The Stutz Logo
Greg Hull

Indianapolis artist Greg Hull is pictured with his kinetic sculpture, "Breath," in the parking garage atrium at Indianapolis International Airport. (Photo: Michelle Pemberton/IndyStar file photo)

Stutz exhibit focuses on the art of giving back in Indy

Maureen C. Gilmer, maureen.gilmer@indystar.com
Republished From: IndyStar - July 29, 2016
Original article here.

Twenty years ago, Greg Hull was the quintessential struggling artist, working out of his garage, sharing space with his wife's car.

A gift from The Stutz Artists Association changed all that. Hull was the first artist awarded a residency in the Stutz Building, an artist community established in a space that once housed luxury automobiles.

"For me, it was huge," said Hull, 53. "My wife, daughter and I had just moved here from Dallas. I didn't know many people and wasn't connected in the arts community. They immediately welcomed me."

Since 1996, the association has offered studio space valued at approximately $6,000 to one or two artists each year, making it one of the largest grants from a local arts organization offered to a working artist in Central Indiana.

“Before venture capital and crowdfunding, our team at the Stutz had an idea to set up a program to inspire emerging artists," said Turner Woodard, owner of The Stutz Business and Arts Center. "Now, nearly 30 artists have found their place in the world in part because of this residency program.”

Hull stayed at the Stutz for several years, and now is an associate professor of sculpture at Herron School of Art and Design. He is among artists invited to be part of a special exhibition: "Coming Back Home: 20th Anniversary of the Stutz Residency Program," which opens Aug. 5, as part of the IDADA First Friday Art Tour.

A free opening night reception will be held from 5-9 p.m. at The Stutz Business and Arts Center, Raymond James Art Gallery, 212 W. 10th St., B110. Donations are accepted to support the residency program. The exhibition will remain on view from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday through Aug. 26.

Artists awarded the residency have been invited to participate in the exhibition, which will include photography, oils, watercolors, sculpture and mobiles. In September, the 2015-16 artists-in-residence will host a gallery exhibition, and the new residency winners will be announced.

Hull said he feels an obligation to give back in the artist community because of what it has given him, and he encourages people to consider applying for the residency if possible.

"It allows you to find your footing in a supportive community. I look at that list of artists who have come through, and I'm honored to be included."

Woodard, a businessman and artist himself, acknowledged that buying the old car factory and turning it into a business/artist space 20-plus years ago was "a big leap of faith."

"But what I really knew was that this factory shouldn't be torn down," he said. "I had heard about similar ideas in New York and Paris, and it became a way to give back. So often, these artists paint out of their houses or wherever they can. They don't have the ability to interact with each other and share ideas."

The 400,000-square-foot building is now is home to more than 80 artists, sculptors, photographers, designers, architects and craftsmen.

Hull, who has gone on to win distinguished fellowships and exhibit his work nationally at museums, galleries and nontraditional spaces (including Indianapolis International Airport), said the residency allowed him to grow in a supportive environment.

After that formative experience, he said, "you try to carry your weight with that community." He described Indianapolis as a vibrant arts community, adding, "Arts are a great barometer for the health of a city."

For more information on the Stutz Artists Association, visit stutzartists.com. To learn about the residency program, visit stutzartists.com/residency.html.