Stephenson Showcase: Rocky Wall’s Exhibit “My Type of Art by Rocky Jack”

Stephenson Showcase: Rocky Wall’s Exhibit “My Type of Art by Rocky Jack”

Rocky Walls, Cofounder of Noblesville-based, documentary film company 12 Stars Media and Executive Director of niche streaming service Hoodox, focuses on telling stories of interesting characters that inspire communities to make positive changes. Rocky has directed three feature-length documentaries – Finding Hygge (2019), No Limits: An Arts Series Focused on Access for All (2020) and IMBPREZ (2021). He, like many artists, is on a journey to understand his type of art and how to use it to express himself. 

“J”
Photograph by Rocky Walls

Rocky starting taking photos on his sister’s Pentax K-1000 in the 90s, “I’ve been taking photos since before digital cameras were around.” Rocky is a very visual person, so photography came naturally to him. “I saw my sister carrying around a camera and asked her to show me the ropes, and she was happy to do that. I always appreciated that.”

Gradually, Rocky grew through photography as photography, itself, was going through the digital transformation. This transformation spills into his work as a filmmaker. Framing a shot from a visual perspective – considering the lighting, how the composition or style of framing, can lend itself to storytelling. The photos in his exhibit, “My Type of Art by Rocky Jack,” will be mostly digital works, with a few film photos. What you’ll experience is digital photography of analog items.

Rocky Walls

The modern day “reaching back out to the older, simpler, way of doing things” comes to life in his exhibit. “I like that film limits you. It’s easier for me to tell a story, [if] I don’t have 400 photos to sort through; I only have 10 to 24 pictures to tell a story.” By shooting film again, how he takes digital pictures has been affected. He may have unlimited space on a memory card, but he is training himself to be more decisive and more careful of what he takes. “It’s more of a meditative process.”

A lot of photography in the exhibit is close up – and that ties into meditation. He takes tight shots of things, paying attention to really fine details. “It’s about getting in there and being quiet and paying attention and focusing in on something 100 other people walked by and may not have noticed.”

Incorporating the nostalgic objects is a discovery process, reaching back into the past with the typewriter, appreciating analog things – a way to transform story and words into artwork. It all goes back to story and character development – figuring out the different ways he can interpret story and the world around him.

“My Type of Art by Rocky Jack” is Rocky’s way of accepting the fact that he’s an artist. “What is my definition of art, for me, that makes me comfortable saying, “I did that, it is art.” See Rocky’s exhibit in the Stephenson House November 5 through the 27 during regular business hours. Meet Rocky at his reception on Friday, November 5th from 6pm-9pm as we celebrate First Friday at Nickel Plate Arts.

Les Reinhardt
lreinhardt@nickelplatearts.org