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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Mass Ave lightbox to feature work of Indianapolis-based artist

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INDIANAPOLIS—Situated on the historic Survive Alive Fire Station at 748 Massachusetts Ave. is a 237 square foot lightbox that annually showcases the work of central Indiana artists. New artwork, entitled “Between Two Mirrors,” will be installed on Aug. 31 for a one-year run.

The installation coincides with the start of the Indianapolis Fringe Theater Festival (IndyFringe). The 2012-2013 artwork is by Indianapolis-based artist, Brian Priest. The lightbox will officially be lit on Aug. 6 as part of the VisualFringe festival—a kick-off to the 2012 IndyFringe Festival.

The lightbox is owned and operated by the Arts Council of Indianapolis, and is part of its citywide public art program. For the last several years, the Arts Council has partnered with IndyFringe, Indianapolis Professional Firefighters Local 416, Firefighters Museum and Survive Alive in selecting the artwork.

“It’s always challenging to find the right artwork for such a large, visible location,” said Shannon Linker, director of artist services at the Arts Council of Indianapolis. “Brian’s work has so many layers and details that make it a perfect solution to this lightbox. The piece will allow for new discoveries with every environmental lighting change.”

A 2004 graduate of Herron School of Art and Design, Priest’s work typically features his body as the subject. An earlier work, “Body Zoo,” resulted from the artist collecting samples of microscopic bacteria from different areas on his body to create a “micro zoo.”

Images from “Body Zoo” were incorporated into between two mirrors. Pictures of bacterium and mold were converted into texture maps to create an image that is grotesque, compelling and oddly beautiful. The image is a cluster of unlikely combinations of familiar elements, which exists somewhere between a clinical study, horror movie and architectural model.

“This piece explores the back worlds of our bodies, the hidden agendas of vascular systems and bacteria, the fringes of a secret kind of world we know is in ourselves,” said Priest. “We are constantly reaching outwards and inwards, trying to grasp what is just beyond our understanding. We can understand the center by knowing the fringe.”

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