Arts of Resilience
August 4 - September 4
Gayle Karch Cook Center Process Gallery
Arts of Resilience features two complementary exhibitions from Cook Center partners as part of Indiana University’s Fall 2021 Themester: Resilience. The exhibitions are supported by the IU Arts and Humanities Council, Themester, the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, the Indiana Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Nature’s Hues: Inkmaking in Book History and Book Arts
Curated by Patricia Ingham and Elizabeth Hebbard.
For much of the history of writing, the reliance on natural materials for the creation of ink has been a convenience, an ideal, a constraint, and often a necessity. Some natural inks have been in continuous use for millennia, and the use of these ancient inks persists alongside texts inscribed with them, some of which are nearly as old. In the modern world, natural inkmaking is no longer a necessity, but instead a process of artistry, experimentation, and refined craft that engages both a sense of color and a sense of chemistry. Natural inkmaking also connects the book arts to annual cycles of growth, pruning, and harvesting; thoughtful and sustainable cultivation; and a purposeful attention to indigenous species and biomes.
The Book Lab is a research and maker space dedicated to the history of the book, book arts, and book design. This exhibition foregrounds the Book Lab's interest in the book as a material and cultural object, and the lab's current work cultivating an ink garden at IU's Hilltop Garden and Nature Center.
Traditional Arts and Resilience: Apprenticeships in Indiana during the Covid-19 Pandemic
Curated by Jon Kay.
The continued transmission of traditional skills and community knowledge to the next generation is precarious. Can a tradition bearer find an apprentice? Is the apprentice prepared to learn? During the Covid-19 Global Pandemic, as community life constricted, the continuation of some traditional arts seemed unsure. For traditional knowledge and skills to continue, it takes more than individual tenacity; it requires time and resources from the apprentice and master artist, commitment and support from their community, and a strong sense of intergenerational appreciation from all involved. However, the resilience of traditional arts today also often relies on individual and cultural adaptability.
Traditional Arts Indiana (TAI) works in communities throughout the state to help folk artists share their knowledge and skills through apprenticeships. This photographic exhibition explores the resilience of the traditional arts practiced by TAI’s apprenticeship teams, and how they adapted their approaches in order to teach and learn during the pandemic. Some apprenticeship teams met over Zoom, others wore masks and worked outside, and still other master artists apprenticed family members at home. The stories presented in this exhibition explore Traditional Arts Indiana’s Apprenticeship Program and the fragility and resilience of traditional arts during uncertain times.