Stutz Artist Highlight: Rebecca Zink

Photography by Esther Boston

Stutz Artist Association is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this Thursday through Saturday.

Artists and the building will be decked out in silver to celebrate the anniversary event. Artists will have paintings, photography, furniture, sculpture, jewelry and more for purchase, including a featured silver piece in each studio.

Guests have an opportunity to see creative spaces in this historic building, experience the thriving Stutz art community, enjoy live music, make their own art, take a selfie in a Stutz automobile, and tour the turn-of-the century car factory turned business and arts center. On Saturday, artists will have demonstrations and children can participate in a scavenger hunt.

Proceeds from the Open House support the Stutz Residency Program by funding a scholarship that provides one-year free studio space and utilities for emerging local artists. It is one of the largest grants to individual artists in the state.

To help celebrate such an important milestone, PATTERN was able to chat with a handful of Stutz’ resident artists about their practices and art.

We’ve all heard the sentiment that “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” or that “Gold makes the ugly beautiful.” But as the English proverb goes “Everything that glitters is not gold,” one notion that Indianapolis native Rebecca Zink would agree upon. Perhaps she has a point.

Taking an unconventional route, opting to present steel as the primary focus of her jewelry, it is in this self-described “blue-collar material” amongst others that Zink finds beauty. Its ability to contrast with more conventional jewelry metals, mainly silver, creates a unique juxtaposition between two metals carrying separate perceptions but equal beauty in their own right.

Taking inspiration from the process of creating jewelry and always adapting to where her work takes her, Zink never quite knows where she will end up when beginning a project

“[My projects] are always evolving,” said Zink. “I’m always just adapting and creating from what’s in front of me. As I’m making I’m always seeing new things that I can create and have ideas popping into my head.”

Located in downtown Indianapolis, Zink is currently an artist in residence working out of the Stutz Business Center (Studio B255b).

“Every year the Stutz Artist Association have two artists in residence,” said Zink. “Creatives can apply for that position and then Stutz picks two people from the applicants to have a free space for the year.”

But it’s not just the space that Zink values so much in being a resident artist. It’s the connections she is making with other artists and the publicity

Having only opened her workshop a few months ago, Zink is trying to build her brand and connect with fellow creatives. The Stutz Business Center is a great hub for this, something she couldn’t be more thankful for.

It hasn’t always been a clear path to reaching where she is today though. Following her graduation from Ball State University with a double major in Metalsmithing and Visual Communications, Zink took five years away from creating jewelry stating she was simply “burnt out”. Instead she opted to work a number of jobs including clinical research roles and in a hair salon while determining what the next step in her career would look like. 

It was upon seeing the success of her friends in cities across the country, in roles similar to the one she now fulfills, that Zink found the inspiration she needed to take the plunge into chasing her dream, attempting to turn her passion into her full-time profession. This prompted Zink to return to school where she earned her graduate degree in Metalsmithing from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

With her graduate program rekindling her passion for working with metals, Zink decided to return to creating jewelry and found herself coming home to Indianapolis. Zink’s work can be found on her Instagram page and orders can be processed directly through her via her page or email. She also has a website that is currently a work in progress, however, should be live in the next few weeks. She will also be showcasing her work at the open house at the Stutz Business Center, Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28. You can purchase tickets here!

Contact Rebecca Zink:
Instagram: @zinkmetals

Photography by Esther Boston

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