Catch Up from 2016

The past year has been a wild one – hence the lack of update in 2016. Woops!

I continued my work with the College Mentors for Kids into 2016 and that cumulated with a shooting day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during qualifications for the Indy 500. The kids had a great time there and were invited to shoot from CMFK donor Turner Woodard’s Turn Two suite. This was a memorable experience for the kids that wrapped up in their photos being displayed at the historic Stutz Building alongside the “Fast Forward, Look Back,” exhibition that celebrated 100 years of the Indianapolis 500.

I worked with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to curate “Fast Forward, Look Back,” which was kindly sponsored by Sony, Roberts Camera, and the 500 Festival. Curating that show was quite memorable as I spent quite a bit of time going through a hundred years worth of art and artifacts housed in “the vaults” in the IMS museum’s basement archives and car collection. (It was awesome!)

Most of my time in 2016 was spent working on my new startup, Pierce Aerospace. Pierce Aerospace is developing software for the drone industry that brings drone operators resource management, flight planning, logbooks, and a slew of other needed tools needed by drone operators of all sizes. This work has kept me at a healthy travel pace, taking me from Silicon Valley to Washington D.C. and many places in between. I was also invited as a founding member of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy charted Unmanned Aircraft Safety Team. My work with my startup and in the industry is ongoing, but I’m still available for photography and writing work.

On that note, I’ve expanded my capabilities to include drone photography and video. I’m certified by the FAA for this type of work and carry the proper insurance. Here’s a clip that I shot last year during the tornado outbreak near Kokomo, IN.

 

In addition, I had several fine art prints enter into private collections, Butler University placed an abstract photo of mine on permanent display, I did some technical drone writing, and took part in several start up & tech oriented events that are all helping to grow Indianapolis as a tech hub in the heartland.

I am looking forward to the rest of this exciting year and will update these blog posts on a more regular basis.

 

- Aaron

College Mentors for Kids Photography Exhibit

The College Mentors for Kids "Little Buddies" photography project that I’ve been working on all summer is coming to a close. We will be displaying all of my students’ photo essays this Friday, October 2nd, at the Raymond James Gallery at the Stutz. Doors open at 5PM and I will be giving a brief presentation followed by the first screening of the students’ slideshow at 6:30PM. All of the kids will be there as well and you can get a chance to meet them and talk with them about their experiences photographing this summer. This will be a packed house event. Arrive early.

Fountain Square Brewing is once again supporting one of my photo shows and they will be providing drinks throughout the evening. Many thanks go to them for their continued support of the arts in our community.

With this project the students developed autobiographical essays over the summer. The essays are beyond my expectation for the relative little time that we had for instruction during our short afterschool classes. They have blown me away with their work. If you’ve ever wondered about the capabilities of children to capture their experiences then this is the show to come to. 

Another huge thanks is extended to photographer and author Henry Carroll. Carroll provided his “Read This if You Want to Take Great Photographs,” as a textbook for the kids to read and harvest information. They took a lot away from this text and I have to say it is one of the best photography instruction books that I've ever read. Roberts Camera has been kind enough to print the kids' photography and Aspen Moulding has mounted it.

Below are a couple photographs from two of the students and one photograph of mine. I will also be showing work, but that is not nearly as important. The kids are the stars of this exhibit. I hope to see you there. 

Hoosier Salon vs. iMOCA

I am excited to announce that I came in fourth place in the Hoosier Salon vs. iMOCA public competition last month. The artists represented in this competition are some of the best in Indianapolis. I am honored to have been included, let alone ranked so highly, amongst them all. 

This competition was much larger than a "who's the best" art brawl. This event was all about bringing together a diverse set of artists in one location - a unification of the Circle City's Art community. Artists from all over the city participated, such as first place artist Robert Horvath with his mixed media, second place Darlene Delbecq with her altered photograph, and third place Phil o'Malley with his acrylic panel sculpture. Debra Delbecq tied me with her acrylic painting while the fifth place rounded out a tie with David Cunningham, charcoal illustration, and Lesley Baker, porcelain sculpture. Everyone had a different approach to this show, but we were all there representing the Indianapolis art community. I took away a lot of inspiration from the variety of work. More importantly though, this gallery competition felt like a warm hug as all of the artists and visitors embraced the Indianapolis art scene. 

Thank you so much everyone for coming out and thank you to both Hoosier Salon and iMOCA for the fun event. This was a popular show with 1500 people visiting the gallery during the weekend. I hope to see more of these types of art shows in Indianapolis in the future.

Event write up in NUVO.

A View from Williamsburg #4

A View from Williamsburg #4

 

 

A Big Thank You to Henry Carroll

I've looked at a lot of photography instruction books over the years - both in classrooms and in my own personal time. While all are informative some do a better job of translating technique into actual photographs. Henry Carroll's "Read This if You Want to Take Great Photographs," makes the reader want to go out with the camera and start shooting. That's because the reader isn't sitting there rereading the same chapter and scratching their head. His book is a simple, raw, and to-the-point translation of "this is a great photograph - this is what the photographer did." Technique is also written in a no nonsense and easy to understand method with the best graphical representations of camera functions that I've seen. Its simplicity of explanation leaves plenty of room in your head for the imaginative process to start working its magic.

I reached out to Mr. Carroll and told him I wanted to use his book for instruction with my students in the College Mentors Photography Project. In great generosity, he got his publisher, Laurence King, to send me books for the kids at no cost. These kids are growing into photographers and are using his book as their text of inspiration and education. I thought this book was the best place for them to start with a photography text. I'd recommend it to anyone else out there looking for that photo first book. I'd also recommend it to the well honed and seasoned photographer looking for continuing education or inspiration. It's that good.

Luckily for all of us, Mr. Carroll has another book releasing later this month titled, "Read This if You Want to Take Great Photographs of People." We all want to take great photographs of people and I expect this text will be just as good as the first in his "Read This" series.

Thank you Mr. Carroll.

Shawna, Mya, Mario, and Michel with their new books.

Shawna, Mya, Mario, and Michel with their new books.

Supernatural Exhibit

Two of my photographs were recently selected to appear in an exhibit titled "Supernatural," and hosted at the New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art. The exhibit is curated by Paula Katz, Executive Director at the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (iMOCA). 

The gallery is open June - July with a reception on Saturday July 11th from 4-6 p.m. I will be at the reception on July 11th and would be happy to talk about the works in person. My photographs focus on the internal manifestation of fear and the ghosts of our own creation.

Metamorphosis  It has been one hundred years since Franz Kafka warned us of the unknown metamorphosis that we may unknowingly undergo in our lives. The anxious rush that transforms us into the conformity of everyday life can create the conditions to turn any one of us into monsters; shells of our former selves - ghosts of former dreams that do not have the dignity to hide away into the shadows of our own private thoughts. The burden of our own lives is on display and shared with all to see, but most are too polite, or horrified, to help. We may never know the exact cause for our metamorphosis, but we can see and recognize the monster as plain as day. The question we face is, what now? If we undertook one alteration, can we not embark upon another? The dream is yours alone. Just decide how you would like to awake. 

Metamorphosis 

It has been one hundred years since Franz Kafka warned us of the unknown metamorphosis that we may unknowingly undergo in our lives. The anxious rush that transforms us into the conformity of everyday life can create the conditions to turn any one of us into monsters; shells of our former selves - ghosts of former dreams that do not have the dignity to hide away into the shadows of our own private thoughts. The burden of our own lives is on display and shared with all to see, but most are too polite, or horrified, to help. We may never know the exact cause for our metamorphosis, but we can see and recognize the monster as plain as day. The question we face is, what now? If we undertook one alteration, can we not embark upon another? The dream is yours alone. Just decide how you would like to awake. 

Old Hollywood Will you face the pessimism of the excruciatingly silent voices around you and press on as the dreams of yesterday smile through cracked teeth from the gutter at your feet? Are they a vanguard of failed ghosts cheering through time or are they a warning of failure from those who came before you? There are more dreams lining the gutters here than there are monuments of success. Will you make your masterpiece, or will you allow someone else to hit “record?” Do you take the risk? Or will you toss and turn in your sheets at night, forever haunted by, “what if?”  

Old Hollywood

Will you face the pessimism of the excruciatingly silent voices around you and press on as the dreams of yesterday smile through cracked teeth from the gutter at your feet? Are they a vanguard of failed ghosts cheering through time or are they a warning of failure from those who came before you? There are more dreams lining
the gutters here than there are monuments of success. Will you make your masterpiece, or will you allow someone else to hit “record?” Do you take the risk? Or will you toss and turn in your sheets at night, forever haunted by, “what if?”  

Limited edition. Inquire for prints.

More info here.

 

College Mentors Photography Project

I have been working with the College Mentors for Kids on an exciting photography project that will conclude with a gallery show at the Raymond James Gallery in the Stutz in October.

College Mentors for Kids wants to show a more intimate view into their organization and mentorship program through the arts. They want to better highlight the first through sixth grade students that they work with through their mentorship and educational programs. 

From June through September I will be conducting a photography workshop with their students. Throughout the summer I will be mentoring the students and developing them as photographers. Through their own eyes they will photograph the experiences of their lives and their neighborhoods. I will also be photographing in their neighborhoods with the intention of creating a visual survey. This survey will act as a cultural footprint from which their individual stories can project. These kids are amazing and I am honored to be chosen to work with them on this project. 

The kids will be the rockstars and the highlight of this show in October. My work and the other professional artists contributing from their respective mediums will be taking a back seat on this one. The show will open on October 2nd at 6PM during the IDADA First Friday gallery openings. This will be the biggest the First Friday opening for October - if not the year. Do not miss it.

Stutz Artists Board of Directors

It's been a while since I've made an update, but I've been hard at work on some things behind the scenes. More to come with that soon, but I am happy to announce that I was elected to the Stutz Artists Association Board of Directors last week! I have also been serving on the Raymond James Gallery committee for a few weeks now. The gallery is located on the first floor of the Stutz building.

I have also been selected as a juror for the Stutz Artist Residency Program. The residency program is designed to award a lucrative studio space in the Stutz for one year. This is one of the largest grants awarded for the arts in the state of Indiana. I encourage anyone interested to apply.

Both the BoD and the gallery committee have some interesting plans in the works for the future. In October we will be partnering with the College Mentors for Kids to showcase art inspired by their mentorship program. In addition to that I'm working on a photography project that I've been organizing that will display photography captured by kids in the program. More on that later.

I also recently moved studios and I am now in A255 with the amazing Greta Waller. Greta is an amazing artist who has been featured in galleries all around the world. She has taught at UCLA and painted as far away as Antartica! Check her work out.

Raymond James Stutz Artists Open House - We're Open!

Raymond James Stutz Artists Open House - We're Open!

I am excited to announce that on April 24th and 25th Beth Clary Schwier and I will be participating in the 2015 Raymond James Stutz Artists Open House. Our gallery, A 340, in the Stutz Business Center, will be open for art, food, and drink provided by Fountain Square Brewery

Read More