Playing Favorites: Sophia Zhang & Kyle Ragsdale

We’ve asked FWMoA staff the hardest question you can ask art museum people: so, what is your favorite artwork currently on display? As “art museum people”, we often get asked about our favorite artists, artworks, and the art we choose to hang on our own walls. Since not all of our staff are front-end, and not all of them write for the blog, this series gives everyone a chance to get to know them, too. Taking advantage of our rotating exhibitions of artworks, from painted portraits to sculpted bronzes, FWMoA staff from all departments are choosing artworks that enthrall and enchant them; or, in other words, playing favorites.

Meet the FWMoA Teen Council! Ambassadors for the FWMoA, the Teen Council is led by local youth and provides opportunities for leadership, creativity, and learning through arts programs. In its third year, you’ve met previous members Megan True, Bayan Yunis, Jenna Jorgenson, and Ash Bushnell. Over the course of the next few months, we’re asking all members, new and returning, to introduce themselves through a favorite work on display at FWMoA. Here’s new member Sophia Zhang’s pick:

An oil painting of General Anthony Wayne attending a formal dance in a large, windowed room surrounded by other dances in formal dresses and suits.
Kyle Ragsdale, American, b. 1967, Indianapolis. Dancing Around Anthony Wayne. Oil on canvas, 2023. Loan from the Artist. $1,800.

Q: What is the first thing you noticed about this artwork? What drew you to this particular piece?

A: I was drawn to the way the bright colors of the focal points stood out against the neutral background. I also loved the whimsical and freely-placed brushstrokes.

Q: Would you hang this artwork in your home? Why or why not?

A: I would love to have this artwork in my home. The contrast of the colors and art style is very interesting for me to look at.

Q: What does this artwork mean to you?

A: For me, this piece represents formality and fluidity. It has an air of elegance but also something liberating about the placement of each brushstroke. As an artist (and painter), that is something I love to see.

I just love the style that this piece was done in. I am working with a lot of oil paints this year and this piece really stuck out to me in terms of aesthetic and style.

Q: Why did you choose to join Teen Council?

A: I have loved creating art for all my life. It’s one of my greatest passions, and I love being in an environment surrounded by people who share the same interest.

Q: What kind of art do you have in your home?

A: My parents like to hang the artwork I create around the house, which includes graphite drawings, paintings, and more.

See Sophia’s favorite artwork on display at FWMoA in Indiana Artists Club, before it closes this weekend!

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