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4th Annual Devotion Group Art Show Brings Out Devoted Fans

A tapestry of a fighter plane flown by Rocky of Rocky and Bullwinkle.

This past weekend was the opening night of the 4th Annual Devotion Art Show. Devotion, brainchild of Jeremy Sweet, artist and Associate Director of Indiana University's School of Fine Arts' Grunwald Gallery, combines art from many different sources and genres from all over Bloomington. Sweet's main purpose when creating the show was to deliver a more alternative art-viewing experience than what he had previously encountered in Bloomington.

Stuffy openings with people hovering around an appetizer table and then leaving after looking at the art for 5 minutes is not what I'm into. My goal is to show all kinds of mediums-to bring in the influences of all those different social groups, bring them together [so] they can appreciate each other in the same environment.

This year's show featured a variety of pieces from 15 different Bloomington artists, spanning almost every genre of art imaginable-from paintings and sculptures all the way to animated graphics and graffiti. Devotion artist and tattooist, Colin McClain said that it's the show's diversity that really gives the event a community feeling.

The main thing about Devotion that I like is the diversity of it. You have all these different kinds of people that are all coming together and taking in all these different styles of art, different aspects of the art, community, and just letting go of the whole formality of the art show. It's not really formal, it's always really cool and you…kind of get a feeling of community.

Devotion also coincided with the soft-opening of The Bloomington Clay Studio in the historic Fell's Building on West 4th Street. Currently, the building is undergoing a certain artistic renovation itself, headed by studio owner Daniel Evans and development coordinator Cynthia Brubaker.

We've been working at it a little bit at a time since basically May. Then when Jeremy Sweet wanted to put the Devotion show in here, that was really the catalyst that got things to the level where you see it this evening. This is our first event where we're open to the public, and we have this many people here…it's really great. It's really exciting to see all different age group levels of people-people here for the arts, people here just to see the building…I heard someone tonight say that it felt like something in New York, and we said…that's kind of what we're going for, but at the same time, I'm amazed that we were able to achieve this so quickly, but it was just lots of different kinds of people helping out.  - Brubaker

I came into this space and it was a mess. It's like, well, what are we going to do? Okay, we could do this, we could put drywall here, we could spread this out, take these things out…So I started inviting artists within two months all together, and here we go, the best show so far.  - Sweet

Due to the popularity of Devotion's opening, the typically one-night-only affair will now continue until Saturday, November 17th.

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