February 17, 2012
“Couched Constructions”: Art and Sustainability

A couch: a place to rest your weary body after a day’s work.  Your TV’s best friend.  Occasionally, at the end of its lifespan, a curbside accessory.  Determined to stop this lifestyle of buy, use, throw away, the Herron School of Art and Design and the Jewish Community Center are presenting two new exhibits entitled “Couched Constructions” and “Couched Constructions 2”.

These new exhibits, the brainchildren of Wes Janz, professor of architecture at Ball State University as well as the curator of the exhibit, will challenge the current view of a couch’s purpose.  All of the couches in the exhibits were found on the curbsides of Indianapolis and were saved from their previous fate of life in a landfill and instead were turned into works of art for the public to enjoy.  The exhibits aim to do more, however than just show what a recycled couch can look like – it challenges the viewer to explore their own lives and how one views the objects and values he possesses.

In conjunction with the exhibit, Herron and the Jewish Community Center are co-sponsoring several events that will run throughout the duration of the exhibit.  The opening of “Couched Constructions” takes place on March 2 at Herron, and throughout the day there are several events including a panel discussion, lunch with the participants, and conversations with the artists.  Additionally, throughout the run of the exhibits,  there will be a film screening of the documentary “Waste Land” and a moderated panel discussion led by IndyTalks entitled “City Under the Radar: Neighborhoods on the Edge“.

In Indianapolis’ quest for sustainability, these exhibits challenge viewers to hold themselves accountable for the amount of waste that they create as well as inspire new and innovative ways of thinking when it comes to daily life.  By having a visual example of the possibilities, Hoosiers can see just what they are truly capable of.

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