Paint Like Pollock projectIt’s not surprising I’ve been in a nostalgic mood lately given we’re at year end, but I didn’t want to write a big, corny retrospective on how important this past year’s events have shaped my life. It’s too pretentious and, well, no one would care but me.

However, I did want to take a quick look at all the art & culture-related activities I enjoyed in 2014 so that by this time next year, I can see if remembered to stop and smell as many roses. Like the wonderfully talented Grant Snider, I have this odd love/hate relationship with technology. It provides us with some many wonderful advantages, but at the same time, it can take us away from the most enriching experiences the world has to offer.

My hope is for 2015 to strike a perfect balance between the old and the new, the art and the science, the four walls and the open mind. So here’s my list of the roses I stopped to smell in 2014. Let’s make the ones for 2015 just as sweet.

Note: Art and culture come in many formats (music, theatre, comics, jewelry, lectures, stand up comedy — yes, that is an art and a skill). You will continue to see this concept celebrated in the New Year.

Play: East Side Story at Q Artistry in Irvington

Museum: The Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto to enjoy 3 unique exhibits

Film & Lecture: Billy Mills (Oglala/Lakota Sioux winner at the 1964 Olympics) discussion following presentation of Running Brave biopic at the Eiteljorg Museum

Bookstore: Visited and got lost inside The Book Loft in German Village in Columbus, OH (to great delight)

Supported National Artist: Purchased work by Grant Snider’s Incidental Comics in Wichita, KS

Comedy Show: Sinbad at Crackers Comedy Club in Broad Ripple

Festival: Walked around the Irvington Day Festival enjoying the sights and atmosphere of one of Indianapolis’ most endearing and unique neighborhoods

Casa Loma up on the hillMuseum: Visited Casa Loma in Toronto

Class: Jackson Pollock Pop-Up class at the Indianapolis Art Center where I painted my first piece mimicking Jackson Pollock’s technique

Play: Hair! produced by BOBDIREX at The Athenaeum

Lecture: Enjoyed “Celebrate Brasil! Expressions of the City: Street Art Discussion” at the Indianapolis Public Library – Central Branch

Local Concert: Bashiri Asad at The Chatterbox on Mass Ave

Festival: Enjoyed 7 plays at 10th Annual IndyFringe Theatre Festival on Mass Ave

Supported International Artist: Purchased jewelry from SomeMagic in Lithuania (Etsy shop)

Comedy Show: Jim Gaffigan at Indiana State Fair Coliseum

Museum: The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis for the Terra Cotta Warriors exhbit

Play: Does This Play Make My Butt Look Big one-woman show at Theatre On The Square on Mass Ave

Local Concert: Audiodacity at Birdy’s in North Midtown

Bookstore: Picked up 2 wonderful books on Canadian history and culture at Circus Books & Music in Toronto

Festival: Enjoyed the showcase “History of Indianapolis” by Herron Art School students at The Athenaeum during the Spirit & Place Festival

Indianapolis Jazz by DLWBook Signing & Lecture: Delighted to meet and discuss his new book Indianapolis Jazz by local historian David Leander Williams at The Kurt Vonnegut Library

Comedy Show: Sixteen Scandals by the Second City Revue improv troupe at Second City Toronto (loved it!)

Supported National Artist: Purchased art pieces from Gift2Give in San Diego, CA (Etsy shop)

Special Event: Saw the brilliant one-woman show Chita: A Legendary Celebration and met Chita Rivera herself at the Carmel Palladium

Play: Red at the Indiana Repertory Theatre

Bookstore: Finally visited new local periodicals shop PRINTtEXT in South Broad Ripple

Comedy Show: Dave Chappelle at The Egyptian Room (can’t think of a greater way to close out the new year)

Believe it or not, I’ve actually left a few events off the list. Why? Because I either didn’t enjoy them as much as I’d hoped (Garfunkel & Oates show), it was a “mixed” experience (Tommy Tune’s one-man show), or I didn’t follow through and complete the project (new salsa class). But hey, the point is I stepped away from the job, left my abode, and enjoyed a great variety of arts & culture finds in my community.

Plus, I grew as an artist and expanded my horizons even more. I regret not taking in any poet jams or attending more local concerts, but I went to more comedy concerts and I painted something other than furniture for the first time in years.

Now that I’ve looked back, I’m definitely interested in what 2015 has in store.

What culturally fascinating events are you hoping to take part in next year?