INDEX ART CENTER
IAC CO-DIRECTOR LOWELL CRAIG ON A MULTI-DISCIPLINARY PROGRAM & CHANGING TIME
INDEX ART CENTER (IAC) IS GOING TO BE TEN YEARS OLD IN 2019! WHAT PROMPTED YOU INITIALLY TO OPEN UP THIS TYPE OF PROGRAM?
Initially we started as Redsaw Gallery in 2005 at 585 Broad St. I was really inspired by the exhibitions that I had seen at Lux Magna. Amongst all of the work, I was really intrigued by the performance pieces by artists like Dave Lancet and Stephen Hutchins. When we started, I had a studio at 31 Central and at 585 Broad Street. There were four studios at 585 Broad Street at that point. In addition to me, there was my friends Seth Goodwin, Sebastian Patane, Lee Wells, and Matt DiLeo. Before the group of us were there, the vibe was different. There was a guy that had an underground nightclub in one spot, and a Limo guy that had an office (which later turned into Kedar Gallery). And of course there was an empty space (which later became Redsaw/Index). The empty space was in horrible shape. It was filled up to the ceiling with garbage At some point someone affiliated with NJPAC somehow got a hold of the landlord, and attempted to move into the space. He got a few dumpsters and completely emptied out the space. Then suddenly, He was gone- disappeared. No one knew what happened to him. So there it was, a clean, empty space: it was clear that it had to be a gallery! Asha Ganpat, Dave Smith, Seth Goodwin and I got to work and opened Redsaw just in time for the 2005 Open Doors Gallery Crawl. In early 2009 Redsaw closed and Index opened in the same space. In 2013, four years in, there was a massive fire at 585. And now, five years after that here we are! WHERE DID THE FILMIDEO PROGRAM COME FROM? WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE FILMS/VIDEOS YOU’VE SCREENED IN THE PAST?
Filmideo started with Redsaw in 2006. I was always inspired by a film festival that made the rounds to our University called the Black Mariah Film Festival. The program has been around for over a decade, with 2018 being the first time we took a hiatus. I hope to bring it back in 2019, because it’s one of my favorite events to host. Over the past ten plus years IAC has screened well over 10,000 independent films and videos of varying budgets and concepts. Looking back, I can’t pick a favorite- I’ve loved them all!
IAC HAS A FAIRLY DIVERSE RESIDENCY AND EXHIBITION PROGRAM AS FAR AS DISCIPLINES GO. WHAT IS IMPORTANT ABOUT HAVING SUCH A MULTI-DISCIPLINARY/ MULTI-MEDIA FRIENDLY SPACE?
Having a multidisciplinary program and space is important because art is made up of so many different disciplines. Every form
is interconnected. At Index, we try to be as open and intersecting as possible. We do have some practical limitations, because we
have 8’ high walls with open ceilings. We try to accommodate as much diversity as we can, while still maintaining an environment
that works well for everyone.
WHAT CHANGES OR CHALLENGES DO YOU SEE COMING UP IN THE NEAR FUTURE FOR THE LARGER NEWARK ARTS COMMUNITY?Developers and Gentrification. I worry that the same forces that helped create us- might destroy us. Although it may be helpful for
what ever organizations that can survive rental hikes, etc.