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Now showing: A gallery tribute to 7 Purdue art profs lost in a short time
Plus, a Lindberg Road project up for final approval Wednesday. And U.S. Rep. Jim Banks is first in for ’24 U.S. Senate race that Mitch Daniels is pondering
Thanks to sponsor Stuart & Branigin for support to help make this edition of the Based in Lafayette reporting project possible.
NOW SHOWING: A GALLERY TRIBUTE TO 7 PURDUE ART PROFS LOST IN A SHORT TIME
It’s quite a tribute, now showing in the Rueff Galleries at Purdue, where families and curators have assembled the work of seven past members of the university’s art department who have died since 2019.
“Legacies: Remembering Foundational Art Department Faculty” went up late last week for a three-week stay in the Pao Hall space.
“These were colleagues and, really, big presences on campus and in the community,” Kathy Evans, a visual resources librarian in the Department of Art and Design, said. “It occurred to me just what we’d lost in the past few years. We needed to reflect that.”
Evans, who curated the exhibit, said the idea was to open space for pieces that showed the progress of work of faculty members who began Purdue careers in the former Creative Arts buildings and Matthews Hall on the north side of campus before Pao Hall opened in 2003.
“I liked the idea of having much of their work up, not just single pieces,” Evans said. “It feels abundant.”
The works shown include those of:
Laura Drake, an associate professor of industrial design who came to Purdue in the early-‘90s and specialized in sculptural furniture. She died in July 2022.
George Geahigan was on Purdue’s faculty from 1977 until he retired in 2010, diving into studio work in West Lafayette after being appointed a professor emeritus. He died in June 2021.
Robin Kraft was a professor at Purdue from 1994 until retiring in 2019. She taught courses in jewelry and metalwork. She died in September 2020.
Arne Kvaalen was on Purdue faculty from 1965 to 1993, teaching painting, drawing and some art history. He died in January 2021.
Al Pounders taught at Purdue from 1966 to 1996, his landscapes from the Italian countryside staples of solo shows across the country, including in Greater Lafayette. He died in November 2019.
Ralph Scarcelli taught painting, sculpture and drawing at Purdue for 50 years, retiring in 2006. He died in October 2022.
Linda Vanderkolk taught at Purdue from 1990 to 2019 as a graduate instructor and continuing lecturer. Her work included large mosaics and community installations seen across Greater Lafayette, including street pieces such as the “Family Farm Objects” sculpture at Fifth and Main streets in downtown Lafayette. She died in May 2021.
Sunny Miller, a Lafayette artist, helped gather pieces from her sister Linda Vanderkolk’s work for the exhibit.
“It’s been a labor of love for myself, and I’m sure for other family members,” Miller said.
LuAnn Lamie and Joanne Titolo, local artists, stopped by the show Tuesday afternoon, reminiscing about artists and professors they knew well from campus and the community.
“This was such a great idea,” Lamie said. “And done so well. You see pieces of a life’s work from all these people who happened to be colleagues. It’s just amazing.”
IF YOU GO: An opening reception for “Legacies: Remembering Foundational Art Department Faculty” will be 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, at the Rueff Galleries East and West, in Pao Hall, 552 W. Wood St. at Purdue. The gallery hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. weekdays. The exhibit runs through 5 p.m. Jan. 27.
$3.2M LINDBERG ROAD PROJECT GET FIRST OF TWO GREEN LIGHTS, AS CITY PRESSED TO PULL BACK
A month after some consternation from the city’s Redevelopment Commission about how bids came in over budget for a controversial reconstruction of a section of Lindberg Road, the city’s board of works on Tuesday approved the overage on what looks to be a $3.2 million project.
The board of works, which signs off on any number of administrative matters on a weekly basis, approved an agreement with White Construction, a firm that offered the low bid in January on a project to rebuild Lindberg Road, between Northwestern Avenue and Salisbury Street.
The board of works was called upon because the city planned to put $138,461 from a stormwater fund to supplement the $3.1 million the West Lafayette Redevelopment Commission had set aside for the work.
City Clerk Sana Booker, who heads the board of works, noted that members had been fielding emails and calls from residents in that three-block stretch of Lindberg Road, urging them to vote against the move.
The final call will come Wednesday morning, when the West Lafayette Redevelopment Commission meets and considers the bulk of the contract.
In January, that conversation got a bit awkward, when Redevelopment Commission members asked whether there had been enough work with residents before work started on removing trees to clear the way. They also asked whether the tree work locked the commission – which was overseeing payment of the project through tax increment financing funds – into paying for a bid that came in over the engineer’s estimate.
West Lafayette started designing an overhaul for the three-block stretch of Lindberg Road in 2014, with hopes of construction in 2018. The 2018 date was scuttled due to a lack of funding. During a neighborhood meeting in October 2022, after stakes went into yards to mark the city’s right-of-way, residents told city officials they’d figured their concerns about losing chunks of their yards and old trees got through to city officials when nothing came of the project four years ago.
Ben Anderson, the city’s public works director, has said the section was overdue for renovation and close to failing. He said the project will include two travel lanes, plus a parking lane. It will add a five-foot sidewalk on one side of the road and a 10-foot asphalt trail, connecting to the city’s trail system along Salisbury Street and Northwestern Avenue, on the other. The trail and sidewalk will be separated from the road by five-foot green space. The city also will make storm drainage improvements during the project.
In total, the project would take 56 feet of the city’s 70-foot right-of-way. The road is 40 feet wide now. Anderson said adjustments in where Duke Energy will place utility poles were made after the October meeting.
On Tuesday, Mayor John Dennis said the city stood by the project, which was being done in the city right-of-way and would improve the road, the sidewalk, connect the city’s trails and make the stretch compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“Remember, always (what’s) for the greater good,” Dennis said.
Anderson said utility line work is expected to start in the coming weeks and be done by April. Road construction will continue into the fall, closing that part of Lindberg Road during the summer break at West Lafayette schools.
WHAT’S NEXT: The West Lafayette Redevelopment Commission meets at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at West Lafayette City Hall, 222 N. Chauncey Ave.
JIM BANKS, FIRST IN FOR U.S. SENATE RUN
Those Club for Growth Action attack ads this weekend against Mitch Daniels and a potential bid for U.S. Senate in 2024 came into quick relief Tuesday, when U.S. Rep. Jim Banks made himself the first Republican into the field to replace Sen. Mike Braun. Club for Growth president David McIntosh, Donald Trump Jr., U.S. Reps. Greg Pence and Larry Bucshon of Indiana were among the hard right-leaning conservatives came out to back Banks – fresh from a weekend of touting his plans to instigate an “anti-woke caucus” in the U.S. House.
Daniels hasn’t made a move, two weeks after saying he was seriously considering a run, now that he’s retired as Purdue president. Banks’ allies were priming things to show that a run by the Indiana governor wouldn’t be a coronation.
Here are a few reads and views after Banks’ video announcement, that included references to abortion bans, critical race theory, transgender girls playing sports, border control and how he aligned with former President Donald Trump.
Indiana Capital Chronicle editor Niki Kelly noted that Banks “used the word conservative 20 times in a 10-minute interview” and the continued pushback among Daniels’ friends in this piece: “Banks makes U.S. Senate run official.”
Politico reporters Olivia Beavers and Burgess Everett opened with this: “The Indiana Senate race could perfectly encapsulate the Republican Party’s internal struggles after a disappointing midterm. Jim Banks is diving into it first.” Here’s the full piece, looking at what likely will be a safe GOP seat – just with what sort of Republican wins Indiana up in the air: “Banks’ shot: Rising conservative dives into Indiana Senate race.”
Washington Post reporter John Wagner had this: “Rep. Jim Banks, a Trump ally, announces bid for U.S. Senate in Indiana.”
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