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Herron and JCC's 'Couched Constructions' Will Move Viewers Beyond their Comfy Seats


February 27, 2012

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  • Rob Bullock

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Sometimes a couch is just a piece of furniture and sometimes, through the eyes of a visionary, a couch becomes a source of alternative building materials, a commentary on our prodigious solid waste stream and a view into the lives of the most economically disadvantaged citizens of our city.

Couched Constructions, a new exhibit opening March 2, 2012, at Herron School of Art and Design’s Eskenazi Hall, 735 W. New York St.., will challenge the viewer’s concept of the couch’s purpose. The free public reception takes place from 5 to 8 p.m., March 2 outside the Berkshire, Reese and Paul Galleries in Herron’s Grand Hall. The exhibition continues through April 19.

Couched Constructions: Part 2 opens March 6 and runs through May 4 at the JCC. The public is invited to a reception on Wednesday, March 21, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. for complimentary refreshments and the opportunity to meet the artists in the JCC Art Gallery. The Arthur M. Glick Jewish Community Center is located at 6701 Hoover Rd. on the north side of Indianapolis.

The works in both shows are being created out of couches retrieved from the curbsides of Indianapolis. They are meant to be explored by visitors who may reconsider their relationships to conventional items and, in a broader sense, to the ephemera of our lives. The exhibits implore us to rethink the purposefulness of standard objects and to find ways to reuse them.

Wes Janz, professor of architecture at Ball State University and the exhibition’s curator, included a number of architects by training among the artists in both shows.

Herron Gallery Director Paula Katz said she was “blown away” by Janz’s exhibition Big/Small at the Swope Museum in Terre Haute. “The depth of exploration achieved in sustainability issues was tremendous,” she said. “I knew this was the type of learning I wanted to bring to Indianapolis.”

Visit for additional information about he Couched Constructions exhibits and companion events.