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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Art Finds in Hammond: 4th Annual Hammond Art Walk

This year I was able to dedicate the day to the 4th Annual Hammond Art Walk. I visited 10 of 12 locations and attended the after party at the 11th (White Ripple Gallery). It was a great way to enjoy the late start of spring. This year met all expectations. It was fun to explore the exhibits at the galleries and local spots. The paper arts, sculpture, paintings, drawings, and even the written word and music were a delight for the senses.

Paul Henry's Art Gallery
Sticking with tradition, I started the day at Paul Henry's. As I walked in I heard someone playing the piano. What a nice way to start a day of art! I grabbed a map for the art walk and walked through the gallery. I finally got to see the South Lake Artists' Co-Op Giant Monsters/A Catalog of Fears exhibition. I saw the large collaboration canvas with its cyberman, monsters, and ghouls. Eyes looked out at me. Giant papier-mâché beasts crafted by the Homeschool Art club hung overhead. Sci-fi themed digital collages and classic comic book covers with added monstrous drawings kept my attention. A red hand reached out for me. Eyes stared at me. All of the walls of the exhibition room were covered. I was surrounded by monsters! I started my walk through the main gallery, but got the inside tip that the Towle was closing shop for the day. I rushed over to check out the paper arts exhibited at the neighboring theater.

Wolfstein Ethan Brown, Emily Pastore, Max Pastore, Louie Pastore | Cornelia Sarita Reyes, Erica Dross, Emily Dross | Gluttony Rikey Larson, Jason Blood, and Jai Peterson | Revelation of the Goat Kellie Lachata | Sharktopus vs Gamera Chris Guzman
The Giant Monsters/A Catalog of Fears exhibition runs until next weekend. For more info about Paul Henry's Art Gallery, check out my March 2013 post.

Towle Theater |
The Towle had Pulp Paintings by Dawn Diamantopoulos. All of the colors integrated into the layered paper were added as colored pulp. No paint was used. Using squirt bottles and syringes she added in delicate details layer by layer. Tiny flecks of mica made the work slightly sparkle. In some of the pieces, you can make out words. Others are patterns of color and texture.

I spoke a little with the artist before the theater closed. She started out at a papermaking workshop and found a passion. She worked with a Valparaiso artist and got a weeklong fellowship, full immersion in the art. She crafted the work on exhibit as well as about 20 others in this week of artistic exploration.

Hammond INnovation Center
This year I was able to get to two Indiana Writers Consortium readings at the Hammond INovation Center. I got there ten minutes into Bob Moulesong reading. It was a tale of family bonding through summertime projects. I came back later for Lisa Groszek's reading. She provided a thrilling account of a boy getting chased through town on his bike. He raced away bouncing off curbs trying his best to get away. He escaped...or did he?

A room was set up authors and their publications. The writing style ranged from poetry to post-apocalyptic fantasy. I'm glad they had the opportunity to explore the works of local writers.

Flex Studio
I walked over to Flex Studio, but it was closed. It was worth the walk. I got to see the finished mural that I caught them working on last year. The colors were vibrant and the images floated on the brick wall.

Substation #9
This South Shore Art Center had the Viscosity and Permanence: Paintings by Nick Pacific exhibit. These untitled works were rich in color and dimension. The glint of the colors caught my eye from a distance. The deep orbs drew me in. The resin dripped from the back. It was a quick walkthrough, but a must see.

The HUB of Innovation
The HUB would have been a great mid-point stop for art walkers with kids. They had arts and crafts, kids books, and snacks. I stopped by a local author's booth and picked up copies of Weenz the Cat: Nothing will Stop Me! by Perla Arreola ( She had both English and Spanish copies of the books along with coloring pages.

Blue Room Café
The Blue Room had art from Paul Henry's Gallery. Pieces from Mark Anderson, Lou Shields, and Leslie Green hung on the walls and in front of the window.

Mark Anderson Studios
Great music and clever illustration is what Mark Anderson Studios is all about. Illustrated books covered a tabletop. Posters hung on the wall. It's always fun to look at the illustrations of animal mashups like Ali-goose and Baboona-puss.

Side Car
The Side Car gallery is farther north, but it's definitely worth the drive. The Floating Orange exhibit included ink jet and acrylic images by Rusty Shackelford and ceramic sculptures by Deborah Handler. This year I ventured up the very steep and winding staircase to the attic. It was a nice little adventure.

Hammond Public Library
This was my first visit to the Hammond Public Library. They have quite a collection of literature! They have a large room with local history, a selection of titles in Polish, and a large children's book area. Kathleen Los-Rathburn's watercolors were on display. The works included snowy landscapes and bright flowers. My favorite was a painting of people celebrating on a diner counter.

White Ripple
After taking a break and having some dinner, I headed out to this Hessville gallery for the after party/Live in the Ville/Second Saturday. The three-story gallery had a mix of works including watercolors, paintings, and mixed media pieces. One of the exhibits was Armonia, a collaboration of four artists: Barry Dwyer, Jaime Foster, Andy Christopoulos, and Michal Foster. Each room has collections of various artists including Sara Peak Convery, Rick Therrio, Angela Leimer, Jen Jackson, and Gary Price. Kathleen Los-Rathburn, Dawn Diamantopoulos, and Sophia Rapata have studios upstairs.

In addition to the art, they had entertainment. I sat through poems about the woes of Microsoft Word, serious harmonica action, lively acoustic sets, silly songs sung to an upbeat accordion rhythm, and electronica/celtic music that made me want to get up and dance. It was a strange and entertaining mix.

As I left, I stopped to listen to the band playing in front of the neighboring bar. The White Ripple festivities happen every second Saturday. I can't wait for another night out there.

Keep an eye out next spring for the 5th Annual Hammond Art Walk. It'll be on Paul Henry's Facebook page, and posters will be up at local Hammond businesses.

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