Anyone who visits the Savannah Gallery for Contemporary Art at Indiana University Northwest during the next 10 days may be taken aback by the assault of color and design on display in the normally austere venue.
“Indy/Windy Love,” which runs through July 11, is an exhibit dedicated to the eclectic and effervescent medium known as “street art,” or graffiti art. The nineteen artists represented in this show have transferred their personal vision from the canvas of the streets to the more portable variety for the edification of art aficionados in Northwest Indiana.
The Chicago and Indianapolis graffiti artists represented in this dynamic show do not refer to themselves as “artists” per se; rather, they call what they do “graffiti writing” or “bombing.” It is a form of personal expression born and raised in the city streets, but anyone who visits “Indy/Windy Love” will come away with an awesome respect for the talent, vision and artistic sensibilities of these graffiti writers.
“I just wanted something different,” said Ann Fritz, gallery curator at Indiana University Northwest. “I don’t just want to have paintings here. I want different genres of art. Street art is out there. Every time you see a train (with graffiti on it) you’re seeing somebody’s tag name.”
“This show pretty much represents two decades of history of this subculture,” said Chicago artist Slang Tyrue Jones, who has several pieces in the exhibit. “Some of these pieces, it’s the first time they’re being shown. I’m kind of nervous about it.”
“Indy/Windy Love” celebrated its IU Northwest show with a well-attended reception June 20. Slang was one of several artists who attended.
“It’s freedom of expression,” explained Pilot, another “Indy/Windy” artist. “There aren’t really any rules, except the ones we set. Most of us are not professionally trained. We’re all self-taught.
“Most people think of graffiti as just vandalism, but it’s not. It’s just like any other art,” he continued. “It has a progression. It’s three-dimensional. It’s functional. In the next 20 years, you’re going to see more work along these lines in architecture, bridge design, and interior design. Like any other art form, it has a lot of growth.”
The Savannah Gallery is open to the public Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m., and on Friday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. (Campus is closed on July 4, however.) Weekend viewings are available by appointment. Call (219) 980-6891 for more information.