Award-winning Noblesville artist, Christine Merchent, has been selected for Meaningful Places, an Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (iMOCA) and Indiana Landmarks Exhibition.
Merchent's fine art photography work titled, Tacky and Beautiful, features an artistic perspective of iconic Syd's Bar and Grill and the Noblesville Courthouse.
The exhibition received 160 submissions from artists across the state, and Merchent's work was chosen along with 29 others. iMOCA and Indiana Landmarks' intention for this exhibition is to "celebrate meaningful Hoosier places."
"We are so proud of Christine's hard work, as well as her achievement of being accepted into iMOCA and Indiana Landmarks' exhibition. She is fast becoming recognized as a leader of the local arts community and has proven to be eager to help others achieve success, too," said Ailithir McGill, Nickel Plate Arts director. "Christine's dedication to her medium, her keen eye, and her enthusiasm have allowed her to create an impressive body of work."
In 2014, Merchent was recognized as a Top Ten Photographer for the State of Indiana. The Indianapolis Professional Photographer's Guild and the Indiana State Fair recognized her for overall print case score.
Most recently, in 2015, the Professional Photographer's of America (PPA) International Photographic Competition (IPC) recognized Merchent for her craft as well. While Merchent is not new to winning awards, this is her first museum acceptance.
A Noblesville resident since 1997, Merchent said she feels most at home when strolling the streets of downtown Noblesville, photographing all the city has to offer.
"There are so many wonderful and quirky contrasts in downtown Noblesville -- a lively city, where businesses are booming. Syd's is a favorite spot for me," Merchent said. "I tend to favor unconventional, not traditional. When I framed this shot, I knew it was a landscape that included everyone's favorite places."
What could be viewed as a controversial title, Tacky and Beautiful, is really intended to be up to those viewing the art come up with their own insight and perspective.
As Merchent worked through this particular piece of art, it started out as a color photograph. However, with too many competing colors, the end result was a black and white photograph that charmingly highlights the two quintessential downtown Noblesville structures.
"We are excited for iMOCA visitors to see Noblesville's two most iconic landmarks so beautifully captured," said Noblesville Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Bob DuBois.
Syd's Bar and Grill has been a Noblesville staple since 1945, and is a local favorite. It has been voted "Best Top 25 Bars in Indiana" by Indianapolis Monthly.
"We are proud of Noblesville artist, Christine Merchent. To be featured at iMOCA is something very cool for us," said Syd's owner, Rick Robison.
Meaningful Places was curated by Indiana Landmarks' President Marsh Davis, iMOCA's Executive Director Paula Katz, and Curatorial Associate Maureen Knoble. Photographs will remain on display through August 18, 2017. The events are free and open to the public at the Indiana Landmarks Center. For more information about this exhibition, visit https://www.indianalandmarks.org/event/meaningful-places-exhibit/.