Saturday, March 31, 2007

IMA has "second-rate art"?

Terry Teachout, writing in today's Wall Street Journal, talks about "The Uses of Second-Rate Art: you can learn a lot from not-quite-masterworks."

And, what's one of the "second-rate" pieces he talks about? Claude Monet's "Charing Cross Bridge," hanging in the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

"...[I]t had never occured to me that a truly great painter could ever be less than great," Teachout writes in his "Sightings" column. "But when I went to the Indianapolis Museum of Art and looked at Claude Monet's 'Charing Cross Bridge,' I saw that even a master can have his off days."


Friday, March 30, 2007

Tree lights...they're not just for Christmas anymore!

Sixty-three trees on Monument Circle will sparkle even brighter this year as the old light strands are replaced with 647 brand new strands 2-12 April.

Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. (IDI) has partnered with Barth Electric, ERMCO, Long Electric and Miller-Eads Company to get the job done.

Each electrical contractor donates their labor and equipment to replace the tree lights on one quadrant of Monument Circle. The lights are purchased by IDI and the city maintains the lights throughout the year.

The schedule for replacing the lights spans over two weeks: 2-6 April and 9-12 April from 6 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Al Green to headline 2007 Jazz Fest

Rev. Al Green, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Grammy lifetime achievement award winner, will anchor this year's Indy Jazz Fest, reports the Indianapolis Business Journal.

The Ninth Annual Indy Jazz Fest's lineup, scheduled 15-17 June at Military Park downtown, also includes Bela Fleck, Chick Corea, McCoy Tyner Trio, Regina Carter, Hiromi, Somi and Spyro Gyra.

Others include James Hunter, Diva with Nnenna Freelon and Rachel Price, Monk Legacy Septet, Ori, Mike Milligan and Steam Shovel, Monika Herzig & A Tribute to Women in Jazz, Frank Smith and the Buselli Wallarab Jazz Orchestra.

This year's festival is being produced by the American Pianists Association, which took over the struggling program in 2003.

Last year, attendance fell to a record low of 14,500 despite a lineup that included the Neville Brothers, Herbie Hancock, Bonnie Raitt and Dr. John.

According to IBJ, backers blamed the dip on bad weather. The three-day festival was plagued by high temperatures and humidity levels as well as rain.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Stadium Drive becomes Indiana Avenue

Indianapolis officials took a step back into the past today as they renamed Stadium Drive downtown to Indiana Avenue, says Inside INdiana Business.

City officials unveiled the new sign this morning saying that putting the avenue back to its original name pays tribute to its rich history and heritage. The avenue is part of the Indiana Avenue Cultural District. The city originally changed the name of Indiana Avenue in 1932 to commemorate the opening of the then-new baseball stadium.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Seven New Eateries to Open Downtown

According to Inside INdiana Business, downtown diners soon will have seven new choices:

--April 2 - Paradise Bakery & Café, Chase Tower

--April 16 - Harry & Izzy's, Maryland and Georgia streets

--April 30 - Capital Grille, Conrad Indianapolis Hotel

--May - Barcelona, Delaware and Ohio streets

--Late May - Weber Grill, Illinois and Washington streets

--Late May - Brothers Bar & Grill, Union Station

--July- Taco Bell, Circle Centre Mall Food Court

(This Indianapolis Observer thinks that Inside INdiana Business is overly generous to list a Taco Bell opening in a mall as a restaurant debut, however.)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Indy's great neighborhoods

It seems such a no-brainer, that this Indianapolis Observer wonders why it hasn´t been done before.

If you haven´t picked up a copy of the latest NUVO, you can download a copy of the first section of what seems to be an ongoing project.

OK, OK, "I heart my 'hood: Indy's great neighborhoods" is chockful of advertising. But in between the real estate and restaurant ads are a bunch of good stories about living the Indy life. Check it out! (Who knew it could cost $700,000 to live in Lockerbie?)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Victorian Theatre by Candlelight at Harrison Home

Three one-act French farces of “Madness, Mockery and Mayhem” are scheduled at 8 p.m. for eight performances, 20-21 and 27-28 April and 4-5 May, in the President Benjamin Harrison Home, 1230 North Delaware Street, Indianapolis.

The three plays are:
“Romance in A Flat,” written by the father of French farce, Georges Feydeau.
“A Matter of Wife and Death,” written by Eugene Labiche.
“The Police Chief is an Easygoing Guy,” written by political satirist Georges Courteline.

The Harrison Home will treat theatergoers to an unusual theatrical experience as the audience members will rotate through rooms of the presidential mansion to see the three plays, each staged by candlelight and other ambient lighting.

Tickets are $18 per person and $15 for seniors (those 65 and older), students and members; call 317:631-1888.

More information is available on the home’s website.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Ivy Tech Names Snyder to Succeed Lamkin

Ivy Tech Community College Trustees have named Indiana businessman Thomas J. Snyder as its new president, according to a Inside INdiana Business.

Snyder is currently the chairman of the Flagship Energy Systems Center in Anderson. Prior to that role, he served as president of Delco Remy International, Inc. for 11 years.

Snyder, who replaces Gerald Lamkin (retiring in June), will oversee the community college's 105,000 students at 23 campuses statewide.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Great Indy Neighborhoods Initiative (GINI)

Inside INdiana Business reports that Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson has kicked off several projects as part of the Great Indy Neighborhoods Initiative (GINI).

GINI, a partnership between the City of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center (INRC) and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is a 3-year program that promotes comprehensive community development to strengthen and improve the quality of life in local neighborhoods. Comprehensive community development focuses on collaboratively improving all aspects of neighborhoods that impact residents' quality of life.

The targeted GINI neighborhoods, selected through a competitive process:
o Near East Side
o Near Southeast Side
o The Binford Road neighborhoods on the northeast side
o Near West Side
o Near Southwest Side
o The Crooked Creek neighborhoods on the northwest side

Great Indy Neighborhoods resulted from the city's first Community Development Summit in 2004, which brought together more than 400 neighborhood leaders, business owners, residents and faith-based organizations to focus on developing a plan for building and sustaining stronger, healthier neighborhoods.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Now that 38th is (almost) back to normal....

...there are plans afoot to tear up Meridian between I-65 just north of downtown and Fall Creek Boulevard!

According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, a draft document of ideas for renovating that somewhat seedy stretch of North Meridian Street calls for many of the design elements recently incorporated into the reconstruction of 38th Street from Michigan Road to Fall Creek Parkway.

A fourth draft of the document will be presented to the public at 8:30 a.m. 27 March at the WFYI Teleplex, 1401 North Meridian Street, the IBJ says.

A final draft is expected in April, at which time the plan will be handed to Near North Development and the city to implement.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The bodies are piling up again in 2007

IndyUndercover reports that our fair city has had its 26th homicide so far this year, with the shooting deaths of two teenagers on Indianapolis’ northside.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Darn! A Damn Good Publication Announces Its Last Issue

Inside INdiana Business reports that Indy Men's Magazine will cease publication in May.

The free monthly publication, which was founded in 2002 by Todd Tobias, was the first regionally focused general interest men's magazine in central Indiana.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Jazz Band of America featuring Wynton Marsalis

The Jazz Band of America, comprised of high school musicians from across the United States selected by taped audition, will open for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at Clowes Memorial Hall on Friday (16 March).

Music director Wynton Marsalis will solo with the Jazz Band of America, offering an unforgettable experience for outstanding high school jazz musicians.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. at Clowes, 4600 Sunset Avenue, Indianapolis. For information, see Music for All, Inc..

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

WellPoint loses personal info disc for 75,000 members

According to Indianapolis Business Journal, Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc. is telling 75,000 members that an unencrypted compact disc with their personal and medical information has been lost. The members are part of its Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield arm in New York.

The disc was sent to Magellan Behavioral Services, a Connecticut firm that handles mental health and substance abuse on behalf of insurers. WellPoint will offer a year of free credit monitoring to the affected members.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

University of Indianapolis Captures Pinnacle Award

Microsoft Corp. has awarded its 2007 Pinnacle Award for Excellence in Education to the University of Indianapolis School of Business for its innovative use of business software in the classroom.

Associate Professor Jerry Flatto (pictured), who leads the UIndy initiative, has incorporated Microsoft Dynamics GP into the curriculum of his undergraduate courses in information systems and systems analysis.

Monday, March 12, 2007

DePauw, 1; Delta Zeta, 0

DePauw University reports that it is severing ties with Delta Zeta Sorority.

"We at DePauw believe that the values of our University and those of Delta Zeta sorority are incompatible," President Robert G. Bottoms writes.

This Indianapolis Observer (who cheered the letter from DZ alumnae from Indiana University's chapter, printed in today's Indianapolis Star) congratulates DePauw for doing what had been obvious to the rest of us from the day the story broke in The New York Times!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Next up: Despair

"Conflict, Sex, Despair and Harmony" are the subjects for the spring 2007 Liberal Arts Symposium at Butler University, Indianapolis.

Each symposium features three Butler faculty members addressing the same topic from their particular disciplinary focus. The discussions, all of which take place from noon to 1 p.m. in the Robertson Hall Johnson Room, are free and open to the public.

"Conflict" and "Sex" are finished, but the faculty tackles "Despair" on 23 March and "Harmony" on 27 April.

The Liberal Arts Symposium is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Jordan College of Fine Arts.

(The illustration, at top left, is from, of course -- not from Butler!)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

"Spring Forward" tonight

OK, so it's not just affecting Indy, but don't forget to set all those clocks AHEAD one hour before you go to sleep this evening.

Daylight Savings Time in the United States begins early this year (officially, 2 a.m. tomorrow), thanks to actions of the United States Congress.

Complicating life for international travelers, Europe (for example) doesn't switch its clocks until 25 March. If you're flying overseas in the next two weeks: double and triple check your flight times, because connecting flights will be out of synch.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Exacq Technologies partners with PSA Security Network

Exacq Technologies, a developer and manufacturer of open architecture network video recording (NVR) solutions for use in security surveillance applications headquartered in Indianapolis, announces a partnership with PSA Security Network.

The partnership allows all of PSA’s over 200 security integrators to purchase exacqVision® surveillance systems and software through PSA®.

exacqVision Pro is a hybrid system that utilizes both analog and IP (network) video cameras on a rack mount or desktop PC-based chassis. exacqVision IP is an IP camera system that installs on a PC. All of the exacqVision systems utilize the same software which makes them completely scalable from one camera to thousands of cameras distributed across a network.

PSA Security Network is the world’s largest electronic security cooperative. Responsible for over $1.4 billion annually in security, fire, and life safety installations, members combine the purchasing power and resources of the largest vendors with the strengths and personal attention to detail of locally-owned companies.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

A Reason Not to Live in Beech Grove?

According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers will stop offering inpatient services at its Beech Grove hospital and consolidate those services at its Indianapolis campus on the city's south side.

As IBJ reported in January, St. Francis had filed paperwork with Marion County to expand onto 30 acres near its Indianapolis campus on South Emerson Avenue. Today (8 March), St. Francis said it would build a five-story, 206-bed inpatient facility by 2010. The expansion also will include a larger and relocated emergency department, better imaging facilities and equipment, additional operating rooms and 1,000 extra parking spaces.

What happens to the Beech Grove campus is unclear, reports the IBJ. St. Francis said it is working with city planners and community leaders, including Beech Grove Mayor Joe Wright, to craft a plan to redevelop it within Beech Grove's Better, Brighter Beech Grove initiative. St. Francis said it would continue to operate either existing or new outpatient facilities in Beech Grove.

Explore the art of high fashion at the IMA this spring

Two new exhibitions at the Indianapolis Museum of Art explore the art of high fashion.

"All Dressed Up: The Latest Additions", an exhibition which features more than 30 recent additions to IMA’s permanent collection by some of the most well-known names in fashion opens 1 April and runs through 31 December.

On 10 June, "Dior: The King of Couture" will open, featuring more than 20 gowns by Christian Dior, a designer who considered couture an art form similar to architecture and painting. It closes 30 November.

The Textiles and Fashion Arts Collection at the IMA comprises approximately 6,000 items and represents virtually all of the world's traditions in fabric. Items from Asia include kimonos, Buddhist robes, Kashmir shawls, Baluchi rugs and other furnishing textiles. The American and European textile holdings feature silks from the late 16th to 19th centuries, a lace collection spanning 500 years, and many fine Indiana quilts and coverlets. The IMA also has European costumes dating from the 18th to the 20th century. Fashion of the 20th century is represented by collections from Norell, Bill Blass (that’s his red dress, above), Halston and other American and European fashion designers.

Located at 4000 Michigan Road, the IMA is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. IMA is closed Mondays and Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s day.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Advance America is the KKK in 21st Century Clothes?

Don't miss "Evangelical Lobbyist Eric Miller: The Most Powerful Man in the Indiana Statehouse" by Laura McPhee in the latest edition of NUVO Newsweekly.

This Indianapolis Observer has long been wary of Eric Miller, and McPhee explains some of the reasons why we should be concerned about his activities.

The many parallels she draws between the Advance America agenda he promotes and that of the Ku Klux Klan in Indiana in the 1920s are chilling.

"The political rhetoric and literal mission of lobbyists like Eric Miller and Advance America is a blend of patriotism and religion meant to shape government by giving a voice to the variety of fears and frustrations that resonate with Evangelicals — particularly their frustration over a declining morality and sinners who openly flaunt their disobedience to biblical principles; fear of the wave of immigrants who are threatening the economic and social order of things in their communities; and a post Sept. 11 fatigue that gives rise to a suspicion of all things foreign — including ideas, beliefs and lifestyles they consider alien," she writes.


Jen Wagner over at Taking Down Words points out that Gary Welsh of Advance Indiana did the heavy lifting for this story without receiving credit. Well, McPhee, what about it?

Orchard in Bloom Garden Show

Orchard In Bloom, a nationally recognized garden show, is set for 26-29 April in Holliday Park, Indianapolis.

The show, now in its 18th year, has raised over $100,000 for outdoor education programs for the children of Indianapolis as a partnership between The Orchard School and Indy Parks.

Find inspiration in the garden displays of top local landscapers. Stroll through the garden markets in search of the perfect accessory for home or garden. Bring the whole family to experience the fun of face painting and craft making. Savor treats and sandwiches from the Garden Café while listening to gardening experts share their secrets for success.

The preview party, "Before The Bloom', is 6-8:30 p.m. Thursday (26 April); tickets are $45.

Show hours are 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. Friday (27 April), 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday (28 April) and noon-5 p.m. Sunday (29 April). Advance sale tickets are $10 for a one-day pass for adults and $15 for a three-day pass. Children 14 and under are free.

The Garden Café is open 10:30 a.m. - 8 p.m. Friday (27 April), 10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday (28 April) and noon - 5 p.m. Sunday (29 April).

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Carleton Varney to speak at IMA Alliance Spring Luncheon

Carleton Varney (pictured), the world renowned interior designer, is the headliner for the annual spring luncheon of the Alliance of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, 4000 Michigan Road, Indianapolis, on Wednesday (14 March).

Varney's presentation will be in the DeBoest Lecture Hall of the IMA at 10:30 a.m., followed by luncheon in Deer Zink Pavilion.

Tickets are $40 for the luncheon and program ($25 for program only). Reservations deadline was yesterday (5 March), but if you're interested, go ahead and call the Alliance Office at 317-923-1331 ext. 435. Chances are good you can still reserve a slot.

Carleton Varney is the President/Owner of Dorothy Draper & Co. Inc., located in New York City. It is the oldest established interior design firm in the United States and is named after the founder of the company, Dorothy Draper, one of the doyennes of interior design from the 1920's to the 1960's.

Carleton Vamey, one of America's best known interior designers, is also a well known newspaper columnist and author of more than 20 books. He was the design consultant to the Carter Presidential Library and for numerous functions at the White House. In years past, he restored and redecorated the Official Vice President's Residence in Washington D.C., the Governor's Mansion in West Virginia, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, and is associated with the restoration and decoration of countless hotels and resorts all over the world, among them: Dromoland Castle in Ireland, The Waldorf Towers in New York, The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, The Breakers in Palm Beach and the Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Super 70 - Monday Update


· I-70 & Keystone Avenue/Rural Street: I-70 eastbound entrance ramp is closed

· I-70 & Emerson Avenue: All entrance and exit ramps connecting with I-70 eastbound are closed

· I-70 & Shadeland Avenue: Eastbound Shadeland Avenue ramp does not connect to I-70, only I-465

· Bloyd Avenue at I-70 overpass: Closed for bridge widening work until Friday, March 16, 2007

Sunday, March 4, 2007

In the ArtsGarden this week

12:15-1:15 p.m. Tuesday (6 March):
Krista Richter & Friends -- Singer/songwriter performing country and pop music.

12:15-1:15 p.m. Wednesday (7 March):
Batalyst Jazz

12:15-1:15 p.m. Thursday (8 March):
Duke Tomatoe -- Humorous blues

1-2 p.m. Friday (9 March):
Artsgarden Chamber Ensemble -- Classical chamber music

All performances are open to the public at no charge.

The Artsgarden is located above the intersection of Illinois & Washington Streets in downtown Indianapolis.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Indianapolis Cultural Trail Project Breaks Ground in May

Phase 1 of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene and Marilyn Glick begins with groundbreaking in May and continues through November 2007, when the first segment of the Cultural Trail (Alabama Street from North to Market streets) is complete.

Want to know more? Bring a "brown bag" lunch and join the Cultural Trail team on the fourth Tuesday of each month. All informal lunches are noon - 1 p.m. in the Indianapolis Cultural Trail office, suite 200, 300 South Meridian Street (Union Station), Indianapolis. Scheduled sessions are 27 March, 24 April, 22 May and 26 June.

Or, if you're so inclined, take a bike tour of the actual Cultural Trail route on the first Saturdays of the month, beginning in April. Rides begin at 11 a.m. at the northeast corner of North and Alabama Streets. "Bring your bike, helmet, and a sense of adventure to explore all there is to see and do along the route," says the invitation. All ages and skill levels are welcome. Registration (email or 317:713-3333) is limited to the first 25 participants. Scheduled ride dates are 7 April, 5 May, 7 July, 4 August and 6 October.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Super 70 - The Chaos Begins Tonight

If you travel I-70 between downtown and the east leg of I-465, get ready for the beginning of Super 70 construction challenges.

Ramp closures and lane restrictions start tonight.

Here's the official word from the city:
On Saturday morning, March 3rd the striping will begin on 70 eastbound with lane restrictions. All eastbound "on ramps" will be closed at this time. All truck restriction signs, speed limits, alternate routes, etc. will be uncovered Saturday morning. The moveable barrier wall installation will begin Sunday, March 4th at approximately 7:00 a.m. and will take approximately three (3) days to complete. Traffic crossover is anticipated to occur Tuesday, March 6th or Wednesday, March 7th. All ramp closures will coincide with the traffic crossover.

But, all this hassle will be worth it when the construction is finished in late 2008 -- or so they tell us.

Keep track of what's happening on that stretch of I-70 between downtown and the eastside leg of I-465 by checking Super 70 website.

Navistar Restarts in Indy

Navistar International Corporation issued a press release yesterday saying that it will resume production of Power Stroke® diesel engines used by Ford Motor Company in its heavy duty pickup truck line. The announcement was in response to a temporary order issued by Judge John J. McDonald of the Circuit Court of Oakland County, Michigan.

Judge McDonald issued the temporary order late Wednesday afternoon (28 February) and scheduled a hearing for both companies Wednesday (7 March).

Under Judge McDonald's order, Ford will be required to pay, without deductions, for all diesel engines it receives from International Truck and Engine Corporation, Navistar's principal operating company, according to the press release.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Recharged: Artist Reception and Open Studio Night

Opening festivities for "Recharged" take place 6-10 p.m. Friday (2 March) in the auditorium of Harrison Center for the Arts, 1505 North Delaware Street, Indianapolis.

The exhibit, open through 31 March) includes work by Arts Council of Indianapolis Creative Renewal Arts Fellows Valerie Eickmeier, Sandi Finney, Julie Ball, Mary Burks, Matt Eickhoff, Catherine Fritsch, Susan Fleck, Paul Sinclair, Jude Odell, David Kleeman, Jim Kemp, Robert Eagerton, Artur Silva, Amy Kindred, Casey Roberts, Jeff Martin, Sharon Gamble, Jim Walker, Grace Farrell, John Sherman, and Susan Chan. The image (above) is "Between Breaths" by Matt Eickhoff.

And don't miss the Queen Bee concert with John Barney at 7 p.m., across from the gallery. Also that night, the Herron High School Open House for 9th and 10th grade enrollment takes place from 6-9 p.m.

The exhibit and opening are supported by the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the City of Indianapolis, the Indiana Arts Commission, NUVO,, Amy McAdams Graphic Design and Indy’s Music Channel. The event is an IDADA (Indianapolis Downtown Artists & Dealers Association) First Friday participant.

Funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., the Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship program enables artists and arts administrators to pursue such activities as exploration of new works or artistic expression, research, apprenticeships, instruction, retreats and conferences.

Book & Author Luncheon

Nine authors are featured at the 27th annual Book & Author Luncheon to be held Friday, 27 April, in the Indiana Roof Ballroom, 140 West Washington Street, Indianapolis.

The writers and their recent titles are:
  • Keith Ablow: "Living the Truth"

  • Lou Harry and Eric Pfeffinger: "The High-Impact Infidelity Diet"

  • Tawni O'Dell: "Sister Mine"

  • Robert Olmstead: "Coal Black Horse"

  • Cathryn Jakobson Ramin: "Carved in Sand"

  • Karen Robards: "Obsession"

  • Reid Duffy: "Guide to Indiana's Favorite Restaurants"

  • Alina B. Klein: "Martimus at Midnight"

Book sales and signings begin at 10 a.m., followed by lunch at 11 a.m. and the program at 11:30 a.m. Luncheon tickets are $65 per person.

Sponsored by the Christamore House Guild, proceeds from the annual event support the Frances Carter Coburn Scholarship Fund and educational programs offered through Christamore House.

Since 1981, more than $800,000 has been awarded to some 550 scholarship recipients from the Haughville neighborhood.

Information, Ann Duck, 317:465-9434.