Nickel Plate Arts features works from three artists during January

Posted By: The Reporter January 5, 2023

Nickel Plate Arts is featuring three artists of the month in January. Clapton Wire Ni80

Nickel Plate Arts features works from three artists during January

The artists of the month include Alice Lee, Bobbi K. Samples, and Caroline Hays, and each of their exhibits will each be featured at a different Nickel Plate Arts showcase location. Information on the exhibit dates, receptions, and artist details are available below.

Alice Lee is a self-taught artist and has taken classes at the Indianapolis Art Center to learn techniques.

Lee’s exhibit, “Do Art No Matter What,” features her creative interests – which are cartoon in nature and geared towards the celebration of everyday activities – in large scale oil paintings and pottery. One particular painting, “Miss Cow,” was inspired by 1900s French artist Jean Dubuffet, who coined the term “art brut,” which translates to “raw art” and describes graffiti or naïve art that is made outside the academic tradition of fine art. Lee had hopes to make a lady of her cow and describes her own style as organic.

“I want to share my way of seeing human nature,” Lee said. “I hope to lift the spirits of the viewer by showing the charm in our everyday activities.”

When it comes to her pottery work, Lee wants to maintain her connection with spontaneity; she randomly marks the clay, stretches it, then throws it, letting it land freely on her work surface. The result is a truly unreproducible organic design that she applies to her vase.

“My pottery is never finished until someone unites it with an object from nature,” Lee said.

Her full exhibit can be seen in the Stephenson House Jan. 6 to 28 from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. You can meet Lee during the January First Friday event from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Stephenson House on Nickel Plate Arts campus.

Meyer Hire Bobbi K. Samples

This month, Bobbi Samples’s work will make a return to Meyer Najem’s second-floor gallery.

Flowers are a staple of Samples’s work, and her style is a definitive one. Her exhibit, “Floral Tour of Bermuda,” features strong, bold colors that mirror who Samples is – a bright, bubbly personality who isn’t afraid to take a canvas and turn it into a delightful garden.

A recent summer trip to Bermuda is her latest inspiration.

“The island was gorgeous – so many colors of green, from lime to dark to fern, all in one bush,” says Samples. “The flowers just captivated me; we had to start taking photos because I knew it would inspire a show.”

When inspired, Samples can create an entire exhibit of art in a single month. She scores out her painting, then uses a large brush to create the background. Lights and shadows come next, with her trusty putty knife bringing in the color and her signature texture. A few coats of a fine oil glaze adds a UV protectant and gives the product perfect high-gloss results.

Samples is no stranger to Nickel Plate Arts, as she is a longtime member of the board and a Gala committee chair. She is also an annual Showcase artist, and her talents and support are seen and felt everywhere the organization has a presence.

Her full exhibit can be seen from Jan. 5 to March 28 on the second floor of Meyer Najem, 11787 Lantern Road, Fishers, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. You can meet Samples at her free public reception from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 4 in the Meyer Najem second-floor gallery.

Four Day Ray Caroline Hays

Artist Caroline Hays’s work demonstrates the layers of history that go into a place. Hays invites the viewer to step into the history of each place in her exhibit, “Read Between the Layers.”

Hays graduated from Indiana University as a graphic designer, where she spent time working for the school’s newspaper.

“I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do full time,” Hays says.

She decided to get her teaching license and began teaching drawing and painting classes at Noblesville High School.

“[I] love witnessing [my] students grow in their skills and seeing them define their voice as an artist,” she said.

Hays’s own artwork is inspired by her immense love for history and her family’s legacy of travel. Her grandfather – who was a navigator in World War II – would mark the family’s travels on maps, which became a big part of Hays’s artwork. She developed a mixed media style that is composed of layers of maps, brochures, and other paper-related items that came from the artifacts her grandparents kept to document their travels.

The foundation of her process starts with adhering a map to the surface of the piece. She then builds in layers of shapes inspired by the architecture of the place. Her use of neutral colors works to invoke a sense of nostalgia with the viewer, similar to sepia-toned photographs and aged history books. Gold leaf and splatters are often incorporated to add a final element of human touch, symbolizing the passage of time, and communicating a sense of sacredness to the place.

Her full exhibit can be seen now through March 28 at Four Day Ray Brewing, 11671 Lantern Road, Fishers, Sunday and Monday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. You can meet Hays at her free public reception from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 20 at Four Day Ray.

Commissions are also open, so if you’re an avid traveler with mementos, Hays would love to help turn your travel stories into art.

About Nickel Plate Arts Nickel Plate Arts is an umbrella nonprofit organization that creates and coordinates arts and cultural experiences across communities in eastern Hamilton County and the surrounding areas to improve the quality of life for residents, strengthen local economies and enrich experiences for visitors. Nickel Plate Arts is a project of Hamilton County Tourism, Inc. Learn more at

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Nickel Plate Arts features works from three artists during January

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