It didn’t matter to the Arts Council of Indianapolis, which operates the gallery, whether the result was in-your-face, obscure, or subtle. For instance, a black-and-white picture of Bobby Knight shaking Donald Trump’s hand with partially transparent orange koi curled together in the background offers a more opaque take on the theme—one we couldn’t decipher ourselves. That’s why a guide will be available for bad Hoosiers who aren’t familiar with Vonnegut’s writing and art, as well as people who just need help understanding the more inscrutable pieces.
Some artists use Vonnegut-isms to complement the work—“So it goes,” “Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt,” and “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be,” are the references you’ll see most. Local artist William Denton Ray alludes to Vonnegut’s, uh, more iconic drawings. And more than a few works recall the horror of Slaughterhouse-Five.
Pieces range from $15 to $500, making them a sort of “gateway drug” to buying original art for people who have less disposable income, says gallery director Shannon Linker. But, for folks as rich as Mr. Rosewater, gift cards will be available for the first time this year.
As Vonnegut wrote in A Man Without a Country—if this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.