Music Video featuring Biennial 28 artwork

I think it’s awesome to have my artwork, along with other artists from Biennial 28 at the South Bend Art Museum, featured in this music video by musician Eli Kahn. It’s catchy!

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Star Wars themed Toy Show at Primary Colours Gallery

I was thrilled to be asked to participate in Toy Wars this year— Primary Colours annual toy show with a Star Wars twist. I created a 48″ bookshelf– Falcon Bookcase– laser cut out of plywood. This would be perfect for a collection of Star Wars books, dvds and memorabilia.



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Visiting Critic and Speaker at Bowling Green State University

I was invited to be a visiting critic and speaker at Bowling Green State University on October 16, 2015 and had a great time! I did individual half-hour critiques with 11 grad students and then gave and artist talk about my work. Their grad students work across media— in painting, digital, photography, installation, jewelery, glass, ceramics, design and sculpture. All of the students had different approaches and ideas and it was fun to see the wide variety of artistic practices.

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Crate Space Building Workshop

So thrilled to conduct a Crate Space building workshop earlier this year with kids from the Martin Luther King Community Center. The kids built houses, towers, ‘stadium seating’ and even put on an impromptu crate inspired theatrical performance. It was an awesome day!


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Visiting Artist- Park Tudor

It was an honor to serve as a Visiting Artist at Park Tudor on February 27th, 2015. I gave an artists talk and exhibited a small selection of my artwork. It was really fun to meet the students and faculty and to share my work.



Ligature-Licious: A Text Show at Primary Gallery


Excited to be part of this text show- Ligature-licious, at Primary Colors Gallery. The group show features my type-based art and work by Aaron Scamihorn and Kyle Herrington. Will be fun! (postcard and header designs by Aaron Scamihorn)

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Exhibit and Visiting Artist at Park Tudor


I will be a visiting artist at Park Tudor School here in Indy. Includes exhibit and an artist’s talk. Should be fun!

Poster for a recent talk

Brown Bag Poster 2015

Here’s a poster I designed for a recent talk at Butler.



Kern India, Kern!

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The Indian cricket team are the current world champs of One Day cricket. They have a fantastic team with a lot of class and style. That’s why it is all the more striking that their uniforms are so desperately in need of a designers eye.

Above are some screenshots from recent matches- against Sri Lanka and England in 2014. The player’s names on the back of their jerseys show irregular kerning- the spacing between the letters. Raina reads as R-aina, vice-captain Virat reads as Vira-t and poor Umesh Yadav’s name has been stretched way out across the jersey. The letters should look more even to the eye, without the gaps. Like the rest of the team, the letters should be well-knit and closely spaced. Kern India, kern!

2014 NUVO review of Color Coded

So pleased to have my exhibit reviewed in NUVO for the second year in a row. Four stars!
Read on for the review.

Color Coded: painting/design by Gautam Rao
The Raymond James Stutz Art Gallery through Nov. 28
Four stars

 Thelma and Louise as a Bollywood Movie by Gautam Rao

  • Thelma and Louise as a Bollywood Movie by Gautam Rao

Synthesis is an overriding concern in the art of Gautam Rao, an associate professor of art at Butler University. In the poster “Thelma and Louise as a Bollywood Movie,” you can see not just a synthesis of fine art and graphic design but also the fusion of American and Indian cultures. Hence the title, lettered in this digital illustration in Hindi—originally created for the Indianapolis International Film Festival Bigger Picture Show. Examples abound as well of Rao’s painting, such as the acrylic on canvas “skyline graph” which you might see as a mash-up of various bar charts and/or a highly pixelated (and colorful) vision of a city skyline. Rao is an artist obsessed with lists; in “Indians, Alphabetically,” he gives you 26 digital illustrations of men, one for each of twenty six Indian names, one for each letter in the English alphabet. Then there’s “The Numbers Series:” blocks of laser-cut acrylic, hanging on a shelf. These small blocks are cut in the form of letters (in various typefaces) spelling out numbers. In these negative spaces (so to speak) carved out by laser, there are passageways containing small metal balls, enclosed by clear plastic. This is 3D art that you can play with. It’s hard not to sense a very positive—and playful—aesthetic, when contemplating this work.


Color Coded: New art and design exhibit at the Stutz Art Gallery

My next solo exhibit is coming up! It’s called Color Coded: painting and design, and is at the Stutz Art Gallery in Indianapolis, IN. Opening reception is on Friday, November 7,  5-9 pm. Details below!

November 7-28, 2014

Opening Reception:

Friday, November 7, 2014, 5-9 pm

Gallery Hours:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 11-2pm or by appointment
Free Admission

The Raymond James Stutz Art Gallery
212 W. 10th Street,
Indianapolis, IN 46202
(317) 503-6420

Exhibit Statement:
Color Coded: Gautam Rao
painting and design

Color Coded is an exploration of contrasts: between image and text, analog and digital methods and between analytical and aesthetic thinking. Through grid paintings, illustration and typographic experiments, this exhibit encompasses a year of play at the intersection of art and design.

This body of work contrasts highly systematic thinking with a love of the quirky and whimsical. The systematic thinking is embodied in type design and meticulously illustrated alphabet posters. It is also embodied in the technological rigor of working with Bézier curves and within strictly defined color palettes. This analytical approach contrasts with the whimsy of unexpected juxtapositions of color, interactive toys and playful drawings.

The exhibit examines the place where right and left brain thinking meet. It seeks to explore the intersection between art and design.

pixels of fury indianapolis!

So proud to have participated in Pixels of Fury Indianapolis as part of AIGA Indy’s 100 years of design in Indianapolis. We had 20 minutes to design a poster with a theme given on the spot. It was super challenging. My design seems to have been lost to the sands of time, for which I am genuinely grateful

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70th Annual Wabash Valley Juried Exhibition at the Swope Art Museum

I’m thrilled to have two artworks featured in the 70th Annual Wabash Valley Juried Exhibition at the Swope Art Museum in Terre Haute, IN. This year’s juror is Carter E. Foster, the Steven and Ann Ames Curator of Drawings at the Whitney Museum of American Art. The two works featured are the Numbers series and Indianapolis Track. The Numbers series was also selected by the juror for the Sherry Dailey & Tom Tucker Award of Recognition. The exhibit runs at the Swope Art Museum from June 28 – August 23, 2014.
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The Bigger Picture Show 2014

I’m super-proud to have a piece in The Bigger Picture Show for the second year in a row. What you see is a little preview below. I’ll post the whole thing after the show!

The event is from 6:30p – 11:00p Friday May 9th at The Speak Easy in Indy and  benefits the Indianapolis International Film Festival. See if you can guess which movie poster I redesigned!

Bigger Picture Show blog preview

Typeforce 5 Chicago


So excited to have my work featured in Typeforce 5 this year! The show opens on February 28th in Chicago and includes an impressive roster of talented designers.

Arts Council Billboard Project

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The Arts Council of Indianapolis sponsored a great public art project here in Indianapolis called High Art Indy. I am thrilled to be one of 10 artists chosen to display their work on billboards across the city for a year. So excited to see my work at this scale!

Here’s a feature story on the project from the Butler University website:


Unblocked exhibit- Gallery 924 show coming up! September 6-27, 2013


Just got the postcards for my upcoming exhibit!
It’s called Gautam Rao: Unblocked and is at Gallery 924 in Indianapolis. It will feature a selection of my grid paintings. It runs from September 6-27, 2013. The Opening Reception is September 6, 2013 from 6-9pm.

Gallery address is:

924 N. Pennsylvania St.

Indianapolis, IN 46204



Here’s the exhibit statement:

Unblocked represents a journey of rediscovering the creative process. Gautam Rao’s previous paintings were figurative, but in 2011 he took a square canvas, divided it into a grid and filled each square with a unique color. This simple act marked the beginning of an  exploration of color that has led to complex and unexpected destinations. Over the past two years Rao has made large-scale paintings exploring color relationships, pattern, typography, and landscape. One painting in the exhibit is inspired by the sequential named colors in the novel ‘The Great Gatsby’, while another group of 26 paintings make up a typographic exploration- a painted alphabet.

The paintings rely on a grid of color squares. The squares of color in these paintings allude to pixels or fabric patterns. They play on the human tendency to recognize images in patterns everywhere- in the intervals of cracks on the sidewalk, faces found in the clouds. The paintings function like puzzles: each viewer sees something different, recognizing something new about themselves.

Increasingly, mathematical patterns play a role in the structure of the paintings. Rao alternates colors in syncopated patterns, grouping them by hue, color temperature and value. These paintings remind us of the color choices we make every day, from choosing which clothes to wear, to deciding to slow down or speed up for an amber traffic light. They highlight the joy to be found in color choices and the excitement of the creative process – of creativity rediscovered and unblocked.


Gautam Rao Postcard Front Gautam Rao Postcard Back



my font design project from Crafting Type

Had a great time at the 3-day font design workshop- Crafting Type. It was fun to dip into FontForge. Here’s what I made:



Paintings in Insert Coin to Play exhibit

I had a couple of paintings on display in Insert Coin to Play, an exhibit at the Stutz Art Gallery. The exhibit got a good review in NUVO.


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Visiting Critic at the New York Academy of Art

I was invited to be a Visiting Critic at the New York Academy of Art. It was an honor, and a really fun experience!