2017 Artists’ Projects at 605 Tacoma Avenue
A History of Building Structures
People + Property Series: History
Materials: house wrap, OSB sheathing, woven fiberglass insulation, felt
After observing houses being built and remodeled on the Near Eastside, Chris Hill became interested in the materials just beneath the exterior siding. He came to view insulation and protective wrapping not just as materials for keeping out wind and water, but also as metaphors for the way housing has been used to keep out people and activities who have been considered unwanted. By pairing construction materials with text from historical documents, Hill’s work raised questions about who has been excluded or included by housing practices and other societal structures.
Flexible Fence: A Soft Spot
HLP People + Property Series: Space
Materials: Chain-link fence, found objects
Fences divide space. They separate the yard from the street. They mark the boundaries of private property. They say, “don’t come in unless you belong.” John Clark’s collaborative project challenged that idea. Through playful experimentation with weaving, wrapping, and cutting, he and the HLP community members who joined him transformed the chain-link fence in front of 605 Tacoma Ave. from a barrier into an invitation.
Brittany Pendleton, Bailey Shannon
People and Property Series: Wellness
Materials: Assorted fabric, compostable plates and utensils, cardstock, spoons, and more
The Spoonful Meal was a potluck dinner for 50 members of the HLP community. At the center of the event was a 100-foot-long table cloth that reflected the many perspectives that come together at HLP by combining a range of found fabrics, including linens that once belonged to Pendleton’s great aunt. Each place setting included a take-home card with a recipe from one of HLP’s community members. By sharing food and conversation in the HLP yard, guests at the Spoonful Meal celebrated their collective communities and food cultures.
People and Property Series: Equity
Materials: Metal leaf, screws, nylon thread
Who controls the narrative about a place? Andrea Jandernoa explored this question with an installation that represented multiple narratives in response to the physical characteristics of the HLP house. In the first phase of this installation, Jandernoa wrapped thread to connect screws she put in pre-existing holes in the house. In doing so, she wove a story about the place from her perspective as a self-described outsider. She then cut away the thread, challenging the legitimacy of an outsider defining 605 Tacoma Ave. or St. Clair Place, and leaving the screws to be re-connected from another point of view. For the installation’s second phase, she invited HLP neighbors to re-wrap the thread in order to tell a new story from their insider perspective. Their contribution remained on view for the duration of the 2017 season.
Parade2017 (HLP Adaptation)
Choreography: Rebecca Pappas
Dancers: Lauren Curry, Stephanie Metzger, Rachel Newbrough, Rachael Wiecorek, and HLP community members
People and Property Series: Movement
The Porch Party on September 26, 2017 featured a joyful dance event that invited participants to connect with the HLP house in new ways by moving, and watching others move, in and around 605 Tacoma Ave. Choreographer Rebecca Pappas debuted Parade2017 in Indianapolis’s Garfield Park at the beginning of Summer 2017. She then adapted the piece for the specific site and community of House Life Project. It included choreographed movement performed by professional dancers in sparkling costumes, as well as participatory elements that other HLP community members brought to life. All who joined us that day shared in a celebration of of community movement, resistance, dance, and history.
Sounds We Return Are New Again
People and Property Series: Change
Materials: Music box, paper loop, hole puncher, interactive computer system
As HLP wrapped up the 2017 season, we considered the process of shifting, adapting, and remaining constant through an interactive sound installation designed by Jordan Munson. At the heart of the installation was a music box. HLP community members were invited to punch holes in a long paper loop that determined the melody that the music box played. At our final porch party on October 17, Munson used digital technology to manipulate the melody, creating an ever-growing sonic texture that reflected the many layers of change that have occurred in and around HLP.
My Pull-Up Room
Materials: pink and blue house paint
Early transforms interior rooms by painting the walls with saturated colors. He selected the closet because it is one of the few secluded spaces in this shotgun style house, and because it is good for doing pull-ups. Tinsley has been a HLP artist for 2 years and is a Near Eastside neighbor.
Materials: bike trailers, wagons, rain barrel, gardening tools and supplies
Bailey created the Mobile Garden as a community green space on wheels for food production, education, creativity, and neighborhood engagement. One focus of HLP is to explore the realities of both mobility and vacancy within a neighborhood and, with that in mind, take on the challenge of making mobile and accessible the activities—like gardening—that might be considered impossible in certain areas.
Zavier Garth, Bernny Owens, and Christopher Williams
Materials: recycled house paint, spray paint
Zaviera, Bernny and Christopher created this series of paintings using spray paint, recycled house paint, cardboard stencils and tape resist. They turned each boarded up window into a two-part piece, with corresponding images on each side. Garth and Williams are Near Eastside artists and musicians who have been involved in the HLP since 2016, when they lived next to the second HLP site. Owens’ passion for art helps him confront life’s challenges.
Porch Party Portraits
Throughout the 2017 HLP season, Bowersock has been photographing people at Tuesday evening porch parties. Making portraits was a way for him to connect with the individuals who spend time at the house.
What Does it Mean to be a Good Neighbor?
Materials: paint, paper, washi tape, sharpie markers, table and chairs
Throughout the duration of the House Life Project, our activities were often guided by ideas of neighborliness. For example, when making decisions about an upcoming event, the HLP team might have asked, “What would we do if we were inviting some neighbors over?” Throughout the summer of 2017, the HLP community had a series of conversations about what it means to be a good neighbor. The results were shared at an exhibition at the University of Indianapolis in fall 2017
People + Property Zines
Meredith Brickell, Jingo de la Rosa, Danielle Graves, Bailey Shannon, CoraLyn Turentine
House Life Project zinemakers documented the ways that everyday activities in our community and at the HLP connect to the People + Property themes.
What Does it Mean to be a Good Friend?
This “short list” emerged from a workshop led by TK and Conscious of the Bondfire Radio (NYC) and Near Eastside resident Amy Gastelum. After being introduced to the hardware, software, and structure necessary to make radio pieces, local youth decided to focus the idea on friendship. They interviewed one another, as well as their nearby neighbors, to create this piece about being a good friend.