The Full Circle Nine Gallery (FC9) will host “McCrary’s Majestical Abstracts,” a posthumous collection of Thomas McCrary’s work, facilitated by his daughter, Ranna Johnson, as the feature for the November IDADA First Friday Art Tour, on Friday, November 3rd. The show will premiere 6-9pm, and admission is free.
Thomas McCrary died suddenly in 1973, at the age of 43, while pursuing an Art Education degree at the Herron School of Art. He had been an architect and interior designer by trade, but had recently returned to school. Johnson has been collecting McCrary’s work, over the years, through family and friends, and describes her father’s work as modern art with a personal twist.
Ranna Johnson was eight years old when her father passed away. She remembers Thomas McCrary being fun-loving, even buying stilts for her birthday in 1972. She says that spirit is reflected in his work.
“He used a lot of color,” said Johnson. “I remember this print that was done, with paint and wax paper. He asked me what I thought it was, and I said a clown face, so he made it into a side view of a clown face. He could make something out of nothing.”
As an architect, Johnson said her father designed buildings around Indianapolis, including a round bank at 65th Street and Keystone Avenue (which has been demolished for a CVS) and a still-standing veterinary office at 56th Street and Guion Road. He met her mother, Hjordis, while they were at interior design school, and were profiled in a 1968 issue of the Indianapolis Star.
“We always had a really cool home and lots of artwork everywhere,” said Johnson. “I don’t know how far he could’ve gone as an art teacher. I would be interested to see what he could’ve done had he lived. I’m happy to let others experience this.”