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  • Writer's pictureJoey Amato

Work in Progress: Conversations about American Art opens at Newfields 5/27

Later this month a revitalized display of American art will debut at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields with an emphasis on connection and representation in a space where many have traditionally been left out. The exhibition entitled Work in Progress: Conversations about American Art will highlight stories and experiences that have not always been included in historical American art. It will also provide new context to how artists, critics and the public have approached American art for over 200 years.

These refreshed galleries will be nearly 12,000 square feet and remain on Floor 2 of the IMA Galleries. Popular works and crowd favorites by Georgia O’Keeffe, Norman Rockwell, John Wesley Hardrick, William Merritt Chase and Angel of the Resurrection, the Tiffany stained-glass window, will return, as well as recently acquired works of art such as Harlem at Night by Charles Henry Alston and a new work of art by Mexican born artist Ana Teresa Fernández.

“The galleries that feature American art have not been updated for several years, and we are delighted to finally offer our guests a refreshed installation. Through the reinstallation process for this updated display, Newfields examined the works by American artists in our collection and found that there were opportunities to add more chapters of our history,” said Dr. Burnette, Newfields President and CEO. “We were excited to partner with members of the Indianapolis community to help us tell more stories.”

As part of the reimagining of the galleries of American art, Newfields has worked to decenter the traditional curatorial voice and include voices of people with different lived experiences. To accomplish this, Newfields staff reached out to select Indianapolis area artists and creatives, who now call themselves The Looking Glass Alliance, to create content around the artworks on display.

The updated interpretations bring in historical stories, and the Looking Glass Alliance will include both historic and contemporary experiences not previously told at the IMA. Members of the Looking Glass Alliance include Nasreen Khan, Tatjana Rebelle, Kyng Rhodes, Jordan Ryan and Bobby Young. The group has contributed work across various mediums including poems, paintings, Indianapolis-focused stories and a digital interactive that highlights the lives of African American artists.

Celebrate the opening of Work in Progress: Conversations about American Art at the opening reception on Saturday, May 27, 2023 at Newfields from 7-10 PM. More details about the opening event can be found here.

Work in Progress: Conversations about American Art is curated by Michael Vetter, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art and Interim Curator of American Art and will be on view on Floor 2 of the IMA Galleries.

Work in Progress: Conversations about American Art is supported by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. Additionally, this exhibition is a part of the Gallery Revisioning Project with funding generously provided by Kay F. Koch.

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