Frost Brown Todd (FBT) is pleased to announce that it has formed a partnership with area artists, bringing local art pieces into its corporate environment. The partnership was initiated by Kyle Ragsdale, artist and independent curator for the project.
“Local art contributes to a sense of community pride. It’s exciting that community developers have started using culture and the arts as a means for improving society’s overall health and quality. It allows for a creative way to engage residents in the process of community renewal,” he says.
By partnering with one of the city’s law firms, Ragsdale is taking his mission to a new level.
“We might be considered ‘improbable partners,’ but by teaming up with the corporate community – and in this instance, a law firm like Frost Brown Todd – we get the opportunity to break into new territory and introduce our art to people who otherwise may never come into contact with local artists,” he says.
For FBT, the idea of bringing in art came as the office was undergoing renovations to create a comfortable and inviting area for attorneys to meet with their clients and to hold educational and social events. A grand opening of its “Victory Circle” meeting space and outdoor terrace was held in early June, after several months of reconstruction and repair. Many of the firm’s attorneys had come into contact with Ragsdale through FBT’s involvement with the Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT) – for several years, the firm has been a major supporter of IRT, where Ragsdale contributes original artwork for the season’s shows and plays.
“We are invested in Indianapolis – not only in our own office and business, but in the city as a whole,” says Heather Wilson, FBT Indianapolis Member-in-Charge. “Bringing local art into our own space is just another way we are supporting and partnering with our community,” she says.
Every two to three months, Ragsdale will select an artist whose work will be on display in FBT’s office in the Capital Center South Tower. The kick-off exhibit is a collection by Kate Oberreich, an Indianapolis native and second-generation artist, whose art was featured in the 20th Century Fox film “The Fault in our Stars.” With a love of texture and symbolism, Oberreich mixes painting, drawing, collage and anything else that will “stick.”
“This is a wonderful opportunity for me to be seen in a different and unexpected arena. Art-embellished offices are of course not uncommon, but these displays are more like gallery exhibitions and showcase art by artists who live and work right here in Indy,” says Oberreich.
Both Ragsdale and Oberreich are painters at the Harrison Center for the Arts (HCA), which has been an integral part of the Indianapolis arts community since before its formal launch as a non-profit in 2003. Host of dozens of artists and arts organizations, and organizer of the annual Independent Music and Arts Festival (IMAF), HCA has surfaced as the vivacious center for both the city’s budding talent and its art supporters. With four galleries, “First Friday” events and a mission to renew the city through cultural initiatives, the Harrison Center drew some 44,000 visitors last year.
The art on display at Victory Circle is available for purchase – an additional perk for artists who often make financial sacrifices to pursue their talents. By providing a non-threatening and relationship-focused channel between up-and-coming artists and patrons through partnerships like the one with FBT, the Indianapolis arts community has again proven itself a national model for the integration of local art in the community.