Artist Reception on Sunday, March 3, 1:00–3:00pm
information provided by South Shore Arts
MUNSTER, Ind. (February 21, 2019) – South Shore Arts presents “Haunts,” the second exhibit in its “Urban Legends” series, now through April 21, 2019, at the Center for Visual & Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster, Indiana.
Curated by South Shore Arts executive director John Cain, “Haunts” features the work of guerilla photographers who have been lured to Gary and other cities to capture the haunting beauty of architectural ruins on the verge of being repurposed as gardens and other public spaces.
Honoring the past
“The impetus for the ‘Urban Legends’ series in general and ‘Haunts’ in particular was my obsession with the past and appreciation for the power of the arts as a means for personal and community transformation,” says Cain.
“By ‘the past’ I mean growing up in Gary. Although my family participated in the great white migration out of the city starting in the late 1960s, I still dream about Gary the way it was. Of course, it wouldn’t look the same today if those great social upheavals hadn’t occurred. Maybe it’s worse, from an architectural perspective at least, that there hasn’t been much new development in Gary for the past 50 years—worse because it makes the decay stand out that much more.”
An opportunity to meet the 14 photographers featured in “Haunts” will be offered at a free Artist Reception on Sunday, March 3, 2019, from 1:00–3:00pm. The exhibit features the photography of Decay Devils Tyrell Anderson and Lori Gonzalez, along with Dennis Crane, Ashley Diener, Joel Henderson, Thomas Hocker, Eric Holubow, Matthew Kaplan, Mike Kinsch, Joey Lax-Salinas, Jamie Link, Larry D. Mickow, Jr., Bob Palmieri, and Guy Rhodes.
“Gary’s haunts lie dormant near Lake Michigan and the steel mills responsible for their creation, sometimes inhabited by the homeless and visited by curiosity seekers and photographers fascinated by urban ruins,” writes James B. Lane, co-director of the Calumet Regional Archives at Indiana University Northwest, in the exhibit catalogue. “Still eerily beautiful, they are representative of the grand illusions of early 20th-century city builders and symptomatic of a throw-away society with a short historical memory.”
A two-part series
“Urban Legends” is a two-part series of exhibits that showcase artists whose work is sparking new life in old places. The exhibits are being presented at the Center for Visual & Performing Arts over a six-month period followed by subsequent showings at multiple venues in Gary. A combined exhibit catalogue, which documents the work of artists featured in both shows, is a record of the work on display and urban redevelopment projects creating renewal through the arts within and beyond the Calumet Region.
Grants and support
The series has been made possible by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s Community Foundation, and Peoples Bank. Additional funding has been provided by Hammond Machine Works, Indiana University Northwest, NIPSCO, and the TIMES Media Company. South Shore Arts programs are provided with support from the Indiana Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Thanks to a special grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Fund at Legacy Foundation, both of the exhibits under the heading of “Urban Legends” are traveling to multiple venues in Gary after they have been presented in Munster. Portions of “Indy Windy: A Love Story,” the first exhibit in the “Urban Legends” series, are currently on view through March 10 in simultaneous presentations at ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen, 411 E. 5th Avenue; the Gary Public Library and Cultural Center, 220 W. 5th Avenue; and the Miller Beach Arts & Creative District’s Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts, 540 S. Lake Street.
Urban blight and the subsequent need for regeneration are not unique to Lake County communities. In similar sites across America, art and artists have been utilized as means to stimulate new life. By experiencing the public artwork that Northwest Indiana artists have executed, viewers will better understand how art is being used to create new environments. The images that photographers have captured among urban ruins will shed light on the exciting possibilities that lie ahead for redeveloping seemingly barren places.
Organizers of the “Urban Legends” series hope that the public will gain an increased awareness and understanding of how public art by local artists is improving communities, transforming blighted areas into oases of rebirth for people to use and enjoy.
For further information, contact South Shore Arts exhibitions director Bridget Covert at 219-836-1839, x108, or [email protected].