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Past Exhibitions

The arts inspire. They engage the senses and evoke emotion. Provoke thought. The Arts enrich lives, portray the human condition and unleash the human spirit.

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79th Annual Wabash Valley Exhibition

November 3rd, 2023 - January 7, 2024

The Annual Wabash Valley Exhibition invites artists from six states – Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee – to share their artworks for consideration. Submitted pieces will be reviewed by a jury, with selected works being considered for awards. These chosen artworks will find a home within the walls of the respected Swope Art Museum during the exhibition.

Traditional Arts and Creative Identities

June 2-September 24, 2023

From a fourth-generation hoop net maker to a Zapotec weaver, this exhibition explores how makers from diverse communities throughout Indiana assert their personal and cultural identities through traditional arts. While nets, quilts, paperweights, weavings, and banjo tunes are creative expressions, they also communicate a maker’s sense of self and community. Each artist in the exhibition is a member of Traditional Arts Indiana’s Apprenticeship Program. Their work includes artforms long practiced in Indiana as well as traditions new to the state. This exhibition tells the story of how these artists are teaching their traditions to the next generation, which is perhaps the most complete expression of one’s cultural identity.

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William T. Turman Plein Air Exhibition

July 14-August 20, 2023 

The William T. Turman Plein Air Exhibition was the culminating show of our inaugural William T. Turman Plein Air Competition hosted in June. This exhibition included the winning artworks juried by John DenHouter at the conclusion of the event. All painting showcased the beauty of Vigo County and Terre Haute. This outdoor painting event is a tribute to William Turman, a preeminent plein air painter. Turman was the second director of the Swope Art Museum, and Chairman of the Indiana State University Art Department for 40 years. Turman was part of the rich history of Indiana landscape painters including T.C. Steele, William Merritt Chase, and William Forsyth.

Two Things Can Be True

by Susan Bryant
April 7 — June 30, 2023

I'm interested in the dualities in our lives, and how they might be explored and expressed through the landscape and hand gestures. I am easily astonished. While photographing the southern landscape, I'm often surprised and astonished by how quickly nature can change from comforting to threatening and that each of these conditions are imbued with beauty and mystery. Light and darkness are the primary dualities in nature that become metaphors for human emotion. On my road trips I often lose my way on back roads and capture these experiences as evidence of my personal journey. My most recent work is a series of still-lifes using hands as metaphors for prayer and grace, receiving and acceptance, healing and recovery and the duality of letting go and being held. I collect objects. The hands I collect (which make up little tableaux all around my home) communicate something about who I am, how I feel, and what I think about in ways that words often fail. I can’t imagine a better way for me to reveal emotions, experiences, moments of awe or enlightenment or fear or grace. My camera is my voice.

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Drawing Conclusions

by Cheryl H. Hahn
January 20 — April 2, 2023

The artists, Cheryl Hahn states, "My work depicts organic, biomorphic shapes enfolded within dynamic, colorful compositions that allude to landscape, botanical growth, and abundance.  The mixed media-on-wood paintings and works on paper depict forms that appear to be tumbling, rolling, swirling, and clustering together, while at the same time releasing an animating energy. The pieces submitted here reference water, wind and earth. However, the goal is not to imitate nature, but to connect with it in a more spiritual way; thus capturing the alchemy of light, color, form and pattern of intangible life forces that transcend what we see as the “real” world. The end result is a series of paintings and drawings that illustrate a complex “organic surrealism.” I relate to harmonic and hidden energies that inform, support and breathe life into all that is around us. All is in motion for me; nothing stands still. Many of the works are in a state of “becoming” but there is also the dual nature involving deconstructing…. All of it grows from an organic source. As we become more distanced from that source, I feel that work such as mine can help to replenish the missing parts of feeling connected to nature."

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Curious Vessel

by Melody Evans
January 20 — March 26, 2023

Melody Evans studied for four years at the San Antonio School of Art and Craft and started her career as a potter but soon moved into making sculptures, large-scale installations and drawings with collage and digital manipulations. This change coincided with her pursuit of a Master’s degree in the influential area of Northern California under the mentorship of nationally acclaimed artist, Robert Brady. She has received numerous awards in her career; including first place in the National Visions in Clay.  Her drawings have also been awarded in several regional shows in St. Louis, MO area, where she now resides. She was represented by the notable Northern California gallery, Solomon Dubnick, until its retirement. Her work is in numerous public and private collections, including the Moog Collection at the Racine Art Museum, the Paul F. Dauer Ceramic Collection, the Sony Kamm International T-pot collection, and the permanent collection at the William and Florence Schmidt Art Center Museum.   In the midwest region she has large-scale permanent installations at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, Alton, IL and the New St. Mary’s Hospital in Jefferson City, MO.   She is also an educator and has taught ceramics in many institutions and venues. 

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Looking for an exhibition that isn't listed? Email us at info@swope.org

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