Katie Hudnall

Nautilus at Eskenazi Health


The body of this piece is loosely derived from the image of a boat on water and is designed to remind the viewer that books (and education in general) can be a form of transportation. Books can take us to other places and times, offer solace and distraction, arm us with the tools and information we need to solve problems in our daily lives, and make us more empathetic creatures. In the same way that Eskenazi Health’s rooftop vegetable garden (called “Sky Farm”) highlights healthy eating and wellness concepts while providing patients and employees an opportunity to enjoy nature, this design promotes the mental wellness and growth that comes with reading while giving users an opportunity to directly interact with a piece of art.

So much consideration went into the sustainable engineering of the new Eskenazi Health building that it felt perfectly appropriate to consider environmental impact in the materials for this piece. All of the lumber used will be locally sourced, salvaged material—most coming directly from Indianapolis buildings, some of it even coming from the crates that Eskenazi Health used to move and temporarily house the historic art collection from the old hospital—a nice tie back into the community, and a connection between the newest piece of art in the hospital and the rest of the collection.

Nautilus, 2015

Plywood, reclaimed wood, wood, fasteners & hardware, plexiglass, paint, ink, dye, lacquer, wax with two ink on paper drawings framed in wood by the artist
Console: 64 x 120 x 24 inches, Drawings: 26 x 36 inches each

About the Artist

Katie Hudnall received her BFA from the Corcoran College of Art and Design and her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2007, she won a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship. In 2009, she was the first Windgate Wood Resident at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and in 2010 had a residency at Anderson Ranch Art Center in Snowmass, Colorado.

Hudnall has been in many publications and exhibitions, including Fine Woodworking’s Design Book Eight, Lark Books’ 500 Cabinets, the Society for Contemporary Craft’s Transformation 7: Raphael Prize Finalist Exhibition, Studio Furniture: The Next Generation, and Crafting A Continuum: Rethinking Contemporary Craft. She is an Assistant Professor of Furniture Design at Herron School of Art & Design in Indianapolis, IN.


August 2015-August 2019


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