Two-Thirds Studio, located at 1043 Virginia Ave. in Fountain Square, was opened in December 2009 by artists and University of Indianapolis alumni Lauren Ditchley, Dany Del Real and Katherine Fries. The studio began on the third floor of The Murphy Arts Center, but was subsequently relocated to the second floor, in Suite 205.
Ditchley and Del Real met on their first day of college in 2001.
“We were walking to our very first 2-D design class with [Associate Professor of Art and Design] Donna Adams,” Ditchley said. “We were both commuters, and we both happened to show up late to class on the first day. We sat next to each other, and we’ve stuck together since then.”
Adams distinctly remembers Ditchley and Del Real from their time at UIndy. She noted their passion throughout their time in school.
“They showed a passion for it [pursuing an art career], and I had a passion to encourage them,” Adams said. “They’ve got wonderful and creative ideas.”
Adams and Ditchley are also part of “INvision Photography Group.” The group helps to develop each member’s skills as a professional photographer. Group members attend shows and exhibits, teach each other new techniques and critique one another’s work. Adams has been a part of the group since 1998, and Ditchley joined when she graduated from college in 2007.
Ditchley’s pursuit of art after college was no surprise to Adams, who attributed Ditchley’s success to her motivation, creativity and willingness to take risks.
“Those are the kind of people that grow,” Adams said. “She’s a risk-taker, and so are Dany and Katherine.”
Ditchley attended UIndy from 2001 to 2007. She started as a pre-art therapy and ceramics major her first four years, and in her last two years, she pursued her fine arts degree in studio art.
Her work has been displayed at the Harrison Center for the Arts, the Bona Thompson Memorial Center, the Wheeler Arts Community Center and the University of Indianapolis.
At Two-Thirds Studio, Ditchley’s latest body of work is displayed on three of the four walls and on tables within the studio. Entitled “From: Indy, To: India,” the exhibit opened on Friday, Jan. 3, and features all original photography from Ditchley’s recent trip to India. She took the trip to study printmaking and photography.
“For this show, I wanted to choose images that would help people see the place I was [seeing] differently than they’d imagined,” she said.
In India, Ditchley said, she could see the teas being made in front of her and dyes being put into clothing.
“It was beautiful to me,” she said. “It made all of those mundane things feel special.”
Most of the images displayed for the show are presented without captions because Ditchley believes that artist and viewer interaction adds to the show.
“If someone has a question for me, I would love to talk with them about it,” Ditchley said. “I want them to wonder and ask questions and maybe even come up with their own feeling about it.”
This show is Ditchley’s first full exhibit since her senior thesis in 2007, and according to her, the efforts paid off because “From: Indy, To: India” was, personally, her most successful show to date.
Artwork from Ditchley, Del Real and Fries is displayed throughout the year, with the studio featuring artwork of many different mediums.
Ditchley focuses on photography. Del Real does work in painting, sculpture, mixed media and graphic design. Each one also curates a show to which he or she invites artists or sends out a call for artists. The next show to be featured is entitled “The Thrift Show.”
“People have to go to a thrift store to come up with a concept for their work or use it in the piece they create,” Ditchley said. “Then we’ll judge them [the works] and the best pieces will be shown.”
Artists can contact Two-Thirds Studio through its Facebook page to submit work for the exhibit. The Thrift Show opens Friday, April 4, from 7-11 p.m.