Indiana art gives lesson into state’s history

12,000 CDs reach 15 feet into the air give a view into some of Indiana's history. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The old saying goes, “art is in the eye of the beholder.” But sometimes, when it comes to art, there’s more than meets the eye. That’s the case at a special bicentennial exhibit at the Indiana State Museum.

It’s a chance for you to see 200 years of history in a most unusual way.  A piece by Indiana based artist Leticia Bajuyo that will greet you as you enter the Indiana State Museum from the garage. She calls it “Event Horizons”.

“An event horizon is the point of no return in a black hole or in a vortex form. So there’s a point of no return where you can’t come back,” Bajuyo said.

It’s a work of art with 12,000 CDs, reaching 15 feet into the air. The CD art celebrates Indiana’s Bicentennial.

“The CD I find very particular to Indiana. The first CD pressed in the U.S. was pressed in Terre Haute. and so I find that really important to be able to recognize,” says Bajuyo.

“Event Horizons” is just one piece of an art show at the Indiana State Museum called “200 Years of Indiana Art, A Cultural Legacy.”  A history lesson of sorts that is anything but ordinary.

Walk into a separate all white exhibit space and hanging in the middle of it is a black box, with designs cut into it.  A single light bulb sits in the center of the box.  It projects unusual designs on all of the walls.  The piece, by Anila Agha, a Pakistani born, now Indiana artist, is called “Intersections.”

“It’s not a piece that you are just looking at. But you actually become part of the piece as you walk thru the space,” says Mark Ruschman, Chief Curator of Fine Arts at the Indiana State Museum.

Ruschman put together the exhibition that features more than 100 works of art, spanning 200 years of Indiana artists.  Art is history says Ruschman.

“It’s no more evident than it is in this exhibition. You know you start off with the very earliest works right when we became a state in 1816. Then we work our way thru the exhibition up to pieces that were literally made in the last 30 days,” Ruschman said.

Works like Leticia Bajuyo’s  “Event Horizons” are designed to pull.you in and show you history as only art and artists can do.

“Having this exposition together in the state museum which brings all those different areas, whether it’s natural history, technology and the arts together in one space, I think it’s pretty profound and very important,” said Bajuyo’s.

The exhibition runs through Oct. 2. It is included with museum admission.

The public installations, like “Event Horizons”, are on view free to the public, without having to tour the museum or pay admission. For more details on the exhibit, click here.

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