Thursday, July 26, 2007

emily kennerk

I started this post two weeks ago.
I feel like I'm all backwards and out-of-whack lately.
I usually write the blog first and work some of the posts in to my column or a NUVO piece.
In essence you guys are the guinea pigs.
In this case, I wrote about Emily Kennerk's show for the Gazette first, but you dear readers, need some back-story.

Sweet Emily is a family friend. My first memory of her is July 4, 1976. Emily was a little kid in pigtails running around the yard with a sparkler. Our families attended the same church (St. Alphonsus in Zionsville) and our parents became friends. Fast forward 20 years and I was running in to Emily in Indianapolis. She attended Herron Art School. My brother and I went to her senior show. A few years later I was seeing Emily and her brother Hugh almost daily. Hugh's business and Emily's studio were right down the street from the coffeehouse and my house.

Emily once went out with my pretend husband, Lyle Lovett. She sculpted a leg that was inspired by his music and took it to a concert. Lyle love it and took her to dinner after the show. Emily used to complain about not dating, but I told her that one date with Lyle was worth a year of dating anyone else.

Emily moved to Chicago last year to teach, but still spends a big chunk of time in Indianapolis. And it turns out that Emily and Bella Rossa are hometown and Chicago friends. It's a small cyber-world.
Having a museum show is a big-ass deal. The fact that it is at the Indianapolis Museum of Art is way cool.

Here is the piece I wrote for the Broad Ripple Gazette:

Thursday, July 12, 2007
Emily Kennerk: SuburbanNation
Artist talk and opening reception
Indianapolis Museum of Art

I am thrilled for Emily Kennerk. To have a museum show is a really big deal in the art world. Emily’s work is a big deal, and in the case of this show – a huge deal. SuburbanNation is a series of four installations looking at suburban icons as an art form.

Emily did an amazing job with her artist talk, telling us about her studio practice and inspirations. She recounted a trip to IMA in 6th grade. The class assignment was to choose a piece of work to write about. After the formal tour Emily set off to find the painting featuring horses she had spied earlier. Instead she found a piece she liked even more. She could not find the information on the artist so she asked the docent. She was not sure what Emily was talking about so Emily led her to the piece. Young Emily had discovered a side stairwell with walls that were in the middle of being repainted. She has seen the beauty and art in unconventional places ever since then.

Emily took a circuitous route to being an artist. She was “horse crazy” as a child and became an accomplished equestrian. Her career was sidelined when she was injured. She started studying art at after she realized the only “A” she received in college was in art history.

Emily showed slides of her work as she talked about her influences. I was thrilled to see a piece from her Olan Mills series that she had given me on the big screen. Emily gradually started working on bigger and bigger pieces. The four IMA pieces were the biggest yet.

After the lecture we partied on one of the pieces, Boundaries. 600 people listened to Bigger Than Elvis, played cornhole and croquet, noshed on burgers and ice cream sandwiches and chatted among the checkered tablecloths.

I first met Emily when she was a pig-tailed little girl. She was fearless -- leading the gang in climbing to the top of the grain bin and playing in the wagons. I’m goose-bumpy proud of her for continuing to blaze the trail in her work.

You can see Emily’s show through October 7. The best view of Boundaries is through the third floor window next to her other pieces.

Gretchen Katner and Emily Kennerk.
Gretchen and Emily were studio mates at Herron.

High Density

Untitled: Porches

I took photos until the nice security guard told me to stop.

Amy (Emily's sister) and Ann (my sister)

The band Bigger Than Elvis played at the party.

Opening party

I posted two You Tube videos about the show in posts below. I couldn't figure out how to embed them in this post.
I pretty damn proud that I even got them on my blog.


Jerry said...

Local gal done good. Congratulations, Emily!

Jamie Dawn said...

WOW!! Good for Emily!!!!
That REALLY IS a big deal!