February 2021

Happy Black History Month. I’m happy that I made it to February 2021. It’s been alot going on.

My New Year started with a flood at my home. Then at the end of the month I wrecked my car. (We are fine. God is good.) Some where along the line, they stormed the Capitol and Cicely Tyson died. Kamala Harris is a win for representation. Joe Biden is president and everyone was dressed in beautiful monochrome.

I am working on new pieces for Gathering Me’s in April and I’m excited about what I will get present.
More information here: https://cjcrtv.com/gathering-mes/

Make sure that you check out these awesome shows, that are happening right here in Indianapolis.

Links to these shows will be at the end. They have events all month long.

Work In Progress

Links as promised.
https://indyarts.org/about/art-soul
https://www.indypl.org/blog/for-adults/meet-the-artists

December 2020: Tiny Show | Localized

Make sure to check out these two shows. I’m blessed to be showing work in both. “Localized” celebrates Indy’s 200 year anniversary. And Tiny show is an Indianapolis tradition that is continuing online this year. More information about both shows below.

Click here to view the exhibit.

LOCALIZED: GARFIELD PARK ARTISTS CELEBRATE INDY’S BICENTENNIAL 
Curated by a committee of neighborhood artists in collaboration with the Garfield Park Arts Center and Big Car, this exhibition will feature artwork in a variety of mediums by local artists that reside in Garfield Park. The pieces aim to celebrate Indianapolis’ Bicentennial through the lens of these artists by exploring history, culture, and the environment of Indianapolis and Garfield Park, Indianapolis’ oldest park. Furthermore, artists will reflect on 2020 current affairs including the pandemic and protests. Artwork will be displayed online on the Garfield Park Arts Center and Big Car’s websites.
For the best viewing experience, please view the exhibit on a computer.
http://www.gpacarts.org/online-exhibitions

Click here to view “Tiny” show

TINY – December 4, 2020-January 8, 2021 – Even though the popular annual show is going virtual this year, we’re still making a big deal about TINY 2020. You can shop for original art created by past and present TINY artists at the new Art Center Marketplace hosted by the Indianapolis Art Center. Support artists throughout Central Indiana, while adding to your own art collection or buying unique holiday gifts for friends and family. #IndyKeepsCreating. TINY 2020 is in partnership with the Arts Council of Indianapolis and Gallery 924.
https://artcentermarket.com/product-category/tiny/

2020: Hindsight

Are y’all ready? This is a long post.

God is good. The universe is abundant. I am so blessed. Everything that I did was possible because of the support that I received within the arts community in Indianapolis. Artists are essential workers both metaphorically and literally. The support that I needed personally and professionally came from other creatives. I need to take a moment to just say thank you to the following:

Center For Black Literature & Culture at the Central Library
Central Indiana Community Foundation
WeAreIndyArts
Lost Dog Gallery
Amy Ward Studios
Darrell Staggs Photography
VIP Center for Business Women
The Garfield Park Arts Center
Big Car Collaborative
The Andy Warhol Foundation of the Visual Arts
The Indianapolis Arts Center
The Arts Council of Indianapolis

Thank you to all the individuals who purchased prints and originals from me this year. Your patronage means everything. Sales and support from the Indianapolis area have allowed me to keep creating.

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times… I protested this year.

In many ways the work I made this year has been a departure from my previous work. My work got more political than it has ever been. I found it hard to be silent.

You can support The Bail Project, Inc here.

Congratulations to my brother Kevin. You are courageous and you inspire me every single day. I love you.

More than anything 2020 has helped me focus on the stuff that matters. I matter. My life is essential. I am totally valid.

I got more comfortable in my skin.

Making predictions for 2021 still feels like an overreach but the world is full of possibility. Life can be as you imagine it.

Still alive…crazy right?

SHOP VIP

This weekend I am honored to be participating in “SHOP VIP,” a unique art and gift show provided by local artists and entrepreneurs. I will be attending both the Friday and Saturday sessions with a selection of original art and reproductions. Come mix and mingle in an upscale setting on Friday and then swing by on Saturday for the outdoor vendors.

November 6 from 4-8 pm & November 7, 2020 from 9-4 pm
​VIP Center for Business Women
3755 N Washington Blvd, Indianapolis, IN 46205, IN
Indianapolis, IN

​Tickets start at 10.00

For more information visit the VIP Center for Business Women here: https://www.vipcenter.works/shopvip

See and Be Seen

The closing reception for this show is tomorrow, 9/25/2020 from 5-8pm at Lost Dog Gallery located at 1040 E New York St 46202. Come by and see the show.

Masks are required. We will be at reduced capacity to allow for social distancing. Safety first.

I will be there around 6 to meet the other artists and chat.

Here are a few reviews.

• @jaditmire “Waiting to be Seen”. New photography from Darrell Staggs Photography paired w local artists take on a photo.  Clever and a delight to see Lost Dog Gallery #indykeepscreating
Sept 3, 2020

Candid and contemporary reflection by Molly Dykstra of @darrellstaggsphotography photo.  His new show Waiting To Be Seen pairs his photos w local artists take on  the image.  Diverse and creative work by all @lostdoggallery #indykeepscreating
Sept 3, 2020

 • @jaditmire Jill A. Ditmire Creative collaboration between Darrell Staggs Photography and local artists like Corey J. Mills.  @darrellstaggsphotography photo on left and Coreys abstract interpretation of it on right.  Opening night @lostdoggallery
Sept 3, 2020

@jaditmire Safe and successful re-opening show tonight @lostdoggallery “Waiting To Be Seen” @darrellstaggsphotography His photos paired w local artists interpretations of specific photos. Clever!!! Funshow to see. Closing reception Sept 25 #indykeepscreating
Sept 3, 2020

“I really enjoyed your photography show.  Having other artists take off on your abstractions had some surprises, because some of your photos were more abstract than others.  It is interesting to me to see how artists  are concerned with the abstract forms found in everyday life whether they are depicting  landscapes, still lifes or portraits.  Perhaps seeing the Hopper show at the  IMA made me even more interested in forms found in art work.  Your interest in using the camera to making photos that depict the reality of life in  totally  geometric lines and forms through camera adjustment of speed, exposure time, and lens opening rather than later development alterations is very unusual.  “
Holliday T. Day, retired senior curator of contemporary art at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields

Here’s another review by Jill Ditmire:


Lost Dog Gallery hosted a safe and successful “ re-opening” on Thursday night featuring work from local photographer Darrell Staggs   The retired engineer created his show “Waiting To Be Seen” by sharing one of his photos w a handful of local artists asking each to paint their take on the work.  The task was much more difficult than one might think.  Many artists including Corey Mills went thru multiple canvases before coming up w a final painting.  Amy Ward  offered a 2D-3D take on an abstract auto photo by painting a racing helmet but making it into a gumball machine.  Molly Dykstra weaves the faces of Black Lives Matter into her peaceful and poignant interpretation of Staggs’ floral photo.   It’s a clever concept and suits the contemporary bent of Lost Dog- one of Indys new and exciting art studios and gallery.  Appointments to see daily plus a closing night reception on the 25th. #curiousmixThursday  #indykeepscreating
Jill Ditmire, 7-September  Facebook

Art Adventures

Went to check out a new spot this weekend. It was really cute. I can’t wait to go back and see “A Fence For Art.” It is located in Fountain Square at Wildwood Market every Sunday afternoon.

Also wanted to remind people to check out the ladies of We Are Indy Arts at the Central Library in downtown Indy. It’s up until the end of September.

And dont forget to check out, Waiting To Be Seen at Lost Dog Gallery, just outside of downtown. Our last reception is September 25th. Swing by.

Press Release: Waiting to be Seen

This show had a press release, which is crazy. And they used things I said… I’m always surprised by stuff like that. It takes me outside of myself. I posted the entire thing below; it features some really interesting commentary from the other artists.

This show has 2 more receptions. I will be attending the Saturday reception on September 12th from 12-3pm. It is free admission and reduced capacity. Wear your mask. See live artwork.

Indianapolis, IN  September 1st,  2020

Somewhere, something incredible is… ‘Waiting To Be Seen’; a conceptual art exhibit featuring 17 diverse Indiana artists displaying their visions of selected artworks of photography by experimental photographer Darrell Staggs.

Staggs, an engineer by training and a self-claimed car guy by DNA explained “It’s learning about Art and how Art works.”

His contribution to this show is the nearly 20 pieces selected from hundreds of images he has collected. He admits he purposely selected “personal”, not “predictable”.  

He suggests a “predictable” image is one that is easily and universally recognizable because persons have “seen” it many times before.  A “personal” image may eventually be recognizable, but in a very unique perspective, or it may be a very abstract perspective.  

All of the images are captured, but some may be “created” after capture. 

Brinton Farrand, a retired educator who’s studied classical realism at Studio Escalier in France, selected his image based on the people in the photo and the title ‘Crossing Over’. He saw similar ingredients of his work in the time travel, meditation, and introspection elements. He appreciates the obscure and unnoticed point of view. 

Kristy Quinn, a Circle City Industrial Complex (CCIC) studio artist, conceptualizes a piece in her mind and then executes the art to match that vision. Quinn thought the elk rib cage, highlighted in the photo she chose, seemed to symbolize arms waiting to embrace the wolf in focus, assuring that even in death the elk will continue to sustain the cycle of life. 

Quinn’s most recent pieces have evolved with a theme of “Do you see me?”, to represent social justice viewpoints. An example, Monumental Women, depicts women’s faces

emerging from clay, symbolizing that women deserve their own version of Mt. Rushmore; honoring female voices, leadership, and strength. 

Cierra Johnson’s background in graphic design is molded with intense color and extreme tactile surrealistic bends. She favored Somewhere West of Monrovia as her inspiration because she sees symbols of significance to humans in the sky- the afterlife, renewal, and return.

A shared concept to Quinn’s perception.

Johnson begins with the quiet moments of observation and never starts with an empty page. 

She does her best to uplift and exalt black and brown people in all of their humanity and possibility; showcasing joy, power, love, and triumph in her work but admits, along with JD Bills and Staggs, that their work is rarely a direct reflection of the current political climate rather an attempt for relief.

Unexpectedly, local influences like Satch Artist, Gary Gee, William Ray Denton, Justin Vining, and Anthony Radford, can also be found in the participating artists’ work.

Many of the participants have begun sharing sneak peeks on social media. Jerry Points, Lacy Pearson, and Corey J. Mills indicate the artwork presented for the first time will be easily identified to their personal style while others, like Lynn Medsker, are being innovative with a technique called Quilling. The leap definitely helped her produce a nearly exact replica of the experimental photograph and has received an abundance of positive feedback already. 

Amy Ward, an abstract painter, and Gary Lynn, a welder and gallery owner,  partnered to construct a unique self-standing mixed media sculpture and revealed they heavily leaned on the quote presented by the curator, “It’s not what you Look at that matters, it’s what you See.”   by  Henry David Thoreau.

Collectors Night – Thursday, 3-September 6-9pm

Saturday Reception – 12-September 12-3pm

Closing Reception – Friday, 25-September 5-8pm

Free Admission. Masks required.

Waiting To Be Seen – September 2020

Somewhere, something incredible is… Waiting To Be Seen.
A conceptual art exhibit featuring 17 diverse Indiana artists displaying their visions of selected artworks of photography by experimental photographer Darrell Staggs. Coming in September to Lost Dog Gallery in Indianapolis.

I am so incredibly excited about this show. I can’t wait to see all the different work that will be displayed. I will be attending the Saturday reception, so definitely stop by and have a chat. Or check us out on one of our other dates.

Collector’s Night | Thursday, 3-September | 6-9pm
Saturday Reception | 12-September | 12-3pm
Closing Reception | Friday, 25-September | 5-8pm
Masks Required — RSVP below.

“It’s not what you Look at that matters, it’s what you See.”
– Henry David Thoreau

#WaitingToBeSeen #IndyKeepsCreating #indyartscene #IndyArtists

Each artist has selected a photographic image, some “predictable” and some ‘abstract/surreal”, and are replicating what they “See” in their own personal style and medium. It’s learning about Art and how Art works.
Artists: Kylin Brown – Lacy Pearson – JD Bills – Amy Ward – Gary Lynn – Molly Dykstra – Susie Blackmore – Brinton Farrand – Bryan Bromstrup – Lynne Medsker – Kristy Quinn – Cierra Johnson – Jerry Points – Corey J Mills – Linda Wesolowski – Garth Gathers – Jessica Hancock

To see a sneak peek of the show visit:
https://www.darrellstaggsphotography.com/