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A First Friday user's guide for Sept. 2013

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Gautam Rao, "Color Sentences"
  • Gautam Rao, "Color Sentences"

5X5 at Harrison Center
It's been a good run for 5X5, but the idea-pitching event winds up this Friday, after stops through the year at Big Car Service Center, Indianapolis Fabrications and Georgia Street. This installment's candidates for the $10,000 grand prize? Brent Aldrich's Near Eastside Neighborhood Arts project, which would implement public art projects in all 20 NESCO neighborhoods. Tiffany Benedict-Berkson's Hi, Indy Neighbor party series, designed to welcome new neighbors to the city. Marilyn Gatin's I AM INDY, a map-based sculpture intended for the Monon Trail. Atsu Kpotufe's 40 Kkm, a multi-disciplinary exhibition featuring Indy-based international artists. And Adrian Pumphrey's Indianapolis Young Songwriter's Guild, which would give young folk a chance to share their work. Also at the Harrison this Friday: In Your Own Backyard, new paintings and sculptures by Kyle Harrington and the grand finale of The Bindery, a pop-up co-working space for Indy's design community.
Harrison Center for the Arts historic sanctuary, Sept. 6, 6:30 p.m., free

Icons and Irony
Just named one of fall's 100 Best Shows by Modern Painters (the only Indianapolis show and one of only three Midwest to be so recognized), Icons and Irony features 40 or so works by guys like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Pablo Picasso, David Kramer, Russell Young and Robert Indiana, including 25 works from Warhol's 1953 Love Is a Pink Cake series, plus one of two examples of Lichtenstein's brushstroke stamp. An all-star reason to add The Conrad to your First Friday itinerary.
Long-Sharp Gallery (at The Conrad), opening reception Sept. 6, 6-9 p.m., through Oct. 11

Quest for the West
It's a totally huge week for art collectors, what with the aforementioned Long-Sharp show and Penrod - and the Eiteljorg's annual high-end art fair, which found 450 guests purchasing $870,000 worth of art in 2012. Participation runs $300 per person ($250 for Eiteljorg members) Friday and Saturday, but the show opens to the the general public (for the price of museum admission) on Sept. 7.
The Eiteljorg, Sept. 6-7 (ticketed), Sept. 7-Oct. 6 (open to general public)

Penrod Arts Fair
  • Penrod Arts Fair

Subterrane Nimbus
Indy Reads Books has become a destination for the visual arts since Wug Laku came on as exhibitions director of the space. This month the bookstore will feature prints and installation work by Meredith Setser, an assistant professor of printmaking at Herron.
Indy Reads Books, opening reception Sept. 6, 6-9 p.m., through Oct. 19

Gautam Rao: Unblocked
Butler prof Gautam Rao was working in a figurative world like everybody else. But then he started to study patterns. Colors. Higher mathematics. And he found the journey downright pleasurable. See the results this month.
Gallery 924, opening reception Sept. 6, 6-9 p.m., through Sept. 27

Penrod Arts Fair
Penrod is expanding this year to include a VIP opening night gala featuring music (Todd Snider), an exclusive beer (Penrod Twenty-two by Flat12 Bierwerks), high-end food samples (Ruth's Chris, Usual Suspects) and 150-or-so artists. But the nicest day remains intact, with its blues stage and beer tent, umpteen artists and organizations and kid-friendly activities.
On the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, penrod.org
Evening with Penrod: Sept. 6, 6-9 p.m., $75 per person, $120 per couple, 21+
Penrod Arts Fair: Sept. 7, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., $15 pre-sale, $20 day of, admission free for 10 and younger

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