Carmel artist seeking national audience


By Terri Spilman

Wendy Franklin made use of her fine arts skills to transform her life as a stay-at-home mom into a career as an accomplished artist complete with her own studio in the Historic Stutz Building.

Carmel artist Wendy Franklin specializes in colorful fiber art. (Submitted photo)

Carmel artist Wendy Franklin specializes in colorful fiber art. (Submitted photo)

And this week she will be among 70 artists whose work will be for sale and on display at the 21st Annual Stutz Artists Open House April 25-26.

A steep contrast to using the kitchen table in her Carmel home as a workspace, her hip artist studio in the Stutz comes complete with a city view and plenty of space for storage, display and creation of the colorful sculptural fiber art that is commissioned by her many residential and commercial clients.

Franklin takes photographs of various landscapes and uses the pictures as inspiration for her work. She makes use of dye and Merino wool in a labor-intensive, manual process she refers to as “agitating” to transform plain white silk into beautiful pieces of cloth that give the illusion of an abstract painting.

Franklin’s work is on display at several local and regional public art spaces including the Eye On Art Gallery in Carmel, the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Indianapolis Art Center.

She also served as an artist-in-residence for Woodbrook Elementary School. And she’ll be expanding her reach beyond the Hoosier state by developing edgier, more free-form pieces for high-end contemporary galleries in Denver and Seattle.

“My kids were at that point where they were doing weekend things, and I was at some horrible show in Kentucky and my son called and said he got a breakaway (he’s a hockey boy) and I missed it,” said Franklin on the reason behind her decision to open a studio close to home.

Now her children are in high school and old enough to help with the business.

“My daughter is the science and math girl and actually does all my organizing, and my son built all my studio walls, installs panels, hangs lights and they also help out at the open house.”

Tickets for the Stutz Artists Open House may be purchased prior to the event at select Old National Bank branches or, as well as at the gate.

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