Indianapolis. The power of paper as art is on full display in Long-Sharp Gallery's latest exhibition, Page One.
Fourteen artists from around the world have embraced the artistic medium of paper and redefined its boundaries, creating sculptures, portraits, collages, abstractions and more at this downtown Indianapolis gallery.
The first page supports paper art by taking the fragility of the material and turning it upside down, inviting viewers to confront its subtle power, and that medium is art.
On the first page of the Long-Sharp Gallery catalog, Rhonda Long-Sharp wrote, among other things:
"The story on the first page, told by the fourteen artists participating in this exhibition, is that paper as a medium is the same as canvas, metal and stone… bearing witness to the artists who take up the fragile piece of paper . . and through their vision to value it, redefine it and make it their own”.
"It's a broad view, not a narrow one."
Nicole Petrantoni is one of 14 artists to make the headlines. She is an experimental paper installation artist who began her career in printmaking and book art.
"The printing industry and the book arts were basically like second-class citizens of the art world," Petrantoni told WRTV. "Painting, sculpture, that's what everyone thinks of art with a capital A."
Petrantoni states that paper artists do not have a long history in the art world, let alone in the world of fine art.
Rhonda Long-Sharp, art collector, gallery builder and owner of Long-Sharp Gallery, says paper is only just beginning to be taken seriously in the emerging art world.
“Actually, recently you also see auction houses offering stationery auctions. There are many art galleries dedicated to stationery. We now see museums that talk about craftsmanship and design,” Long Sharp said.
According to Long-Sharp, art made or used on paper was seen as an equal in the art world because the industry and its patrons were different.
Long Sharp said, “Art was just a canvas made by men. And generally, men who look good have some kind of experience. And that's what's changed." "It's a broad view, not a narrow one."
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"It's kind of magical what you can do with paper," Petrantoni said. He continued. "Everyday things we throw away, bills and posters, your office paper, artists are doing really innovative things."
Petrantoni, whose work was represented by Long-Sharp while living in Prague, says the Indy-based gallery really supports the movement and its artists. "It was a dream come true," she says, when Long-Sharp found her work through online exposure during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and asked her to feature.
"I immediately thought, 'These are people who take my work and want to support and support my work,' Petrantoni said. And you don't find that in a gallery every day."
Ambitious and conscious choices. Front page layout
From the idea of the front page to the opening night on Friday, October 7, 2022, Long Sharp and her daughter, Nicole ML Sharp, the show's director, lasted three years.
In 2019, mother and daughter saw the work of Colombian artist Miriam Londono for the first time and were fascinated by her paper sculptures. It was then that Long-Sharp and ML Sharp began to search the world for other artists and creators on paper.
“We were looking for artists who created in different ways,” Long Sharp said. “Then look at what they did and how they did it. So prints, lens prints, sculptures, photographs, collages. There are all sorts of aspects to making art with paper and then compositions. Also look at the bottom of the line. , if desired, different types of compositions."
Long-Sharp said the homepage is an ambitious project and every detail of the exhibit has been carefully thought out.
Long-Sharp features at least half of the artists on the front page, while the other half are invited. Featured artists also represent a wide range of career rankings, with some considered established artists and others emerging.
"We made a conscious decision not to limit the choice of artists," Long Sharp said.
From the art style of the paper to the themes behind each piece, the front page is quite varied.
"I hope there's a bit of awe, and I think a lot of people can get that feeling when they get close to a lot of the work in the front page gallery," Petrantoni said. .
For anyone who lives in a front-page gallery, watches gallery films for every piece featured, or peruses the gallery catalog, Long-Sharp hopes to elevate the art in some way.
When the Long-Sharp Gallery premiered at the 2012 Masterpiece London Art Fair, Long-Sharp spent a lot of time helping Indianapolis people write.
After a series of verbal errors, Long-Sharp decided he would start giving the city a boost, saying, “Well, really, Indianapolis is the art mecca of the world. And if you come back here next year and remember. and you say, "Indianapolis is the art mecca of the world." We offer you a bottle of champagne. We delivered on those promises,” Long Sharp said. For some , (Indie) is the artistic mecca of the world,” he joked. I assure you we heard it in London.
In the prestigious art world, cities like New York, Paris, Los Angeles and Palm Beach come to mind, but realistically, Indy… not so much.
"I would say Indianapolis is the mecca of the art world, we should be, but we're not," Long Sharp said.
However, Long-Sharp notes that Indianapolis is experiencing an explosion in its art scene like never before. A fine art connoisseur points out some of the many organizations that raise the bar for independent artists and bring artists to town, such as PATTERN Magazine, GANGGANG, Newfields and the Indie Jazz Fest.
For example, BUTTER held its second annual show. The city hosted two new music festivals this year. Emerging and established artists from across the country are represented in galleries across the city, from the Indianapolis Art Center to the Heron School of Art and Design and now Ginbridge Fieldhouse.
“If you pick an artistic field, this city has it,” Long Sharp said.
Long-Sharp urges anyone walking on First Friday, posing for a photo in front of the mural or attending a performance to think about the artists. We hope art lovers will consider investing in art and supporting the careers of these artists.
"Imagine the world without art", long and intense challenges.
"It's gray," he said. "It's just gray." "And you know we need them (artists), let them know, let them hear about you.
To learn more about the front page, you can request a detailed gallery catalog or view it online at www.longsharpgallery.com. You can make an appointment to view the front page by emailing [email protected] To know more about Nicole Pietrantoni, you can visit her website or Instagram.
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WRTV digital correspondent Shakkira Harris can be reached at [email protected] You can follow him on Twitter @shakkirasays.