Summer break? What summer break?
Just as school is letting out, Art + Design Associate Professor Gautam Rao finds himself participating in three upcoming high-profile events.
The first is the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s miniature golf course, which opens to the public May 10. The course features 18 holes designed by local and regional artists, including Rao, who designed a hole called “Poplar Mechanics.” Rao’s design is inspired by Indiana’s woodlands and celebrates the state tree, tulip poplar, and the verdant forests of Brown County. It features abstract trees that recreate Indiana’s landscape in a subtle, artistic manner.
Rao also was one of 33 Indiana artists selected to design an artwork as part of the Welcome Race Fans project for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. These works will be exhibited all over town. His piece has appeared at the Indianapolis ArtsGarden, the International Airport and the Harrison Center for the Arts.
“For me, being an artist is about making a career and a life,” Rao said. “Finding a balance between the two can be a challenge. My project features original lettering and a typographic sculpture. And who better to welcome race fans than my twins, born in Indianapolis, little Hoosiers who we will be one in May. This photograph represents my artistic life in its entirety– my twins, and my art. Welcome Race Fans!”
And Rao will be exhibiting an outdoor artwork in this year’s Installation Nation at the Indianapolis Art Center. Installation Nation is a 23-day exhibition presented by Primary Colours featuring site-specific art installations to be located on the grounds of the Indianapolis Art Center’s 9.5 acre ArtsPark.
Rao joined the Butler faculty in 2004. He is originally from Washington, DC, and has also lived in Bangalore, India. He earned a BFA at Boston University in 1999 and an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 2002. His distinctions include a Susan Coslett Cromwell Traveling Fellowship, and awards from the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts.
He recently exhibited his work at the Art Director’s Club in New York, the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, The South Bend Art Museum, The Swope Art Museum, and in Typeforce 5 in Chicago.