Beethoven’s birthday celebration sparks UIndy Art & Design creativity

Beethoven Sculpture at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

Beethoven Sculpture at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

A familiar face is on display at the Hilbert Circle Theatre in downtown Indianapolis, thanks to the hard work and collaboration of University of Indianapolis faculty and students. The Department of Art & Design was invited to create a hanging sculpture for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s 2020 Beethoven Series.

The work of art was constructed in celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday and the ISO’s accompanying yearlong concert series, featuring his major works and newly commissioned pieces. UIndy’s Art & Design department was recommended to the ISO by Laura Irmer ’06 (liberal studies) ’08 (M.A., English), a member of their staff who also teaches as an adjunct in the Department of English and the piece was designed and installed by James Viewegh, professor and department chair, and assistant professors Nathaniel Foley and Katherine Fries. They were given complete artistic freedom and chose to use a well-known portrait of Beethoven for the inspiration behind the sculpture.

Viewegh viewed the project as “a great opportunity for UIndy and the Department of Art & Design to partner with community organizations to create unique works of art for the public.” He went on to state that “projects like this provide Art & Design a venue to demonstrate the creative talent of our faculty and students and the community partner with cool artwork.”

This artwork adds to the Department of Art & Design’s portfolio of collaborations that extend the University’s impact on the city’s lively art scene. The River Fish sculpture, also constructed by Viewegh and Foley, these projects showcase  the ways UIndy faculty and students are teaming up with the surrounding community to make a difference and celebrate Indianapolis through art and design.

International student spotlight: Ghaida Abdelrahman ’21

The campus community celebrates International Education Month in October with a variety of performing arts, film, lectures and interactive events designed to showcase the rich benefits of intercultural exchange.

The University of Indianapolis is a ‘home away from home’ for international students from more than 55 countries, including Ghaida Abdelrahman ’21 (MA, Applied Sociology), who is a Fulbright Scholar from Palestine. 

Ghaida AbdelrahmanLearn about her path to the United States and what she found upon her arrival:

Q: How did you become a Fulbright Scholar?

A: As long as I can remember I wanted to be a Fulbrighter. In 9th grade, I applied for the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program and was the only student from my school who passed all the stages and exams to be selected. I was unable to send my official paper to finalize the procedure and since then my main goal was to be a Fulbrighter and study in the United States. I applied last year (in 2018) and the selection procedure took a whole year. It was full of stress, waiting, fear, and concern, but when I got their acceptance email on the 29th of May 2019 all those feelings turned into joy and happiness.

Q: Why did you decide to study at UIndy?

A: UIndy was one of my top choices since the very beginning. It has one of the best Applied Sociology graduate programs and staff in the United States, so it was an opportunity to learn from the best. What else would I ask for? 

Q: What’s your experience in the Applied Sociology program been like so far? 

A: I could describe my experience so far as new, great, joyful and interesting in a good way. Every day I learn new things that are expected and unexpected. Being a graduate student will open a lot of opportunities for me to be able to make a difference in my society back home as a Palestinian and as a female.

Q: What’s something you miss from home and something from the U.S. that you enjoy?

A: This may sound weird for some, but from home (besides missing my family and friends), I miss the food. My mother is the best cook ever, while I am not! I enjoy quite a lot of things in the U.S., but the most I enjoy here is freedom. I have never been that much free in moving from one place to another without being scared or jeopardized. I enjoy the feeling of doing whatever I wish, whenever I wish. It is priceless.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I would like to continue living the dream by obtaining a Ph.D. then get back home to apply what I have learned to make my country and society better by founding a research group that cares about what social problems we are facing and focused on how we can work to solve them and enhance the lives of our communities.  

Q: What advice would you have for other people considering an international education?

A: My advice would be, try to enjoy the experience as much as you can because the amount of knowledge and experience a person could get from being an international student is limitless. Be open to what you hear and see. It will be a lot different from what you learned or are used to, but take my word, it is your chance, maybe your only chance, to grow up in mind and soul. 

Are you an international student who is interested in studying at UIndy? Click to get started.

UIndy alum Kermit Berg returns for solo retrospective at Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center Gallery

Kermit Berg

Kermit Berg in Berlin

For Kermit Berg ’73, a solo retrospective exhibition at the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center Gallery will be a true homecoming. With a reception scheduled for 3-6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 27, and the exhibition through Oct. 25, the event traces the creative evolution of a world-renowned artist who began his remarkable journey at the University of Indianapolis.

Berg, who has displayed his work at galleries in Berlin, Munich, New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago and other cities around the world, said the exhibition is an overview of his work since 2000. Curating for the event turned out to be a task which naturally prompted a certain amount of reflection.

“I’m working with the concept of fluidity within the context of a career,” Berg explained. “I’ve found it important to not produce the same five photographs (more or less) for thirty years in a row. That hasn’t made some of the exhibiting that easy in terms of building an audience that will give new work serious examination and cross bridges with me. But I’ve had the extreme good fortune of finding an enthusiastic and loyal audience.”

"Lumiere Rouge" by Kermit Berg

“Lumiere Rouge” by Kermit Berg

Along with evolving creatively throughout his career, an international perspective informs Berg’s work. While he primarily operates from his studio in San Francisco, Berg has lived all over the world—most recently in Shanghai, China, and in Berlin for many years. His life in Berlin is the subject of a documentary being filmed by Iranian-born film producer Sahand Samani.

Capturing opportunities from his surroundings in a formal, intentional way is a hallmark of Berg’s approach. His portfolio of Shanghai, for example, explores historic two- and three-story buildings from the 1900s that are in critical danger of being destroyed.

“Just being able to photograph safely at night, that was quite a new option for me,” Berg said.

Berg began experimental digital printmaking in 1985 while a guest instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His prints are the result of the highest technology available for fine art photography. To quote the New York critic and author Laura Gilbert, “In his sparsely populated and dramatically lit facades, métro stations, passages and interiors, Berg creates exquisite urban atmospheres.” His series featuring Tokyo, Japan, layers graphics over photographic images for a dreamlike effect. 

The dominant grouping of photographs for the retrospective will be Berg’s work from “Nuclear Family/Wohlstandstraum,” a friendship story between a German and an American during World War Two, with some of the narrative taking place in Berg’s hometown of Bremen, Indiana. Other pieces will be selections from Berg’s journey as an artist, including two pieces from his German parliament project, which he was commissioned to create for the parliament’s permanent collection.

His work, “Epilogue,” which features photographs displayed in a grid of square frames, will serve as an exhibition anchor. “Frieze,” which will be displayed in a similar format to “Epilogue,” uses 25 photographs of domestic objects from mid-20th century Germany, such as white porcelain vases, shot in monochrome.

“I’m making them look more like artifacts from Egypt in terms of the photography,” Berg said.

The opportunity to exhibit at his alma mater took Berg by surprise, but he quickly began to get inspired by the idea of exhibiting in a university setting, where his work can be used as a teaching tool. He encourages viewers to look for themes in his work.

"Eames Coffee Table" by Kermit Berg

“Eames Coffee Table” by Kermit Berg

“The great thing about it is because it’s such a nice, large space, it let me think in terms of—for the first time in a long time—looking at some of my own work,” Berg said. “Where did something from 2000 show up again in 2017? It makes perfect sense for that observation to happen in a university setting.”

Berg said his leaving the German immigrant farmland community of Bremen to attend what was then known as Indiana Central College was his “first step on a world journey of discovery.” Berg’s experience of living in an international culture in a capital city “began my progress toward understanding what inclusiveness means in everyday life and help ground me as I later lived in New York, Berlin, and recently Shanghai. And now decades later we are still learning, or failing to learn, what is demanded of us to create a just and inclusive society.”


Solo Gallery Show: 2019 “The Photography of Kermit Berg”
Reception: Friday, September 27, 3 – 6 p.m.
Exhibition: September 27 – October 25
Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center Gallery
Free admission

Public health alumna leading drug-free coalition in Beech Grove

By the time Diana Hendricks enrolled in the Community Health Education undergraduate program at the University of Indianapolis in 2013, she had already raised a son, spent many years as an office administrator, and had been a wellness consultant and personal trainer for more than two decades.

Diana Hendricks“I enjoy my profession – it’s certainly gratifying, but something was missing,” Hendricks explained. “I wanted to make a difference in the health and wellbeing of my community, but I lacked the knowledge and credentials necessary to develop and implement quality public health programs.”

When Hendricks came across UIndy’s Community Health Education program, now called Public Health Promotion and Education, she knew she had found the right fit. After transferring credits from another institution, Hendricks was able to complete her degree in two years and later pass the exam to earn the national Community Health Education Specialist (CHES) certification. And just in time, because the Beech Grove Mayor’s Faith-Based Round Table asked Hendricks to develop a community substance misuse prevention program.

Hendricks took up the challenge and now serves as the executive director of the Beech Grove Comprehensive Drug-Free Coalition (BGCDFC). In that role, Hendricks has seen the coalition grow from eight to nearly 45 members and has been invited to sit on the Healthy Southside Initiative committee, INSTEP INDY initiative, and Drug-Free Marion County’s grant planning committee.

She credits her UIndy education, and Dr. Heidi Hancher-Rauch, direcor of the UIndy public health programs, with providing her the education and skills needed to successfully launch BGCDFC.

“I’ve led the coalition to conduct a needs assessment, make recommendations for programming, implement interventions and programs, and evaluate our efforts to fine-tune what we are doing to promote a substance-free community,” Hendricks said. “Along the way, I’ve valued being able to touch base with Dr. Rauch for her insights.”

Since BGCDFC began, it has been instrumental in the implementation of prevention curriculum for Beech Grove Community Schools fourth through ninth grades, dissemination of prevention resources at community festivals and health fairs, and offers community events on youth substance misuse and overdose awareness.

“The BGCDFC motto is ‘It takes a community, to keep a community healthy…together, we make a difference,’” Hendricks said. “In addition to our substance misuse prevention efforts, we are working to remove the stigma surrounding mental illness and addiction so those who need help will seek it without feeling shamed.”

The Indianapolis Quartet Celebrates Music of Latin America in May 5 performance

The Indianapolis Quartet

The Indianapolis Quartet

INDIANAPOLIS—The University of Indianapolis’ ensemble-in-residence, The Indianapolis Quartet, will be presenting an afternoon of music in celebration of Latin America. Violinists Zachary DePue and Joana Genova, violist Michael Isaac Strauss, and cellist Austin Huntington will perform in concert with guest artist and guitarist Nemanja Ostojić on Sunday, May 5 at Fountain Square’s event space, Grove Haus. This will be an afternoon of music, drinks and food with festivities beginning at 2:30 p.m. The concert of music by Latin composers begins at 3:00 p.m. Grove Haus is located at 1001 Hosbrook Avenue in Indianapolis.

For this family-friendly event, the Quartet and guest guitarist will perform a program for various groupings of small ensemble music for string instruments and guitar, from trios through quintets. The music is a mix of classical compositions and charming arrangements of traditional music, tangos, and familiar songs like “The Girl from Ipanema.” Classical selections feature music by prominent Mexican and South American composers, as well as composers of Latin heritage, including Alberto Ginastera, Manuel Ponce, Silvestre Revueltas, Gabriela Lena Frank, and Eduardo Angulo.

Tickets for adults are $15; students with ID: $10. Free entry for children six and under. A cash bar will be available. Tickets can be purchased online at Brown Paper Tickets and at the door.

Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit a Central Indiana Latin community organization.

More information about the event is available at and by contacting Joana Genova.

About The Indianapolis Quartet

The Indianapolis Quartet (TIQ) is ensemble-in-residence at the University of Indianapolis. Now approaching the end of their third season, violinists Zach DePue and Joana Genova, violist Michael Isaac Strauss, and cellist Austin Huntington continue to reach audiences through their moving and well-defined performance style, and earn critical praise for their interpretive skill. Their performances before capacity crowds in the University of Indianapolis’ 500-seat Ruth Lilly Hall at the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center have earned the quartet accolades for their unshakeable musical rapport. TIQ’s Chicago debut was in March 2018 and is planning its New York debut for March 2020. The quartet regularly collaborates with premier chamber musicians including such artists as pianist Orli Shaham, cellist Mark Kosower, and clarinetist Todd Palmer. This spring they record works by composer Frank Felice and the coming season will see a new quartet written for them by award-winning composer Robert Paterson. This season, TIQ has been heard on stages in Cincinnati, at the Indiana Landmarks Center, Butler University, Illinois Wesleyan University, and the Tippecanoe Chamber Music Society in Lafayette, Indiana, as well as in live performances on WISH-TV 8 and the National Public Radio station, WBAA 101.3 FM. This summer they perform on the Taconic Music Festival in Vermont and live on Vermont Public Radio. The Indianapolis Quartet is grateful for support from the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation.

About Nemanja Ostojić

Serbian guitarist Nemanja Ostojić is a highly decorated performer with numerous international competition wins including top prizes at the Niccolo Paganini Competition (Parma, Italy), Sinaya Guitar Competition (Sinaya, Romania), Volos Guitar Festival (Greece), Guitar Competition Anna Amalia (Weimar, Germany), Texas Guitar Competition (Dallas, TX), Schadt String Competition (Allentown, PA), South West Guitar Festival & International Competition (San Antonio, TX), Boston Guitar Fest, and the JoAnn Falleta International Guitar Concerto Competition (Buffalo, NY). He has since performed on four continents and, as a soloist, he has performed with the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra (Ankara, Turkey), Buffalo Philharmonic, Athens (Greece) Chamber Orchestra, Belgrade Philharmonic, and the Allentown Symphony. Ostojić received his Bachelor’s Degree in music from the University of Belgrade where he studied with Professor Srdjan Tosic. Ostojić then completed a Master’s Degree, Artist Diploma, and Doctorate in Musical Arts at the Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University under the guidance of Ernesto Bitetti. He currently serves on the faculties of Franklin University and the University of Indianapolis.


Judge James Osborn speaks at PLSA Judicial Lecture Series

Judge James Osborn

Judge James Osborn

Marion County Superior Court Judge James Osborn will speak at the University of Indianapolis as a featured guest of the Pre-Law Student Association (PLSA) Judicial Lecture Series, 7 p.m., April 9, 2019, in UIndy Hall C in the Schwitzer Student Center. L/P credit is available and registration is encouraged.

Judge Osborn’s professional experiences have lent him extensive knowledge about the jury trial process. He has served on the Marion County Superior Court for over ten years. During this time, he has sat for many years on the Judicial Conference of Indiana Jury Committee and currently serves as the Judicial Supervisor of the Court’s Jury Services Department. Prior to joining the bench, Judge Osborn served as a prosecutor and public defender in Marion County as well as worked in the Indiana Office of Attorney General.  

“Jury trials are the cornerstone of the judicial system in the United States and a hallmark of self-government,” Judge Osborn said. “A jury of one’s peers is, literally, the people governing the people.  Consequently, the jury trial process plays a fundamental role in the delivery of justice and maintaining a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

The PLSA Judicial Lecture Series benefits students interested in law and government and offers the University community a venue to learn more about Indiana state government. David Root, assistant professor of political science and pre-law advisor, said hearing from judges brings the law to life for students so that they can understand the workings of the real world.

“Additionally, because judges handle so many different kinds of cases on the bench, they refer to a wide range of situations as they explain what they do. In this respect, I’m excited for students to hear some of the factual scenarios Judge Osborn has encountered as he describes his expertise of the jury trial process,” Root said.

Previous speakers in the PLSA Judicial Lecture Series include Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush, who provided the inaugural lecture in 2018, and Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Michael Shurn ’71. Topics included the important role that University of Indianapolis students will play in shaping Indiana’s future in the coming years, in particular those looking to enter the legal field.

National and state health leaders visit University of Indianapolis for Public Health Day event

INDIANAPOLIS—As the nation observes National Public Health Week during the first week of April, the University of Indianapolis will host the inaugural Public Health Day Expo and Celebration on Friday, April 5, 2019, featuring a public health fair and discussions with thought leaders from the public health sector.

Dr. Judith Monroe

Dr. Judith Monroe

Dr. Judith Monroe, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation, and Dr. Kristina Box, Indiana State Health Commissioner, will provide remarks and participate in question-and-answer sessions. The event will be held from 9:00 a.m. to noon in the main lobby and the R.B. Annis Theatre, Room 138, of the Health Pavilion at 1643 Hanna Ave., University of Indianapolis. The event is free of charge and registration is encouraged.

Organizing the event is Dr. Heidi Hancher-Rauch, associate professor and director of the Public Health Program. She said the theme of the discussions will focus on the collective impact of partnerships to reduce health inequities.

“One of the great things about public health, but also one of the biggest challenges is that public health specialists are working under so many different job titles and for so many different organizations. If we work in our silos as professionals, we miss out on the types of community collaborations that could help move us forward in addressing health equity and other health needs,” Hancher-Rauch said.

As leader of the CDC Foundation, Dr. Monroe works with philanthropic organizations, private entities and individuals to help CDC have greater impact protecting the health, safety and security of America and the world. Her lecture, “Improving health equity through public-private partnerships,” will explain the importance of those partnerships and how to achieve collective impact. Dr. Monroe, who served as Indiana State Health Commissioner from 2005 to 2010, will also discuss health equity and health disparities especially in Indiana and touch on the importance of workforce development.

“We must start any and all conversation around public health with the knowledge that progress does not occur in a silo or without collaboration, whether it be through conducting research, implementing education programs, recommending policies or administering public health services,” said Dr. Monroe. “Individuals, groups and organizations can have greater positive impact and can accomplish more collectively than individually.”

Another theme that speakers will explore is that health is not just an individual issue, but a community issue. Through programs such as the 500 Cities project, a first-of-its-kind health data analysis, the CDC Foundation works with the CDC and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to determine estimates for chronic disease risk factors. That type of data allows cities and health departments to understand the healthcare needs of the population.

Dr. Kristina Box

Dr. Kristina Box

Making the most out of collaborative initiatives is a key goal for Dr. Kristina Box, who has served in her role as Indiana State Health Commissioner since 2017. Her work includes building the first multi-disciplinary women’s center in the Community Health Network and developing critical partnerships with area children’s hospitals to improve care and decrease health care costs.

“Indiana faces a number of pressing health challenges, such as the opioid epidemic, infant mortality, tobacco use and obesity. No one entity can solve these problems alone, but by working together at the state, federal and local level, we can improve outcomes and achieve better physical, mental and financial health for our entire state,” said Dr. Box.

Learn more about the Public Health Day Expo and Celebration.

Robert Edsel shares story of Monuments Men in Penrod Lecture at University of Indianapolis

PRES_19_MonumentsMen_FacebookSharedImage_1200x630A small group of men and women were tasked with saving precious works of art from certain destruction in the waning months of the Second World War. By 1951, they had located and returned more than 4 million cultural objects stolen by Hitler and the Nazis. Their story had nearly been forgotten when it caught the attention of author and researcher Robert Edsel more than twenty years ago.

After the publication of four books and a Hollywood film adaptation starring George Clooney, Edsel continues to tell the story of “The Monuments Men,” and their painstaking and dangerous work to preserve thousands of years of culture. He will discuss their efforts, as well the work to document and recover lost works of art through the organization he founded in 2007, Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, during a 7:30 p.m. lecture, Thursday, March 28, 2019, at the Ruth Lilly Performance Hall in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center, University of Indianapolis. Admission is free of charge and registration is encouraged.

The lecture, titled, “The Monuments Men: Anthropological Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History,” describes the race against time as a special force of museum curators, art historians and architects from fourteen countries scoured Europe looking for works of art that Nazi forces had confiscated from private citizens and museums.

One of Edsel’s goals is to expand awareness of “who the Monuments men and women were and what their roles were during World War II, and the truly epic achievements they had during the most destructive conflict in history,” he explained.

From questions about who we are as Americans to the role of art and culture in defining civilization, Edsel said, “there are so many lessons in what took place 70 years ago that have an opportunity to be reminded of who we are today.”

Robert Edsel's research has resulted in four book publications and a Hollywood film adaptation.

Robert Edsel’s research has resulted in four book publications and a Hollywood film adaptation.

Questions from the audience are welcome. “I’m always extremely interested in hearing questions and observations from those in the audience about the story historically, but also about what’s going on today and what their thoughts and concerns are about the future,” Edsel said.

Initially driven by curiosity, Edsel spent 15 years tracking down the surviving Monuments men and women. While some of them had been interviewed before, Edsel said up until that point, the focus tended to be on the crimes of the Nazis and not the good work of the Monuments group.

“The fullness of what they’d accomplished had not been shared,” Edsel said. “My focus was talking about what the good guys did. They were willing to put on military uniforms and go into harm’s way to do something they thought was a noble endeavor and important to the future of civilization.”

Edsel interviewed 20 Monuments men and women and went on to develop friendships with them. He also interviewed their family members as part of his research.

Those interviews, he said, “were beyond insightful. They were really the epiphany that got me further engaged because I realized their story hadn’t been told to a broad audience. It’s resulted in relationships that continue to this day.”

The final part of the story has yet to be written, Edsel noted, with hundreds of thousands of objects still missing. The Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, which received the National Humanities Medal from President George W. Bush in 2007, has led the effort to locate items and return them to their rightful owners. Edsel’s presentations, books and television programs have resulted in more than 100 leads now being pursued by Foundation staff.

The Foundation’s high-profile discoveries include the “Hitler Albums,” four brown leather albums that the Nazis used to catalog stolen works of art, adding to the 39 albums that were already known to researchers.

“Research is at the core of what we do and it’s a critical part of the success we’ve had,” Edsel said, adding, “We know that these issues of protecting cultural property are not just stories of the past. They’re very real issues we face today and we’ll continue to face them in the future.”

This University Series event is presented with support from the Blanche E. Penrod Lecture Series.

Learn more about the Monuments Men Foundation here.

The Indianapolis Quartet performs with guest artist Soyeon Kate Lee April 1

The Indianapolis Quartet

The Indianapolis Quartet

INDIANAPOLIS—The Indianapolis Quartet marks its third season in residence at the University of Indianapolis with an April 1 concert featuring the music of Joseph Haydn, César Franck and Edvard Grieg. The Quartet welcomes acclaimed guest pianist Soyeon Kate Lee for a performance of Franck’s explosive 1879 masterpiece, the Quintet for piano and strings in F minor. The program opens with Haydn’s witty “Joke” Quartet, Op. 33, No. 2, and concludes with the soaring intensity of Grieg’s String Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 27. The performance is open to the public and free of charge.

7:30 p.m., Monday, April 1, Ruth Lilly Performance Hall, Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center
Faculty Artist Concert Series presented by Katz, Sapper & Miller
Featuring Zachary DePue and Joana Genova, violins; Michael Isaac Strauss, viola; Austin Huntington, cello; with guest artist Soyeon Kate Lee, piano

Guest artist Soyeon Kate Lee has been hailed by The New York Times as a pianist with “a huge, richly varied sound, a lively imagination and a firm sense of style.” Winner of the 2010 Naumburg International Competition and the 2004 Concert Artist Guild Competition, she has appeared as soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and San Diego Symphony, among others. Recent solo recitals have taken her to Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center and the Ravinia Festival. A Naxos recording artist, Ms. Lee will record a double CD of Scriabin piano works this season following the Scarlatti and Liszt albums released earlier. Lee is an assistant professor of piano at the Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music.

Regular collaborations with premier chamber music artists and composers, including University of Indianapolis artist-in-residence, Christel DeHaan fellow and 2017 American Pianists Awards winner Drew Petersen, pianist Orli Shaham, cellist Mark Kosower and clarinetist Todd Palmer, have afforded The Indianapolis Quartet a creative expansion of the group’s repertoire and reach to new audiences. After its Chicago debut in March 2018, the Quartet made summer festival appearances and performed live on Vermont Public Radio, broadening its scope beyond the Midwest. The current season has seen the ensemble on stages in Cincinnati, Indiana Landmarks Center, Butler University and Illinois Wesleyan University.

About The Indianapolis Quartet
Founded in 2016, The Indianapolis Quartet (Zachary DePue and Joana Genova, violins; Michael Isaac Strauss, viola and Austin Huntington, cello) is the ensemble-in-residence at the University of Indianapolis, reaching audiences through their unique musical language and emotional performance style. In addition to concerts, masterclasses and open rehearsals at the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center, The Indianapolis Quartet performs frequently throughout central Indiana, the Midwest and Vermont, exercising its mission to gradually expand its reach not only regionally, but also nationally and internationally, as it continues to build its repertoire of world-class music. The Indianapolis Quartet is grateful for support from the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation.

Download a high-resolution image of The Indianapolis Quartet.

UIndy professor coaches rising star in classical guitar

At the age of 14, Ian Tubbs has claimed six first-place awards in guitar competitions that span the globe. For the last seven years, he’s been studying under classical guitarist Nemanja Ostojić, associate adjunct professor of music at the University of Indianapolis.  

Nemanja’s teaching is invaluable to us,” said Ian’s mom, Gia. “He teaches Ian in the most excellent way, helping him to be a musician of quality in every way – always concerned with the details as much as the bigger picture.”

Ian and Nem 1

Music is a passion that runs in the Tubbs family. Ian’s older sister plays classical piano and his dad took acoustic guitar lessons. When Ian was four years old, he decided he wanted to take piano lessons too and by age five, he asked for a toy acoustic guitar for Christmas.

“From that point, Ian took his toy guitar nearly everywhere he went,” his mom said.

By the time Ian was seven, his parents knew it was time to seek out classical guitar lessons for Ian, who exhibited a natural talent and enthusiasm for the art form. Ian began taking 30-minute private classical guitar lessons with his mentor once a week, which would eventually become 90-minute sessions as his skills and age advanced.

“Ian practices between 2.5–4 hours each day, except on Sundays, which we try to keep as a day of rest, unless a competition makes practicing necessary,” Gia explains.

Ian followed Ostojić to the University of Indianapolis Department of Music for a guitar pre-college program. (Hear Ian’s 2015 spring recital performance)

“Nemanja has been the greatest connection we could have ever hoped for Ian,” Gia said. “We feel very grateful and blessed to have Nemanja’s mentorship and also his kind friendship to our family.”

Ian and Nem 2

Related: Learn about a new classical guitar series at the University of Indianapolis started by Ostojić

Along with classical guitar, Ian is interested in physics, engineering and aviation. This summer, he will be attending an aviation camp to learn how to pilot small Cessna planes.

Ian’s classical guitar awards include:

  • 1st prize – 2018 Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Scholarship Competition (junior section)
  • 1st prize – 2018 Bloomington Classical Guitar Society Aspiring Artist Award
  • 1st prize – 2018 Jacobs School of Music International Classical Guitar Festival and Competition (junior division)
  • 1st prize – 2018 Texas A&M International Classical Guitar Festival and Competition (junior division)
  • 1st prize – 2017 Latino Arts Classical Guitar Competition in Milwaukee, WI (senior division)
  • 1st prize – 2017 Guitar Art International Festival and Competition in Belgrade, Serbia
  • 2nd prize – 2016 Jacobs School of Music International Classical Guitar Festival and Competition (junior division)
  • 3rd prize – 2018 Columbus State International Guitar Symposium (junior division)
  • 3rd prize – 2017 Jacobs School of Music International Classical Guitar Festival and Competition (junior division)
  • 3rd prize – 2016 Latino Arts Classical Guitar Competition in Milwaukee, WI (senior division)
  • 4th prize – 2019 Orange County Classical Guitar Festival and Competition – Chapman University, California (youth division, 18 and under)


Learn more about the Department of Music at the University of Indianapolis

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