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ELEVEN RECOGNIZED BY STATE AS NEWEST INDIANA ARTISANS

 
Including the work of these 11, the Indiana Artisan brand is
now defined by the art and food of 345 Artisans in
67 Indiana counties, and all welcome this new group.

(Dec. 16, 2016) Blackberry and Single Origin Artisanal honeys from bees along the Ohio River, Classic Sweet Dijon Vinaigrette and three other varieties made by one of Indy’s prominent chefs, maple syrup delicately infused with vanilla, star anise and cinnamon in Tipton County, and potato chips sliced fresh and cooked in peanut oil are products from the four food producers whose work is now part of the Indiana Artisan brand and who, themselves, are now recognized by the State as an Indiana Artisan.

The four joined seven artists, whose work also was just announced as part of the Indiana Artisan brand. Twice in 2016, experts in all aspects of art, fine craft and food served on panels that reviewed applications from Indiana’s highest-quality artists and food producers.

The panelists review applications individually online, then meet to discuss them, review samples of each applicant’s work, and decide what truly is the best coming from Indiana today. Every panel is comprised of new and different reviewers from around the state, so each review is unique in its approach and perspective.

Art panels are a balance of artists and craftspeople, art educators, gallery owners and directors, collectors, museum staff, and others with considerable insight into art and fine craft. Food panels include dieticians, chefs, sommeliers and cicerones, food writers and bloggers, food safety experts, culinary educators, food retailers, packaging/labeling experts, nutritionists, and others with expertise in Indiana’s food-related regulations. Recent panels selected the following work for its exceptionally high quality.

       web-studio04• New Castle’s Kerry Moncrieff added more than exceptional leatherwork to the art, fine craft
          and foods created by the nearly 350 Hoosiers recognized as an Indiana Artisan. He added a
          county. Kerry, whose interest in leatherwork began when, embracing his Scottish ancestry,
          he became a kilt wearer, is the first Indiana Artisan from Henry County. Dissatisfied with
          commercially available sporrans, he used his skills as an artist to create his own. He says
          making just one was not enough, and the more sporrans he made, the more he realized how           much he enjoyed leatherwork (pictured, left).

      • Prior to the recent review, Indiana Artisans hailed from 65 Indiana counties. Kerry made
          it 66, and Sherry Studebaker added yet another. In the little Adams County town of Geneva,
          Sherry weaves exceptional textiles – exceptional because she has been at the craft for
          nearly 40 years. Her grandfather, a weaver, taught her his methods, and most of what she           creates today is woven on the loom that belonged to him.

       web-trap-paduak-square• Building a loom is very likely a project Bloomington’s Nathan Hunter would take on. Trained
          as a classical pianist, and still active in music, Nathan says the originality and central theme of
          his work (pictured, right) comes from his career as a classical musician. It is a way of creating
          art or music that he calls “sculpted counterpoint,” a concept where first there is an idea,
          then there is a response or counterpoint to the idea. The rest of the piece, be it music or
          fine furniture made from Indiana hardwoods, grows out of the interplay of the ideas.

       web-berry-bowl• Jeffersonville’s Jennie DiBeneditto has lots of
          ideas. She designs print and digital
          publications. She paints murals and designs
          typefaces and corporate logos. She’s an
          accomplished photographer, website designer and jewelry maker. But it’s her pottery           (pictured, left) that was recognized by the state and earned her the Indiana Artisan           designation. Jennie’s work is visually appealing, well-crafted and whimsical. She says her
          biggest honor as a potter is when someone tells her they enjoy coffee out of her mug           every morning or always use her bowl first.

       web-5-email-fly• At first glance, Lynne Medsker’s mixed media
          work (pictured, right) looks like a watercolor.
          Looking deeper, there is a lot more to it. Using a batik process in her rural Morgan County studio, Lynne’s two-dimensional work is created on thin, strong sheets of eco-friendly, handmade paper. After drawing a design, she adds color with India inks that are then protected with a layer of melted wax. Areas unprotected by the wax receive splashes of colors from inks and liquid watercolors. When those dry, another layer of liquid wax is applied and, once it dries, the piece is crumpled to develop lines and cracks in the wax layers, opening areas that create random lines, designs and patterns on the surface. The rest of the process involves newsprint, ironing and further work with pen, ink and paint. The outcome is as unique as the process, and it’s no wonder Lynne was one of only 11 applicants selected this fall for the Indiana Artisan honor.

web-mailcar       • Kendall Reeves, owner of Bloomington’s Gallery 406, has been honored with the Fuji
          Masterpiece Award, three Kodak Gallery awards and numerous Silver Awards from           Professional Photographers of Indiana, but he says awards don’t mean much to him. To           this photographer, who has lived in Bloomington his entire life and whose work           (pictured, left) focuses on “things that have seen better days, Americana, subjects like           ghost towns, abandoned buildings, and old trucks and cars in woods and fields,” an           artist whose hands touch every part of the process – from processing, printing,           mounting, and framing, the real award comes when someone buys his art.

       • Photographers aren’t the only artists concerned with focus. Indianapolis-based jeweler Micah
          Kirby lets his materials be the main focus, using the color and warmth of various woods           from Indiana to incorporate color, texture and line to his unique work. A Herron School           of Art and Design graduate, with a degree in woodworking and sculpture, he combines the           two areas with a focus on high quality craftsmanship in his work.

       • Larry Carman might define craftsmanship via what he does with an Indiana-grown chipping potato. The work of four food artisans became
          part of the Indiana Artisan brand as a result of this jury review, and it just might be enough to emphasize the web-mike-gerig-infused-group first word of Larry’s Amazing
          Potato Chip Company. Made from unpeeled potatoes cooked in peanut oil, Larry’s chips,           made daily in Indianapolis’ City Market, get their flavor from an extra step in the           process, one called “batch frying.”

       • Mike Gerig and his daughter know a lot about small batches. The duo produces its own
          Indiana maple syrup from 1,000 taps in Tipton County maple trees and infuse it with spice.
          Their maple spice infusions (pictured, right) are one of, if not the only, products of their           kind made in Indiana. They say while the most obvious use is as a premium, local, natural
          pancake/waffle topping, the flavor enhancements enable use in less traditional ways. The           cinnamon-infused, which has an enormous cinnamon stick inside the bottle, makes a           phenomenal ice cream topping. And some of their customers use the uniquely flavored anise           infusion in Asian dishes and glazes.

web-kevin-bohman-artisinal       • Kevin Bohman’s hives are along the Ohio River, and his blackberry honey is not infused.
          Rather, the bees making the honey mainly pollinate blackberry bushes. At the end of the           pollination season, the honey is harvested, providing a truly unique flavor. Kevin’s raw honey,
          comb honey and Single Origin Artisanal Honey (pictured, left) also juried in, and Single
          Origin has a unique story. “We never know when a hive will create a uniquely flavored           honey,” Kevin said. “Around the shop, we refer to this as ‘yummy honey.’ It just doesn’t seem
          fair to blend this distinct honey with the rest. It is bottled separately and marked with
          a vintage tag listing the apiary, year and jar number. The making is limited and special,
          and this honey truly reflects the blossoms of the special Indiana areas from which our bees
          forage.” Bohman Bee Company is based in Hanover.

       web-jeff-bricker-14368912_1802942976616196_7692324369091635865_n• Chef Jeff Bricker has been with Ivy Tech’s
           culinary department for nearly 15 years, now chairing its Hospitality Program. And it’s fair to say he’s been busier than a bee creating what he calls “Vinaigrettes with No Regrets.” The Johnson County-based entrepreneur’s four all-natural varieties (pictured, right) are made from his own recipes, with non-GMO ingredients, no preservatives, low-sodium, and are low-carb, gluten-free and dairy-free; yet full of flavor. His Classic Sweet Dijon, Creamy Garlic Herb, Sunny Honey Balsamic, and Raspberry Champagne are designed to provide a more natural, healthy option to commercial salad dressings and marinades, using healthy oils honey sourced in Indiana.

In 2010, a Resolution of the Indiana Legislature tasked Indiana Artisan with identifying, recognizing and promoting the state’s highest-quality art and foods. Since 2008, it has worked with the state’s highest-quality Artisans, helping them to expand their businesses while leveraging their work to create a brand that defines Indiana by its exceptional art and foods. Including the work of these 11 new Artisans, the brand is now defined by the art and food of 345 Artisans in 67 Indiana counties, and all welcome this new group.

Indiana Artisan jury panels will meet again in September, 2017, with the online application available here on the website beginning in mid-January.