Artists organization celebrates silver anniversary

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Carmel artist Laura LaForge, right, with husband Jim Mitchell with a painting they worked together on. Mitchell made the wood panel and LaForge did the rest. (Submitted photo)

By Rick Morwick

Carmel resident Laura LaForge is a self-trained artist who eschewed formal training because art would never pay any bills. Or so she thought.

“I have never taken an art class because I was told I can’t make a living with art. However, here I am today, creating art full-time for the last 20 years,” said LaForge, a versatile artist whose work will be on display at the Stutz Artists Association Open House Silver Anniversary Celebration in Indianapolis April 26 to 28.

More than 60 studios filled with unique artwork will be showcased at the Stutz Business and Arts Center, 212 W. 10th St. The event kicks off April 26 with a Silver Celebration preview from 6:30 to 10 p.m., followed by the two-day Open House, 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. April 27 and 1 to 5 p.m. April 28.

Artists and the building, a 400,000-square-foot former car factory, will be adorned in silver. Each artist will have a unique work inspired by silver. Paintings, photography, furniture, sculptures, murals and jewelry are among the many items that will be on display and available for purchase.

LaForge, who works in several mediums, is participating in her 18th Stutz Open House. Her husband, Jim Mitchell, assists with some of her creations. Her daughter, Tayler Mitchell, is the inspiration for many of them.

“The options are endless, and I’m able to express my thoughts and ideas through art,” LaForge said. “I watch the world around me. My daughter is a huge muse in my paintings. I try to encourage women to see their beauty and gifts.”

A lifelong artist, LaForge, 49, works with acrylic paint, clay, glass, pumice and virtually any material that be crafted into art.

“I’ve been painting and drawing my entire life,” she said. “In fact, I was the only child allowed to paint during recess in kindergarten. A box of crayons were the world to me. I still love the smell of crayons.”

Sponsored by Raymond James, the Stutz Open House supports the Stutz Residence Program. Admission is $12. Tickets are available at the Stutz Business Office, 1060 N. Capital Avenue, Suite C200 in Indianapolis, or can be purchased online at stutzartists.com. Tickets are good for both days of the Open House.

The Stutz Artists Association is a nonprofit volunteer organization of more than 80 artists who work in the studios in the Stutz Business and Arts Center.

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