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The capital of Indiana prides itself on its rich cultural heritage, which spans art, theatre and, of course, food. From small, independent art projects to private collections and renowned galleries, Indianapolis has a bustling arts scene that’s focused on the community and welcoming of innovation, thanks to solid support from the local government. Here are the must-visit contemporary art galleries and spaces in Indianapolis.
Awarded ‘Best Art Gallery 2013’, the Indianapolis Art Center is one of the largest community art facilities in the United States not connected to a university. The mission of this organisation is to engage, enlighten, and inspire the community by providing interactive art education, outreach to underprivileged audiences, support of artists, and general exposure to the visual arts. The Art Center’s campus includes the Marilyn K. Glick School of Art, ArtsPark, a nine-acre outdoor creativity and sculpture garden, and three public art galleries, which host several exhibitions every year and present a full spectrum of work by contemporary artists showcasing their work and stimulating new artistic trends.
Indianapolis Art Center, 820 East 67th Street, Indianapolis, IN, USA, +1 317 255 2464
Born as an extension of the studio of Myers Design Inc., the Artbox space was created to display the furniture and functional art created by the Studio in a setting of contemporary art. In this urban, loft-style space exhibitions rotate on a monthly basis, featuring new artists and new pieces, and featured work includes painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, furniture, and installation. Artbox’s goal is to promote and showcase contemporary artists who push the limits, working out of the box, and to give Indianapolis citizens a fresh and young point of view; as such, it is considered a must-see stop during a trip to the city.
Artbox, 217 West 10th Street, Indianapolis, IN, USA, +1 317 955 2450
RAW Indianapolis is an independent arts organisation whose mission is to provide an alternative idea of art throughout all genres of artistic experimentation; including independent film, fashion, music, visual art, performing art and beauty. Attending a RAW Showcase means experiencing the whole field of art: from a short independent video to a fashion show; from an up-and-coming local designer to a visual artist’s or photographer’s performance. The contemporary art selection is wide and eclectic, with top headlines artists such as versatile painter Jen Graham, who mixes the brilliance of pop art with the seriousness of portraiture, and A. Nigh Herndon, who combines Neo-Expressionism techniques with street art influence and a comics twist.
RAW Indianapolis, 502 North New Jersey Street, Indianapolis, IN, USA, +1 213 995 6729
The Harrison Center for the Arts hosts several exhibitions and art shows every month, and it seeks to be a catalyst for renewal in the city of Indianapolis by fostering awareness, appreciation, and community for arts and culture. With its wide and elegant spaces it offers a variety of locations, including venues for visual, performance, film, and music, where artists can not only showcase their work but also connect, create and get up-close and personal with some of the area’s most interesting and accomplished talents. One of the most recent initatives at the centre is the City Gallery; an ambitious project that uses arts and culture to tell the story of Indianapolis’ urban neighbourhoods.
Set up in the Arts Council of Indianapolis, Gallery 924 is one of Indianapolis’ newest fine art exhibition spaces, providing a diverse schedule that highlights central Indiana’s contemporary artists with solo shows and collaborations with partner organisations. Well-stocked with pamphlets inviting the casual visitor to become more deeply involved in the Indy arts scene, the gallery hosts monthly rotating exhibitions. Representing a thriving part of the visual arts community, Gallery 924 exists as a vital means of guaranteeing visibility and sales for the area’s professional artists. The Arts Council of Indianapolis is also responsible for Public Art Indianapolis, the city’s public art programme, and offers an up-to-date calendar of arts exhibitions, performances, and events in central Indiana.
Gallery 924, 924 North Pennsylvania Street, Indianapolis, IN, USA, +1 317 631 3301
Not a gallery per se, but rather a set of galleries, artists and small business entrepreneurs, the Murphy Arts Center has been called one of the best locations to showcase art in Indianapolis, and it hosts a remarkable venue for contemporary art, the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art. The IMOCA opened its doors in 2001 as a pop-up gallery, and since then it has steadily been growing in size and stature. Every year, it presents different movements and trends from emerging and established artists, and has become an important site for all art lovers. In addition to the IMOCA the Murphy Arts Center is home of several exhibition spaces, performances, artists studios and creative businesses.
Murphy Arts Center, 1043 Virginia Avenue, Indianapolis, IN, USA, +1 317 638 2000
A branch of the Herron School of Art and Design, the Herron Galleries complement and extend the educational goals of the school beyond the studio/classroom and into the realm of gallery installation and presentation. Eleanor Prest Reese, Robert B. Berkshire, Dorit and Gerald Paul Galleries, Frank and Katrina Basile Gallery, Marsh Gallery all work together as a community and regional forum for the evolving discussion of contemporary art and culture. Visitors to this non-profit art space are exposed to works of art and design created by international, national and local artists and designers. Exhibitions have included artworks by notable artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Cynthia Pachikara, Ursula von Rydingsvard, and even rocker John Mellencamp.