First Friday is featuring some rockin’ cool — and don’t forget, FREE — events. One of them, Jonathan McAfee’s Some Girls, ended up on our cover in a great story by Dan Grossman. It wasn’t until well after the fact that I realized McAfee’s DJ for the night is Marty MixFly, with whom I work at NUVO (real name: Ryan). So it’s going to be a par-tay at Earth House on Friday night. Don’t miss it.
Another must is the show at Harrison, part art, part food, all fun: FoodCon II. FoodCon I was such a hit, it’s not just returning for an encore performance, it’s going to more dimensional and wondrous. Built around the concept of food “biomes,” attendees will navigate the building and courtyard to experience the desert, prairie, wetlands, forest and tundra. Artists and individuals from the local food movement will create interpretations of each biome. Plus, vendors representing the best of Indy’s local food farmers markets, dairies and neighborhood supper clubs will create a “food forest” in the courtyard. Check out Michelle Walkey-Thornburg’s mischievous lollipops — oh and in City Gallery, see my friend Josh Rush’s paintings. You may not want to eat them, but you’ll sure want to stare. Duo’s and Sun King Brewery will be on site offering food and drink you can consume.
This opened Wednesday, but the Indianapolis Downtown Arts and Dealers Association presents its annual juried membership exhibition. This year’s host is wUG LAKU’S STUDIO & gARAGE, a popular First Friday Gallery Tour destination in the Circle Center Industrial Complex. The exhibition, which opens Aug. 31 and runs through the end of September, features a balanced mix of accomplished and emerging artists. The show will be juried by Barry Blinderman, director of the University Galleries at Illinois State University.
Phil Campbell’s Indy Indie Artist Colony gallery gets cooler all the time, and his next show, The Tattoo Show, will be amazing, and warm you up for the Mother of all Tattoo Shows, Tattoo City Underground (Sept. 16-18). Phil’s call-for-entries show will feature hangable, tattoo-themed fine art produced by artists from all over the state, including residents at Indy Indie. The Tattoo Show is a juried exhibit, and event organizers are promising that they have “many surprises in store.” Be sure to bring your wallet, as all the art will be up for sale.
Even more for First Friday awaits ye!
Freaks & Geeks at Big Car Gallery features artist Aaron Scamihorn and writer Jason Roemer teaming up. Scamihorn, who works under the pseudonym RONLEWHORN, has a passion for creating digital portraits using mixed methods of screen printing and painting. “I’m intrigued by the juxtaposition of these distinctly different textures and how the pairing of them highlights their uniquely individual qualities,” Scamihorn says. On display will be 15 of his oversized portraits, several of which depict characters featured in stream-of-conscious narratives written by Roemer. The stories will be read aloud, creating a compelling amalgamation of words and art.
Amy Falstrom’s Nature Perceived opens at the Gallery 924 at the Arts Council. Falstrom creates ephemeral, organic and often muted abstractions. She says of her work, “I see a random and beautiful quirkiness in how nature places things in the world, and I enjoy making images in that same spirit.” This new series reflects the felt experience of a place and time, such as the quality of light, the weather and the full sensory experience of temperature, aromas, sound and movement, all of which find their way into the final visual form.
If you’re hungry during any of this (perhaps you haven’t eaten up the Harrison Center) you can take a break and experience the First Friday Food Truck Festival at the Old National Centre parking lot. The festival showcases the best of Indy’s curbside vendors, including Mabel on the Move and Fat Sammies Ciao Wagon (fingers crossed that the nutella and mascarpone Sammie is on the menu), to name just two of your dining options. Along with some tasty food, enjoy the music of Hot Fox, recently lauded as Bloomington’s Best Local Band by the Indiana Daily Student — and featured on the cover of NUVO. A variety of brews from MillerCoors will be offered to sate your thirst. Starts at 5 p.m. $5.
Speaking of food, you may have heard of this one: 15th Annual Rib America Festival at Military Park. That’s right, folks: Rock and ribs! It’s a festival that makes your mouth water and your booty shake. Located in leafy Military Park, near the IUPUI campus, this yearly gathering brings together purveyors of BBQ from around the nation, as well as our own Squealers, for a summit of flavor and fun. The live soundtrack is provided by the likes of Jonny Lang, Reo Speedwagon, The Doobie Brothers, KC & The Sunshine Band, Everclear and many more. Free before 5 p.m. and $7 after 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 2; free before 2 p.m. and $7 after 2 p.m. on Saturday to Monday, Sept. 3-5.
You can lose weight by laughing, I hear tell, so after all this food and fun, make sure you catch Del Shores' Sordid Confessions show at Talbott Street. Del Shores brings his bawdy brand of stand-up comedy to Indianapolis for a one-night event at Talbott Street (that’s Friday). Count on an evening of honest, raunchy, laugh-out-loud material from the irrepressible creator of Sordid Lives, a 1996 comedic play that delved into LGBT issues. Shores later adapted Sordid Lives into a TV series and full-length film, both of which starred Olivia Newton-John in the role of lesbian country singer Bitsy Mae Harling. A native of Texas, Shore’s writing credits include Dharma & Greg, Queer as Folk and Touched by an Angel. 21+. 8 p.m. $1
Turning to Saturday, now, head on down to Bloomington for the Into Bhutan: Photographs & Artifacts from a Buddhist Kingdom. You needn’t travel around the world to experience Tibetan and Mongolian culture. The Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center is a mere hour’s drive south, and in September they will be hosting a two-week celebration of Bhutanese culture. Examples of planned events include a demonstration on making prayer flags and a presentation of Tibetan thangkas (silk paintings with embroidery), as well as music, group yoga and a discussion about traveling to Bhutan. The fortnight-long event begins with a reception from 5-8 p.m. on Sept. 3. Check out the TMBCC’s website for specifics on days and times for all events. Sept. 3-17. Free.
Finally, Going Local Week starts Monday and you can celebrate by partaking in foods grown and produced right here in the Hoosier State. Created by local food blogger Victoria Wesseler and sponsored by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, this week is a hint-hint, nudge-nudge reminder to all of us to enjoy Indiana food, protect the environment and help support the local economy. There is no one central event for the celebration. Event supporters recommend participating on a local level by visiting a farm or a farmer’s market, or by planning a local food potluck with co-workers or choosing restaurants that purchase local produce. Sept. 4-10.
See you out there!