgrounds’ newly renovated Coliseum and begin playing its home games there in October 2014.  The two organizations have signed a five-year deal that also calls for the team to house its administrative offices at the fairgrounds.

Carmel businessman Jim Hallett, the chief executive officer and director of KAR Auction Services, one of North America’s largest automotive remarketing companies, is the chairman of Indiana Hockey Club, LLC and no stranger to hockey.  He is a lifelong fan, former player and former team owner.

“Professional hockey is back in Indy and we can’t wait to drop the puck,” Hallett said.  “We have a great partnership with the Indiana State Fair Commission and a beautiful new arena that will be one of the premier hockey venues in the Midwest.  We’ll offer affordable family fun and a competitive brand of hockey that hasn’t been seen here since the Indianapolis IHL team that played in Market Square Arena in the 1990s.

“We are already busy assembling a first class organization, and look forward to sharing our progress as we build toward the 2014 season.”

The Coliseum Complex is in the final months of a $63 million renovation that will modernize the entire arena with new lighting, a two-tiered seating bowl, a digital overhead scoreboard, state of the art sound equipment and ample ADA seating.  It will accommodate about 6,200 fans for hockey and is scheduled to reopen in April, 2014.

“This deal makes perfect sense for us and we’re happy to have it done before the building opens next spring,” Indiana State Fair Commission Chairman Andre Lacy said.  “I remember going to Capitals games in the Coliseum as a boy eager for a puck to come my way, so bringing pro hockey back to the fairgrounds is especially gratifying to me personally.”

The State Fairgrounds has been the hub of Indianapolis’ long hockey history dating back to 1939 when the Coliseum first opened and the Indianapolis Capitals began the first of their 13 seasons in the International American Hockey League.  The building subsequently housed the Indianapolis Chiefs, Racers, Checkers and Ice for various durations in a variety of professional leagues from 1955 – 2004.  The Indiana Ice, an amateur team playing in the United States Hockey League, called the Coliseum home from 2004 – 2012 when the renovation began, but ultimately decided not to return to the Coliseum after the renovation is completed.

That decision eventually led the commission to Hallett and the ECHL.  Hockey’s premier “AA” league, the ECHL not only offers Ft. Wayne as a natural regional rival, but it also has franchises in nearby Evansville, Cincinnati and Toledo.  Overall, it currently has 22 teams located throughout the country and is responsible for sending more than 500 players to the National Hockey League since its inception in 1988.

“Indianapolis has an international reputation as a great sports town, and we’re confident it will once again be a great hockey town,” ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna said.  “With an exceptional ownership group led by Jim Hallett, a brand new venue and a proud hockey tradition, we couldn’t be happier to expand the ECHL to Central Indiana.”

The ECHL has long been known for its high quality hockey that is also an affordable family experience.  A recent survey commissioned by the State Fairgrounds indicates great public support for affordable, family friendly pro sports events in the new Coliseum, which has everyone involved excited about the new team’s long term outlook.

“I spent many years watching my son’s hockey games in the Coliseum and know what a devoted fan base there is for hockey and the Coliseum,” State Fairgrounds Executive Director Cindy Hoye said. “To have a brand new professional team ready to reenergize these fans inside a first-class facility that is still connected to its 75-year history is going to be fun.”

The hockey club is the second team to announce a deal to play in the renovated Coliseum.  Earlier this year, the IUPUI Jaguars announced a five-year agreement to play all its men’s and selected women’s basketball games in the arena.  For more information, visit, or call 317-927-7500.

Things to do in Indianapolis, Dec. 30 to Jan. 5

December 29, 2013 Leave a comment

5th #Indiana Social Media Summit in Fort Wayne

December 28, 2013 Leave a comment
2013 Smackdown Award Winners

2013 Smackdown Award Winners with their hardware. staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

By Bob Burchfield, Editor, LLC

Amy Stark’s 5th annual #Indiana Social Media Summit was held on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, at the Courtyard Marriott Grand Wayne Center Hotel in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana, hosted by Kevin Mullett and Amber Recker.

The annual Smackdown Awards were presented in seven categories. The top winners were Steven Shattuck, who received the award for Indiana’s Most Influential Dude, and Lori Taylor, who received the award for Indiana’s Most Influential Dame. Leah Beatty took home the Up and Comer award, making her the only two-time winner of an award at this event (she received Indiana’s Grooviest Peep award last year).

More than 60 attended in person, with countless others viewing statewide via a Google+ hangout.  It was an excellent event! Congratulations to all the winners!

Kevin Mullett and Amber Recker

Kevin Mullett and Amber Recker, co-hosts of the #Indiana Social Media Summit Smackdown Awards. staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

Social Media Summit

Many of Indiana’s best and brightest social media stars attended this event. staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

Julianne Swartz: ‘How Deep is Your’ Exhibit at the IMA

December 26, 2013 Leave a comment
Indianapolis Museum of Art

The Indianapolis Museum of Art. staff photo, (c) 2012, all rights reserved.

By Candace Gwaltney
Indianapolis Museum of Art

The Indianapolis Museum of Art announced recently that it will present an exhibition featuring multi-disciplinary artist Julianne Swartz’s work in photography, sculpture, installation, and sound, gathering together for the first time a significant group of her large-scale installations. Julianne Swartz: How Deep Is Your will be on view in the McCormack Forefront Galleries and other unexpected locations within the museum March 14 through June 15, 2014.

Acclaimed for her unique blend of high and low tech materials, Swartz makes the presence of the viewer fundamental to her work in images, objects and architecturally sensitive installations. She employs lenses that transform mundane objects and hidden locations into magical moving pictures, mirrors that disorient a viewer’s spatial perception and self-awareness, and PVC tubing that allow buildings to communicate with their inhabitants.

“Since commissioning a major sound installation from Swartz in 2008, we have personally witnessed how engaging the public finds her work. Julianne Swartz: How Deep Is Your is the perfect exhibition for us at this time as the IMA works hard to make the visitor experiences on our campus truly extraordinary.  Our guests will simply love interacting with Swartz’s work,” said  Dr. Charles L. Venable, The Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO.

The way in which ideas take material form in Swartz’s work eludes easy definitions and labels. Swartz writes of her work that she is seeking to foreground undervalued qualities such as “the perceptual, the experiential, the introspective, the emotional, and interdependence within a community.” A refreshing current of sincerity and hope informs all of Swartz’s practice, and her deceptively simple arrangements of materials often result in profound observations about society, power, or human nature. How Deep Is Your will offer visitors of all ages the thrill of a conceptual scavenger hunt, as well as a thorough introduction to this groundbreaking contemporary artist .

“Swartz is an incredibly talented and intelligent artist. Her work imbues minimalist forms with deep emotional content,” remarked exhibition curator Rachael Arauz. “The opportunity to gather her work in all media as well as reconstruct some of her major large-scale installations offers new insights into her complex engagement with themes of interactivity, materiality, and human experience.”

Exhibition Organization and Support

Julianne Swartz: How Deep Is Your is organized by the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Boston, Mass., and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, Ariz., and curated by Rachael Arauz.

Major support for the exhibition and catalogue were made possible by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation.

Exhibition Catalogue

Julianne Swartz: How Deep Is Your is accompanied by the largest publication about the artist to date, featuring essays by Rachael Arauz and former SMoCA curator Cassandra Coblentz and texts by Janine Antoni, Sharon Corwin, Tim Davis, Bec Garland, Byron Kim, Stephen Lichty, Jenny Monick, Judy Pfaff, Barbara Smith, David Levi Strauss, Jonathan Van Dyke and Emily Weiner.

About Julianne Swartz

Swartz has exhibited widely, including site-specific commissions for the New Museum, Tate Liverpool, and the Tang Museum, and group shows at P.S. 1/MoMA, the Aldrich Museum, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and Ballroom Marfa. She was included in the 2004 Whitney Biennial, and has had solo exhibitions at the Jewish Museum, the Colby College Museum and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. She is represented by Mixed Greens and Josée Bienvenu Gallery in New York and the Lisa Sette Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ.

The IMA first introduced Swartz to local audiences in 2008 when it commissioned her aural sculpture Terrain. Terrain is now part of the IMA’s permanent collection and is on view in the Floor 4 contemporary galleries.

For more information, visit, or call 317-923-1331.