The Shopportunist: Friday’s Special Events

A design-publication release party, and Zionsville’s edgy side.
The seventh installment of Commercial Article comes out Friday, telling the story of yet another influential Hoosier designer most people have never heard of. This mini biography (pictured) focuses on Pendleton native Walter Dorwin Teague, called “the dean of industrial design” and responsible for Kodak cameras, Marmon vehicles, and much of the 1930s World’s Fairs. His firm still exists, in Seattle, with Boeing as a client. Printtext (652 E. 52nd St., 317-910-8203) hosts a release party Friday, Aug. 22, from 6 to 9 p.m.
Quietly, though, the designers behind Commercial Article booklets are becoming worthy of their own edition. Graphic artists James and Jon Sholly, owners of the Midtown firm Commercial Artisan, chronicle Indiana design history with style and verve—and often understated genius. The issue about Marshall Studios pottery unfolded into a poster of the company’s most famous lamp, featured in a historic Museum of Modern Art exhibit in 1953. The poster included the phrase “Kruschev [sic] is a bum”—which the Marshall designers etched into the base of a lamp they created for the U.S. embassy in Moscow. The Shollys appreciate the nuances of their subjects’ work and personalities, and seem inspired by them. Yet with every lush, under-appreciated issue, Commercial Article grows as an example of life imitating art. Or is it the other way around?
Zionsville’s Shop the Bricks event, also Aug. 22 from 6 to 9 p.m., isn’t as homespun as it sounds. Featured retailers include James Dant, a fashion-forward menswear boutique in Irvington; Carmel’s Pillow Talk lingerie; Grey Market Wine in Zionsville; and shopping trucks Retro 101 and Bizzy Boutique. They’ll unpack merchandise in front of Robert Goodman Jewelers (106 N. Main St., 317-733-9170), which always has something edgy and unusual in stock. For instance, this is where we learned that men are loving meteorite wedding bands these days.