What’ll She Do?
Writer & Photographer / Stephanie Duncan
Sharon Gamble, co-host of WFYI’s arts talk show, “The Art of the Matter,” might be one of very few people who have a business card for her house. It’s printed on durable card stock with her name, the name of her house, “Hydrangea House,” and her contact info. “Sometimes, you need a card that isn’t for your business,” Sharon explained. “And I like alliterations!” she added.
This might seem odd to have a business card for your home, but with someone who has pursued many interests and careers, it seems completely acceptable. Along with her weekly radio show, Sharon is also the VP of Development at the Indiana Landmarks Society.
Sharon loves to tell stories. Whether it’s about tending to her garden, divulging historical snippets about her arts and crafts home in downtown Indianapolis or how she landed her first radio gig, Sharon can draw people in because she tells stories well. After 17 years (and counting!) of hosting her well-known arts talk show on WFYI, Sharon has plenty of stories to tell! With longtime co-host Travis DiNicola moving out of state, the show is going through some major changes, and Sharon is excited for the new opportunity.
“We originally wanted the show to be called ‘What Do You Know?’ but the station had already named it ‘The Art of the Matter,’” Sharon explained when talking about the beginnings of the show. Sharon and her then co-host Lynn Stafford decided to use the tagline ‘What’ll We Do?’ to relate to that original title, and sometimes, listeners think that’s the name of the show. Travis joined later and has been Sharon’s co-host for 16 years.
Sharon wanted this show to be different. “I wanted to talk about art as not what you should do, but rather what you want to do,” she explained. She wanted to talk about art in a fun and lively way to educate people who might not normally attend art-related events. “You don’t need a formal education to appreciate art,” she expressed. “You don’t have to know the language to know if you like something or not.” Sharon is adamant in making sure interviews on the show are easy to understand, so any person can listen and comprehend the material.
Now listeners can expect something different again from the show. With Travis gone, Sharon will now be the sole host but with more voices contributing throughout. “Nobody’s Travis. And anything that changes the critical element will change the show, but the heart of the program will be the same,” Sharon said. She wants people to be intrigued enough to want to find out more about their local art opportunities.
Instead of three long form interviews, there will be six to eight shorter interviews with more guest hosts contributing. Along with artist interviews, there will be a new food and beverage segment with a special guest host, focusing on local craft beer breweries and local restaurants. “There has been a craft beer and restaurant explosion in Indiana!” Sharon beamed. With all these local chefs opening new restaurants, she excited about the future of food in Indiana. There will also be an arts news segment covering local art news in Indiana. With more interviews and new segments, the show will definitely be different, but Sharon says the intent will always be the same: “To get people interested in the arts!”
Travis is also excited for his former co-host and friend and her future with the show.
“I can’t count the number of times people have asked me if Sharon is really as nice in person as she comes across on the radio,” said Travis. “She is! Sharon is one of the nicest and smartest people I have ever had the pleasure to work with. Now that I’m moving, I’ve realized one of the things I’m going to miss the most is getting together with Sharon every Monday night to record our ‘What’ll We Do’ calendar for the show. We really do say in-sync (almost) every time! I guess now the question is ‘What’ll She Do?’”
You can listen to “The Art of the Matter” Thursdays at 8 p.m. on 90.1 WFYI Public Radio. The show is rebroadcast on Saturdays at 7 a.m.