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About This Event


Couched Constructions will move viewers beyond their comfy seats

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 at Herron School of Art and Design on March 2, will challenge the viewer’s concept of the couch’s purpose. The reception begins at 5:00 p.m. outside the Berkshire, Reese and Paul Galleries in Herron’s Grand Hall. The exhibition will run through April 19.

Wes Janz, a professor of architecture at Ball State University and the exhibition’s curator said, “the show considers both our casual, almost unconscious, life with couches even as it reveals potentials to be found in the architecture of the couch.”

Janz has been recognized as an outstanding teacher. The cadre of artists—many of them architects by training—who have been invited to join him in providing the installations will use couches retrieved from curbsides of Indianapolis as their raw materials.

Exhibition participants

Anne Filson and Gary Rohrbacher, University of Kentucky

Rod Fluker, Tuskegee University

Timothy Gray, Ball State University

Charmalee Gunaratne (Kansas City), Kate Lengacher and Rebecca Staley (Indianapolis)

Wes Janz with Tayler Mikosz and Ashley VanMeter

Kevin Lair, IU-Columbus and

Paul Puzzello, Oksana Tretyak, and Wil Marquez, Indianapolis

Cory Robinson, Herron School of Art & Design, Indianapolis

Janice Shimizu and Josh Coggeshall, Ball State University

Sean Starowitz, Kansas City

Interest in the sustainability issues examined by Couched Constructions has triggered a full slate of companion activities.

Opening Day Events

Workshops and a panel discussion around themes of the exhibition, such as structures built from found materials, will take place at Herron throughout opening day:

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Found Objects Workshop led by

Ana de Brea, Ball State University

Andrea Swartz, Ball State University

Donna Sink, Architect/Educator, Indianapolis

Parker Williams, Graduate Architect, Indianapolis

Shaun Krenzke, Architect, Crown Point

12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch with participants

1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Conversation with Couched Constructions exhibitors and Discarded Indianapolis photo study artists Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorova, Transylvania University.

Reading by Brian Willingham, author of Soul of a Black Cop.

All events are free and open to the public, but reservations are kindly requested. For more information or to R.S.V.P., please contact Herron Gallery Director Paula Katz at or at 317-278-9419.

Other Related Events

The Fourth World Film Festival

An entertaining, yet thought-provoking films with social justice content in a 24-hour movie marathon from 7:00 p.m. Friday, March 30 to 7:00 p.m. Saturday, March 31. Selected by Olon Dotson, Ball State University

Films may include but are not limited to:

The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: an Urban History

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai Sidewalk

In The Soup

Killer of Sheep

The Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975

Down By Law

Darwin's Nightmare


Lalee's Kin: The Legacy of Cotton

Dirty Pretty Things


When The Levees Broke: A Requiem In Four Acts

Smoke Signals

Couched Constructions: Part 2

The Jewish Community Center will host Couched Constructions: Part 2 March 6 through May 4 at the JCC Art Gallery, 6701 Hoover Rd. The opening reception is Wednesday, March 21, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

IndyTalks Collaboration

JCC will also host a moderated panel including local Couched Constructions artists on March 28.

“This is such an exciting opportunity for partnerships on so many levels,” said Katz. “I was blown away when I saw Wes’s exhibition Big/Small at the Swope Museum in Terre Haute. The depth of exploration achieved in sustainability issues was tremendous. I knew this was the type of learning I wanted to bring to the Indianapolis Community.

“It is thrilling to have so many participants,” she continued, “and the joy (and fear) of the unknown outcome of having completely original new projects. All the pieces for the show are still in production at this point. It is also delightful to work with the JCC and share this innovative show with them. A big thank you goes to the Efroymson Family Fund and Jeremy Efroymson, a CICF fund, for their support of and interest in the project.”

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