October 20, 2022

New space at Hillside Art Center features work of local artist

Indianapolis artist Gary Gee. - Taylor Bennett/WFYI

Indianapolis artist Gary Gee.

Taylor Bennett/WFYI

The Indianapolis Art Center is bringing art classes and exhibitions to a new space called the Hillside Art Center -- just north of downtown. The inaugural exhibition will feature the work of local artist Gary Gee.  WFYI’s Taylor Bennett spoke with Gee about his latest show called “Ground Breaking / Breaking Ground.”

A free open house at the Hillside Art Center is scheduled for Friday, Oct 21.

WFYI's Taylor Bennett: Your work is featured in a new space at the Hillside Art Center. And it's actually, it's one of the first exhibitions at the center.  Congratulations.

Local artist Gary Gee: Thank you.

Bennett:  How did that come about?

Gee: A few years ago working in the 18 Collective. That group did a show at the Art Center. And in the first show, Mark was like, he felt like we could do more. So we did another show the next year.

And he had been talking to me, he said, I got something special, I really want you to work on this project with me. I'm gonna work with you on this project. And I started doing Insider Art with them where I was going to the Juvenile [Detention Center].   And it's usually like a four day or four sessions. We work with the kids, like when they're on their school break.

So we've done that a couple of times. And then recently, I started working with them with Art Reach. And I've been in Coburn place. So this is cool, like, you know, working in communities, but Mark is telling me I got this project, I got this project and it was like, so he started telling me about the Hillside Center and how it's in a community and I've kind of pretty much been in the community as well like I grew up between Brookside and Brightwood. So, Hillside, Martindale-Brightwood area. It was pretty much my family was there. It was my stomping ground.

Bennett:  Talk to us a little bit about what visitors will see at this art exhibition.

Gee:  So this time, you will see a lot of mixed media work. I have some pieces that are mixed media on paper, and so they're like, airbrush, inks or acrylics. Aerosol, so it's like spray paint on those as well. And then pastel, so it was just a new series I was experimenting with of like some portraits, like one of them's real, a couple of them are imaginary come and see if you can figure out who's who.

Then like a larger scale abstract, I'll play with, like some abstract, and like little characters. So that's still kind of keeping my hip-hop vibe and aesthetic, I think, throughout my work. I have some 3D work as well like ceramics. I do a lot of the ceramic work. I've tried to go not really crazy, but trying to kind of like expand my mind so people can kind of get a peek inside of how my mind works. 

Bennett:  I like that. Where do you get your inspiration from?

Gee:  A lot of it is the overactive imagination. I think the 12-year-old still lays dormant in me. That was the fun art work years for me. Cartoons, comic books, movies, in a sense, loosely pop culture, hip hop culture. It can be politics, sometimes. So social commentary, just conversations with people sparked some of my work or my ideals of time.

So I like to kind of just let my ideas just flow freely and see where they go. So in a sense, I guess I'm been flowing freely and just experimenting more with the work that's in this show. And it was also like a combination or build up from some of the other shows I've been working on.

Bennett: I'm looking forward to seeing your latest work.

Gee: Well, thank you, Taylor. I'm looking forward to seeing you there.

Contact WFYI Morning Edition newscaster and reporter Taylor Bennett at tbennett@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @TaylorB2213.

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