The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Saturday, September 25, 2021

Happy World: On a Cloud arrives at Newfields
FriendsWithYou, artist collaborative (founded 2002), Little Cloud, 2017, fiberglass, steel, aluminum, automotive paint, 120 × 73.5 × 81 in. © FriendsWithYou. Photo by Lindsay Ahern.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN.- Guests at Newfields are being welcomed by Happy World: On a Cloud, created by Los Angeles-based artist collective FriendsWithYou, inside the Efroymson Family Entrance Pavilion. This new exhibition features a smiling inflatable sculpture called Little Cloud, alongside two accompanying characters, Hug Bug and Peanut Butter. The installation encourages mutual, experiential loving connection, while allowing guests to connect with others through play, laughter and curiosity.

FriendsWithYou is the art collaboration of Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandovall III. Since 2002, the pair has created mesmerizing installations with the mission of spreading a positive message of magic, luck and friendship. The duo present a newly commissioned work titled Happy World: On a Cloud, combining a site-specific installation with custom costumes and live performances. Hug Bug and Peanut Butter are worn by specially trained performers from NoExit Performance collective in Indianapolis, a body of multidisciplinary artists who create and present innovative performance experiences within diverse spaces. These performances take place alongside Little Cloud in the Efroymson Family Entrance Pavilion and occasionally be seen in the IMA Galleries and The Garden.

“This playful installation by FriendsWithYou is about establishing connection,” said Bryn Jackson, Assistant Curator of Audience Engagement and Performance at Newfields. “Through this exhibition, we invite everyone to experience Newfields as a space of belonging, of appreciating and celebrating one another and the environment."

Happy World is co-curated by Bryn Jackson, Assistant Curator of Audience Engagement and Performance and Dr. Michael Vetter, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art.

“We are delighted to welcome FriendsWithYou to the Efroymson Family Entrance Pavilion for a groundbreaking installation that combines their iconic inflatable sculptures with sound, costumes, and live performance,” said Dr. Michael Vetter, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at Newfields. “The exhibition presents exciting new avenues of exploration for the artists and will create a truly immersive and interactive experience for Newfields guests.”

“Happy World is all around us! A joyful, colorful world that shines with beauty and simplicity. Follow Hug Bug and Peanut Butter into the beauty and music of nature as we celebrate each other and our living world,” said Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandovall III, FriendsWithYou artists. “Happy World is a way to join together to create a more loving and responsible world, where everything is happy and harmonious. From each little bug, to the flowers and trees, to you and me. We created Happy World with the vision of creating an important relationship between people and nature.”

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