Alliance of the Swope Presents

The Alliance presents engaging talks and demonstrations by area artists, designers, educators, and historians. The free Alliance presentations begin at noon and are open to the public.

The 2017-18 schedule for the Alliance Presents is as follows:

SEPTEMBER 15, 2017

Dr. Harriet McNeal – My Life in the Renaissance

Harriet is a respected and distinguished art historian, and taught in the Humanities department at ISU for 30 years, receiving the distinguished Caleb Mills teaching award, and the 12th Annual Arts Illiana Award of Excellence along with many other honors.  Harriet received her Masters and PhD from Columbia University of New York.  She says that the Renaissance had always been a love of hers, so it was only natural that she studied 15th Century Renaissance Art History as a student there. Harriet became an authority of the works of Michelozzo and published her dissertation as a book, called Michelozzo, Sculptor and Architect of 15th Century Florence.

Harriet has 3 children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her youngest daughter, Firenze, was named after the city of Florence, Italy, where she lived with her mother during her kindergarten through fifth grade years.  In retirement, Harriet continues to travel, write, teach OLLI classes, practice Tai Chi, entertain and generally enjoy life!


OCTOBER 20, 2017

Jonathan Soard

Jonathan‘s topic will cover diversity, the wonder that is the Swope, and how to help it in the future, among other topics.  Jonathan grew up in Clinton, IN. He lived in NYC for 30 years and as of May of 2016, he is based in Rockville, IN.  Jonathan attended Indiana University receiving a BFA in printmaking. He then went on to receive MFA in Arts Administration from Columbia University.  Through the years, he has held many positions such as a product consultant/design-branding specialist, retail administration at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Executive Director and Preparator at the New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art, and Adjunct Professor at ISU. During that time, Jonathan has been very productive artistically, creating drawings, paintings, and prints, many of which have been exhibited widely in commercial and museum venues. He states that, “In all of the arts, success is often measured more accurately by commitment than in fame.” There is no doubt that Jonathan is committed to his art! He has pursued it full time for 30 years, and from all accounts, he has never been happier!


NOVEMBER 17, 2017

Brendan Kearns

Brendan is an enthusiast of the Wabash River, and its rich history. We are happy to have this talented young man with us to share his photographs and stories, both of which capture nature’s beauty as it unfolds and inspires us. Brendan finds these treasures during his adventures on and along the river. His love of the Wabash River has led him to his job as the program specialist for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Healthy Rivers Initiative. In this position he helps to educate Wabash Valley residents about our important natural resource.

Brendan has taken hundreds of thousands of photographs and lately has used a drone to capture great images along the Wabash River and other natural areas.  Many of his images can be found on his website.


JANUARY 19, 2018

Carolyn Phillips – Sell your art! How hard can it be?

Carolyn will tell us about her experiences as an artist on the road. She began exhibiting at juried art festivals full time in the summer of 2004, following her retirement from teaching art in the public schools for 32 years.  While teaching, Carolyn continued to create her own art and explored media she had not learned while at Indiana State University.  She studied such subjects as weaving, colored pencil drawing, computer graphics, and new jewelry making materials.  Carolyn became a certified instructor of Art Clay Silver in 2003 and enjoyed its potential for making interesting and beautiful sculptural jewelry. After creating more jewelry than she could possibly wear or give to friends, she decided to enter art fairs to sell her jewelry, and thus make money to buy more materials to make more jewelry!  The tactile nature of the clay allows her hands to be the primary tools for creating organic forms with intricate textures.  The creative possibilities are endless and the process is very direct.  Today we are going to hear Carolyn tell us of the trials and rewards of being on the road, in a program she calls: Sell your art!  How hard can it be?


FEBRUARY 16, 2018

Eloise Lovell

Eloise is a local artist and member and former President of the Wabash Valley Art Guild. She has been creating art all of her life and has used drawing, painting, and calligraphy in her work through the years. In 2008, Eloise’s interest was captured when she saw a TV show that inspired her. The artist on the show had painted a series of portraits of ill patients,  and then painted the same patients again after they had been treated and healed. Eloise thought that it was an art project worth pursuing so she contacted Sherri Wright of Arts Illiana who  encouraged her to write a grant about it, and to ask the Maple Center to sponsor her, with Melissa Geib assisting with the project. The Portrait Project officially began when she received an Arts Illiana Grant. Eloise selected four subjects whom she painted twice. Eloise enjoyed meeting the participants; each suffered from a chronic illness and each had a passion for living.

Eloise will share her experiences in the project as well as what the Wabash Valley Art Guild is doing to promote the arts in our region.


MARCH 16, 2018

Susan Baley – Why a Painting is Like a Pizza: A Guide to Understanding and Enjoying Modern Art

Susan is the Executive Director and Curator of the Swope Art Museum. She came to us in 2015, after 20 years of working in museum education at the University of Oklahoma’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art. She has also taught Art History and Art Appreciation at the college and high school level, as well as museum studies at the University of Oklahoma. Susan was originally from Missouri and says that she was happy to return to the Midwest after many years in the Southwest.  She has a BFA in Art History from Wichita State University, and an MA in Art History from the Univeristy of Oklahoma. Her thesis was on the American sculptor, Alice Aycock and the relationship between Aycock’s writing and her large-scale sculptures. Susan has a passion for making museums more relevant to their communities and for increasing engagement with communities in an inclusive way. We think she is doing a great job of it!

Susan’s talk will focus on art appreciation from the perspective of one of her favorite books: Why a Painting is like a Pizza: A Guide to Understanding and Enjoying Modern Art by Nancy Heller.  Both the author and Susan are cooks who often see the parallels between cooking and art making!  The talk will consider how we can refine the analytical tools we already possess to understand and enjoy even the most unfamiliar paintings and sculptures.


APRIL 20, 2018

Michael and Susan Tingley – Partners in Art

Michael and Susan are both active and talented artists in the Wabash Valley. The title of their talk is Partners in Art.

Michael R. Tingley, MFA, has held exhibitions since 1975 in New York City, Philadelphia, Connecticut, Cologne Germany, Illinois and Indiana.   He spent many years in New York as a graphic designer for numerous magazines and as an art handler and art fabricator for galleries and museums.  He is a former professor of Art History, Fine Arts, Drawing, Painting, 2D and 3D design, Typography and Graphic Design for Oakland City University, at Rockville Correctional Facility in Indiana, and was former co-owner of Caboodle Cupcakes in Terre Haute, Indiana.  Michael is now a full time artist and the Gallery Director for Arts Illiana.

Susan Tingley received a BFA from Indiana State University, began a career as a graphic designer and has exhibited paintings and sculptures in Indiana and Illinois.  After spending 28 years in healthcare, Susan created a new venture, Caboodle Cupcakes, in Terre Haute. They were some of the best cupcakes you could ever eat! Susan and Michael also kept art in the cupcake business, with occasional art shows with cupcakes as the subject matter! Susan is now the Development Director for the Vigo County Historical Museum and continues to find time to pursue her passion for making art.

Over the last 20 years, Susan and Michael have been partners on many levels.  As artists, they have shared more than a studio. They have also shared a sensibility and passion that comes through in their work as individual artists. Michael and Susan have taken their joy in creating art to new levels through their collaboration and consultation.


MAY 18, 2018

David and Kathy Brentlinger

Our May meeting will be held at the home of David and Kathy Brentlinger, because the the annual 5th grade tours will be taking place in the Swope Art Museum.  For those of you who haven’t had a chance to visit their West Terre Haute residence, you are definitely in for a treat!  The grounds are absolutely beautiful, and the pool house and garden areas are unique with the addition of some of David’s wonderful finds from old buildings that were discarded and then adapted by him.  David built the home between 1982 and 1987 and one can see the labor of love in its design.  The interior contains so many beautiful things for you to discover when you visit.  David was chosen to receive the Marilyn Wheeler Pendergast Outstanding Dedication to the Swope Art Museum Award in 2015 and Kathy serves as President of the Swope’s Board of Managers. We are so glad to have this couple giving their energies to the Swope. Plan to make this meeting on May 18th. You will be glad you did.