Meet the Artists

August Kochanowski

My work has a hand-made sensibility – always focusing on manipulating materials and using them in an unconventional manner.

Traditionally a picnic was an informal meal eaten outdoors, often while sitting on the grass.  Manners and civilization brought us the picnic table.

Sod Tables highlights people’s relationship to nature in an urban setting.  Locally harvested sod was used to line the wooden picnic tables’ tops and benches.  The placement on the concrete of the terrace emphasizes the greenery that we generally take for granted in our daily lives.

Description of Installation

Sod Tables: I am proposing to install four wooden picnic tables that highlight the concept of people’s relationship to nature in an urban setting by emphasizing organic matter in an unconventional manner. I foresee people using these tables and benches to interact more directly with the grass in a way that brings the ground to our level.

I would like to harvest my own locally sourced sod and place sections on the surfaces generally used by people, such as the seating and tabletops. I envision this installation being placed just below the Seybert stairs on the concrete of the terrace. This would emphasize the greenery [that we generally take for granted in our daily lives] against a manmade material. I imagine this arrangement in two rolls, side by side, resembling a square design.



Brenna Carroll

Brenna Carroll is a visual artist who lives and works in Indianapolis. She was born in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois in 1965 and grew up in the close knit industrial community of Flint, Michigan during the close of a thriving manufacturing era. After leaving Flint, she lived several years in southern California before moving to Indiana where she received BFA and MA degrees with focuses in ceramics and sculpture at Ball State University. She works primarily with clay media to create abstracted sculptural objects that bring together the concepts of protection and survival. Her work is influenced by minimal and industrial design and focuses on the expression of the human drive for preservation. She is currently pursuing a MFA in Ceramics at the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis.

Description of Installation

My proposed project for Installation Nation 2017 involves the orchestration of sound utilizing the pergola of the Seybert Trellis, the medium of ceramics and the movement of the wind. I plan to realize this project by constructing a collection of hanging bells made of kiln fired stoneware clay. The ceramic components for this installation would be similar in design and would be hand built with slabs of stoneware clay. A grouping of a minimum of seventeen bells would be fired to a density resulting in a moderate toned, soft pitched sound as they would move about in the wind. They would be unglazed to emphasize the natural texture and ivory color of the stoneware and to allow environment elements to create a weathered patina on the clay surface.

The bells would consist of two to three parts and strung and knotted with sturdy coir rope. Installation would involve suspending them between two pergola rafters using the same rope. All of the bells would hang from alternating rafters and allow unobtrusive passage along the walkway. The whole of the dangling ropes and bells would appear similar to draping vines of bell-shaped buds along the length of the Seybert Trellis.

The goal of this project is to transform the Seybert Trellis into a wind-driven instrument of sound. Although the Seybert Trellis is the preferred site, it is possible to adapt the proposal to other areas at the Indianapolis Art Center. Regardless of the location, my hope is that gentle melodies would result from the combined pitch of the ceramic bells and the rhythm of the sweeping wind. If given the opportunity to execute this installation, I also hope that it would create a pleasing auditory and visual atmosphere for the enjoyment of visitors to the Indianapolis Art Center.


Chad Eby

Chad wrangles type, pixels, circuits and designerly ways of knowing―and teaches the same to IUPUI students in the Visual Communication Design program at the Herron School of Art and Design. Formerly an assistant professor of art and design at Florida State University and a research engineer at the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, he’s never had a day so good that a cup of coffee wouldn’t have improved it.

Description of Installation

Antinodal is a sound installation that alters ambient audio in a subtle and playful way: it rewards careful listening and encourages being in-the-moment.
Two tripod-mounted bundles of ten pipes are carefully cut to lengths such that each tube resonates at a fundamental frequency within a two-octave pentatonic scale; when a participant is seated with her/his head between the flush ends of the bundles, the sonic environment is colored by the standing waves within the pipes. Different sounds in the environment and small shifts in the listener’s head position create an ever-evolving soundscape, almost like a backwards pipe organ.

The proposed piece is constructed of PVC pipe, sealed laser-cut plywood and 3D-printed plastic fittings; it also includes two photographic tripods for mounting/positioning and an IKEA outdoor chair. The proposed work would contain no electronics and require no power.


Cris Rivas


Emily Bennett

Emily Bennett is a recent MFA graduate from the Herron School of Art and Design. She regularly shows work in state and national juried exhibitions and her work has been featured in magazines such as Fiber Art Now Magazine, a quarterly print magazine for fiber arts and textiles. She has spent time as an artist in residence at the Guldagergaard International Art Center in Skaelskor Denmark and the Ox-Bow School of Art in Saugatuck Michigan. This month she received the Suzie Coles Memorial Grant from the Tippecanoe Arts Federation in Lafayette Indiana and plans to use the funds to renovate her home studio space to create new sculpture. She has been married for five years and shares a home with her husband and dog in Terre Haute Indiana where she plans to pursue her future career in art. Her work can be seen at or on Instagram under the name emmybenne.

Description of Installation

I would love to create at least a dozen tiny colorful steel houses to populate the top of a small hill on the grounds of Installation Nation. Some will be stacked tall (like the six in the photo), some stacks will be short, and some houses will exist on their own. These houses will be a vibrant contrast to the natural green surroundings and will create a little community that children and adults can wander through together.


 Gautam Rao

Gautam Rao is an artist based in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is an Associate Professor of Art at Butler University and a Fellow at the Desmond Tutu Center for Peace, Reconciliation, and Global Justice. Originally from Washington D.C., he’s also lived in Bangalore, India.

Recent exhibit venues include artist-designed mini-golf at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Art Director’s Club in New York, the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, The South Bend Art Museum, The Swope Art Museum, the Queens Museum of Art, the Asia Society and Museum, the Hammond Museum and Typeforce 5 in Chicago.

He is particularly interested in the intersection between art, typography and play. His distinctions include a Susan Coslett Cromwell Traveling Fellowship, and awards from the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts.

You can visit his website at

Description of Installation

Whatever happens to you, happens to me. Co-opting the language of authority and bureaucracy, this piece embodies a message of solidarity and community. The lettering is all original, a subtly subversive act: typography as an art form, graphic design as protest.

The current political climate in the United States is divisive and our foreign policy is changing to follow a go it alone philosophy. Against this backdrop, these words resonate and reinforce the idea that we are all in this together.  Other Americans losing healthcare effects me directly as well. We are used to seeing commands on signs, telling us to stop’ or to yield.’ This piece uses beautiful lettering to convey a more empowered and humane message.

This new work was created this year. The signs are aluminum, with steel poles. The piece can be configured in numerous ways. Viewers could see one sign at a time, as in a journey, or they could be able to see all of them at once. The signs individually are standalone works of art. Seen in isolation, the sign that says whatever could be read humorously. It is only when you’ve read all the signs that the full meaning becomes apparent. The install process for these signs is simple and straightforward.


 Hannah Fox

Most recently I have been crocheting copper wire to create hollow organic forms which encapsulate small objects of personal significance, melting found glass through these and other crocheted copper wire pieces, and now working with a utilitarian material, 5-ply jute twine, to weave an interactive large scale site-specific installation. Through these repetitive textile processes I am able to achieve quiet meditation and calm my overactive anxious mind. Doing so I become more at peace with myself and my apprehension for the current state of the world. I will complete my Masters of Fine Art from Herron School of Art and Design in the spring of 2018.

Description of Installation

I will be weaving the thick natural jute throughout the trees, using them as the loom, to create a space for calm retrospect and an interactive area where one can tie wishes, thoughts, or small drawings into the woven structure between the trees. I would like to weave a three sided space on the east end of the courtyard taking up half of the space, and a low ceiling across the remaining space, so that viewers may also hang their ideas or wishes from the roof of the piece. Budget allowing, I would like to place some second hand outdoor lounge furniture inside of these spaces so that one might relax and enjoy the shade on a hot summer day while contemplating the small pieces of paper blowing in the wind.

No nails or harm would come to the trees as I would only be using knots and the tension of the jute to hold the structure together. I have attempted pieces like this on a smaller scale and am comfortable the piece would withstand the elements.


Kylie Little


Michael Osheroff


 Toni Ridgway-Woodall

TL Ridgway is best known for her ability to express unique methods of storytelling in entryways and window exhibitions, more specifically with prints, handmade papers, and metals. She earned her BA in Art History at Herron School of Art and Design, and is currently pursuing her master’s in fine arts in printmaking.

Her body of work is a combination of individual endeavors, as well as, collaborative projects, that explore memory as a building block of identity through social, cultural, and personal methods of storytelling. “Pursuing creative expressions based on my own identity has allowed me to share my stories through multiple layers of meaning and materials.” Much of her work includes personalized themes and traditional techniques with a contemporary flare. She focuses on shattering expectations and breaking social norms through the exploration of rurality, connection(s) to place(s), and the perspectives of body image.

Description of Installation

I would like to proposal an interactive space that encourages storytelling narratives between communities, by creating a structure inspired by the traditional Native American wigwam. I would like to include a baseline for this narrative by including imagery and text based on local history. I will create a storyline derived from historical evidence and the oral tradition of Native groups comprised from academic resources.

I will construct the interior frame and exterior shell off site, and then re-assemble on the awarded location. I envision this structure in a grassy area (non-specific), and being created from natural, as well as manmade materials, such as branches and wood panels. This wigwam structure will have one open doorway facing the river, or the woodlands. I visualize this project measuring six to seven feet at its highest point, and approximately occupying a space ten to fourteen feet in diameter. This structure will be fastened by stakes, instead of the traditional excavation method.


 Virginia Kistler

Virginia Kistler was born in Newcomerstown, Ohio in 1976 and attended The Ohio State University and the Columbus College of Art and Design. She is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in sculpture and photography while using a variety of media—laser cut rubber, cnc router-cut plastic, and 3D printed plastic. She has shown work nationally and internationally. Most recently, she was commissioned by the Dayton Metro Library in Dayton, Ohio to create a site specific and suspended sculpture in the interior of the Northwest Branch. The project completion was March 2016. In May of 2016, she installed an interactive installation in the The Lange Family Experiencenter in Dayton Ohio’s Art Museum, the Dayton Art Institute. In 2012, she completed a sculpture commissioned by the Lincoln Motor Company for the North American International Auto Show.

Virginia lives and works in Gahanna, Ohio.


Description of Installation

My work explores the ubiquity of urban landscapes and the absence of biodiverse spaces in our daily lives. I create sculptural forms in an attempt to investigate their intersection and the repercussions associated with this shifting landscape.

For this installation, I will use mushroom spore prints as my inspiration.  Using photographed mushroom spore prints, I will create rubber forms that will hang from trees or one tree.  For an example of what a spore print looks like, please reference my work, Fungi Impression.  The spore print will be hand cut from commercial grade roofing rubber. The rubber will then be draped around an internal armature to give it shape.  Using stainless steel aircraft cable, the spore prints will then be attached to trees.   Additionally, I would like to illuminate the hanging forms, if electricity is available.


Vivian Visser


Francis W. Parker Montessori IPS #56 – Tyler Roberts

Francis W. Parker Montessori IPS #56 is located in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood on the near eastside of Indianapolis.  The neighborhood is considered high poverty and has many abandoned houses that are boarded up.  In an attempt to beautify the area, we are painting plywood to attach onto the existing boards.  Our Students will participate in the painting process to empower them to believe that their mark can be left on the neighborhood.  Through this beautification we hope to bring attention to the high volume of abandoned houses that can be a source of crime and a general blight on the neighborhood.   Our boards will be briefly installed at Indianapolis Arts Center to prove their longevity.