2018 On-Ramp Participants
Meet the Participants
Over 100 Hoosiers applied to participate in the accelerator program. The 36 participants (locations mapped left) that were invited are preparing to expand their creative work with an entrepreneurial approach.
"Fifty-seven percent of the creative workforce in Indiana is self-employed, far exceeding the national average of 20 percent. Helping these Hoosiers be successful in their careers not only benefits them, but also strengthens the communities in which they live and work. We're intending that this program will help retain some of the best and brightest creative workers in Indiana." – Lewis Ricci, Executive Director, Indiana Arts Commission
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Chris Acton's main creative work is all about weaving. She loves taking traditional techniques and adding her own combination of color/texture/pattern to create something new & interesting.
Her goal is to have a weaving-centric business that supports her and give her opportunities to be creative every day.
Hardshell gourds are Terilu's primary “canvas.” As a “traditional folk artist,” she thrives by associating with other artists to share what they know with each other and expand their own efforts.
Her goal is to pursue her art on a full-time basis.
East Chicago, Indiana
As a public artist Armando creates murals that are built for the community & belong to the community. He seeks to strengthen the creative and imaginative minds of the community through artful & educational experiences.
Armando has a three year goal of painting a series of large scale murals (2+ stories) in at least ten different towns in NW Indiana.
Winona Lake, Indiana
Emily is a painter and graphic designer. She's currently working primarily with watercolor, pen and ink, and digital media. Subjects range from landscapes and florals to fantasy illustrations.
Her goal is to turn her artistic practice into a profitable business that she can continue to manage from home.
Megan is a weaver and fiber artist working with themes including identity, motherhood and perfection. Her work blends traditional weaving structures with non-traditional techniques through embellishment, deconstruction or intentional “mistakes”.
Her goal is to open a retail maker’s-space/art cooperative where culturally diverse artists may gather to access looms, share techniques and teach workshops.
Mary is a full time, freelance, graphic designer with 16+ years experience as an Art Director/Senior Graphic Designer/Prepress Supervisor in the printing industry.
As a woman, a new business owner, a Hoosier, and a creative, Mary's goal is to continue to succeed, to see her business grow, and to THRIVE!
The creative work Phyllis is engaged in deals with healing from the scale of the community to that of the individual. She's currently experimenting on a series of small “sketches” and exploring the interplay between line, pattern, and color before embarking on larger pieces, which when hung, will be viewed from both sides.
Her goal is make her artistic practice and creative work her full-time profession.
Megan works with oil paint and collage to create narrative/symbolic pieces.
Her goal is to continue to create meaningful work and to become a better promoter of her work in order to share it with more people.
Sami has been practicing photography for 4 years. Every day she is learning new things about her art but unfortunately doesn't have the business knowledge to go with it.
Her goal is to build her business into a brand that people recognize and stands out.
Jennie is the co-owner of Silica Ceramic Studio, LLC in Jeffersonville, Indiana. She was also one of the founding members of the Jeffersonville Arts Alliance, which is now a 501c3 organization. She currently serves as an officer in the Historian position.
Her goal is to learn more about turning her creative work into a sustainable career.
Billy is a hip-hop artist, spoken word advocate, and youth mentor. His main focus last seven years has been traveling and playing music in alternative jazz hip-hop band. He's also been heavily active in various community projects dealing with arts music and community and youth workshops and fundraisers.
His goal is to start an indie record label/school of the arts.
Kate Ellis offers natural dye workshops that allow people to connect to natural and the creative process, with sustainability in mind.
Her goal is to open a textile arts studio in southern Indiana.
Spray Paint Art/Jewelry
Tyler enjoys painting in a variety of media, such as acrylics, oils, and spray paints. Through social media, he's developed a fascination towards creating a unique form of fine art jewelry.
His goal is to earn a living through his art.
West Lafayette, Indiana
Kenya creates watercolor and acrylic paintings of animals in action, and jewelry making with a touch of whimsy (or a lot of whimsy).
Her goal is to make a good living doing what she loves and what she's good at.
LJ is a hip hop artist that performs and records original lyrics.
His goal is to use his music to start conversations around faith, hope, and love. He'd also like to use music as a tool to empower communities economically and unify across barriers.
Public Art/Visual Art/Illustration
West Lafayette, Indiana
Bethany is character-based artist; each figure she creates represents a feeling or a story.
Her goal is to focus all her energy on sharing art with those who need it the most.
Visual Art/Landscape Architecture
Ben is currently pursuing more artistic, photographic work focusing on abstract concepts and nature.
His goal is to own and run a studio and gallery where art and design are one in the same; with an aspect of ministry and rehabilitation using art as the vehicle.
Rachel Johnson Kavathe
Rachel Kavathe is an artist/landscape architect/urban designer. After working as a city planner and landscape architect, Rachel began her own business in 2016 focusing on creative placemaking. Rachel’s work explores the ideas of community, place, and the relationship between human-made and natural landscapes.
Her goal is to create public art installations in cities around the globe that help local communities express their unique sense of place.
Hannah creates custom orders of family illustrations in water color along with pen and ink. She's constantly humbled by families liking her creative style so much that they ask her to paint these portraits of their families.
Her goal is to open a stationery company.
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Christine works in clay, mostly hand building using slabs of clay to create vases, vessels, and tiles.
Christine's goal is to create a realistic business plan and make more connections in her local arts community.
Chris draws inspiration from the Southern Hip Hop & Soul genre to create rap songs that are anthems, testimonies & stories of daily life, giving a sense of journey and adventure through honest music. He produces records by writing, performing lyrics, recording/ tracking vocals, and engineering the entire session to edit and mix.
His goal is to book more shows within the Midwest region and remain involved in his local community by being readily available to serve it.
Liberty Center, Indiana
Doris is a dollmaker that specializes in hyper-realistic Reborn Baby Dolls.
Her goal is to have her art be self-sustaining.
Paul has credits on films that have screened at dozens of film festivals internationally and won numerous awards. His film BICYCLE won the Crystal Heart Award and the Vision Award for Best Short Film at Heartland Film Festival. BICYCLE was also an official selection at the prestigious Venice Film Festival in Italy, among many other film festivals. Currently, Paul is working on 30 Minutes -- his first documentary film made in Indiana.
His goal is to create a business model that allows him to do what he loves to do -- travel and make documentary films -- while providing a good income.
Eric is a trained printmaker and bookmaker. Currently, he is a Nationally Certified ASL Interpreter employed by the Indiana School for the Deaf full-time. He works part-time making books and prints out of his studio at Nickel Plate Arts in Noblesville.
His goal is to develop a sustainable business model.
Jim has been the Director of Theatre and Film at Carmel High School for the past 26 years. During that time, he has directed a lot of one-act plays, full-length plays, and short films.
His goal is to retire from teaching and move into a second career. He'd like for that career to feed his creative side.
In Claire's creative work she focuses on making watercolor paintings that tell a story about environmental issues and the beauty of marine life.
Her goal is to develop a portfolio that will inspire others to protect oceans. She hopes to work alongside educators, activists, and scientists to help inform the public and our youth about the importance of marine life and how we affect them.
Visual Art/Large Scale Installations
Christa creates immersive environments with mylar, burlap, paint and masonite.
Her goal is to pursue art full-time in a variety of locations.
Chapin is an art educator at a Fine Arts Academy in Martinsville. The majority of her creative work tends to be done alongside her students in their shared art studio. When she escapes to create on her own time, she favors working with fibers and finding new methods & materials that challenge her.
Her goal is to open her own studio/ makerspace, using the Teaching for Artistic Behavior philosophy she uses in her art room, where families could pay to come & create by the hour.
Kellie paints furniture, and also works with watercolor and acrylic paints. her favorite piece is the watercolor that she created of her husband meeting Jesus.
Her goal is to be able to make a living doing what she loves and be able to support herself and her daughters.
Ty has over nine years of experience in film sharing challenging stories and ideas. At the tail end of February he produced a film in partnership with a local film company that follows the style of the Italian horror genre, most notably, Dario Argento's work. By the end of the year he hopes to be rolling into his very first feature length film as a director.
His goal is to sustain a multi-faceted production company that specializes in unique high-quality cinema with a strong focus in storytelling.
Kevin is a self taught artist that works in a wide range of areas including sketching, scrimshaw, pyrography, creative wood design, and painting. He tends to linger in folk and natural subject matter.
His goal is to open up his own shop in the Brown County area.
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Rebecca is a teaching artist, illustrator, and writer; her work is an exploration of growing up female in the rural Midwest.
Her goal is to create a sustainable art practice that serves her community and explores social justice issues.
Russ' career as a designer/illustrator/sculptor for the toy and collectibles industry working for major companies and studios in southern California began in 1991 and ended with the Great Recession. He maintained a freelance business doing generally the same kind of work for several years.
His goal is to sustain himself as a maker of personal paintings and drawings, graphic storytelling, and sculpture.
Lisa's career began as a flame worked glass artist specializing in beads which she used in her own jewelry designs. Her work the last couple years has focused more on hand fabricated metal, and most recently, copper enameling and etched metalwork.
Her goal is to bring in more income from her artistic pursuits and become more profitable.
Alex specializes in illustrating avifauna from all over the world and currently splits her time between freelance work for ornithological publications and fine art painting for galleries.
Her goal is to develop creative ways to engage with the community in order to create a revenue stream that is multi-faceted and not merely tied to the isolated world of the studio.
Visual Art/Fiber Art
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Liz's main creative work is abstract acrylic painting. She then uses those paintings to create surface designs.
Her goal is to market her artwork through surface design and use for functional purposes.