Sigma Nu will hold an art gallery and auction 5 p.m. Dec. 7 for its winter art showcase, featuring art centered on the history of Bloomington.
The gallery, titled “Bloomington Then and Now” will be located at Sigma Nu’s house at 1015 N. Eagleson Ave. It will be the first public event since Sigma Nu’s return to campus after being suspended in 2017.
The event will feature paintings by local artist Adam Long, and proceeds from sales will go to Hoosier Hills Food Bank in support of people facing food insecurity.
Inspired by historic landmarks and features of Bloomington, the gallery will consist of 26 art pieces in both black and white and color. Long, the artist behind the pieces, grew up in Bloomington but left to attend Franklin College. After a decade, he returned to Bloomington and now takes pride in highlighting the beauty of the city.
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Long used impressionism, realism, abstract and other kinds of art styles in his pieces, which feature iconic locations from the past and present like IU’s Memorial Stadium, IU’s theatre and drama center and the historic Showers City Hall building. He said he thinks the mix of the old and the new gets lost, especially among young people just getting to know the city.
“I think a lot of the beautiful old things going on in the city and old buildings, people — students especially — don’t realize the history,” Long said. “You get so busy doing everything else and walking from building to building for class that you kind of miss it.”
Long has been painting for five years and is completely self-taught. He has painted 168 murals, he said, including a mural on the side of My Sports Locker on Rogers Street in support of those affected by cancer. Long is passionate about advocacy, and has done work for various other organizations including the Boys and Girls Club and the Children’s Organ Transplant Association.
Long was inspired to paint the upcoming gallery because he wanted a project to do from home that would give him the ability to stay with his daughter, who has a disability, he said. He estimates he spent around 400 hours preparing for the gallery, having painted most of the 26 pieces over the past six weeks.
His favorite piece in the gallery, “Goddess of Beauty and a Lady in the Water,” depicts his daughter standing at Showalter Fountain. Long painted her in black and white, with the rest of the piece in color.
“I pretty much shut my life down to do this and put everything on hold to see if I can not only raise a ton of money for the food bank, but have a successful show for my family as well,” Long said.
The winter art showcase also marks a fresh start for IU’s chapter of Sigma Nu fraternity, which was reinstated this year after being suspended in 2017 for hazing and alcohol violations.
“After a short break and a reset coming back to our values, I’m excited to showcase both us and the community,” Philanthropy Chairman Harel Halevi said.
Halevi said the fraternity was searching for philanthropic opportunities for their rechartering event, and thought raising money for Hoosier Hills Food Bank would be a good way to support the community.
“We realized that we could be more than Sigma Nu for Sigma Nu,” Halevi said. “We could be Sigma Nu for the university and Sigma Nu for Bloomington.”
Long was already doing some painting to freshen up Sigma Nu’s house, Halevi said, and the organization wanted to display his work because of the connection it has with IU and Bloomington. Halevi said he did not grow up around IU, but Long’s work has helped him see the city in a new way.
“Seeing the work he’s done for this auction, just seeing the downtown area of Bloomington and what landmarks are there, seeing how much people here love basketball — it’s really opened my eyes to a lot of the traditions here,” Halevi said.
The gallery will run from 5-8 p.m. Dec. 7. Halevi said the dress code is black tie optional, and light refreshments will be served. Those interested in attending can purchase general admission tickets on Sigma Nu’s website for $50, or student tickets for $7.
Bidding for the auction will close at 7:30 p.m. on the day of the event. T-shirts for $20 and prints of Long’s work for $35 will be available for purchase in addition to the original works.