Where Indy Makes Art
As you may know by now, Indianapolis has become a haven for artists both young and old. Whether it’s fine art, graffiti, jewelry, or crafts, Indy has a place for you as an artist. With new galleries, studios, and art organizations popping up all over the city, it’s become quite clear where the city’s cultural loyalties lie.
Fountain Square, a growing neighborhood just Southeast of the downtown area, has developed itself into Indy’s artist center. Take the Murphy Arts Center for instance. This historic building houses the highest concentration of art studios in the city. Let’s take a look at some of The Murphy’s galleries and studios.
Located on the second floor of the Murphy Arts Center, Primary Gallery focuses on bringing progressive and contemporary art to the Fountain Square community. This gallery also shares its space with Mt. Comfort Gallery.
UPLAND PROGAGANDA STUDIO
From the brewers of some of the tastiest beer in Indiana, and clear supporters of the arts, Upland Brewery has created a studio/office with The Murphy. Upland’s headquarters is down South in Bloomington, but they felt they needed to spread the Upland love here in Indy. They of course chose Fountain Square as their Indy base because of its reputation as the creative hub of the city. Every First Friday, Upland Propaganda Studio hosts a party featuring local artists work, and a DJ, with beer proceeds going to a local nonprofit.
IMOCA is the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, a space to showcase innovative and enlightening exhibitions, educational programs, and events to all the culture lovers of Indy. IMOCA makes it a point to support Fountain Square as THE up-and-coming Indy neighborhood of our fare city. Located in an area of The Murphy Center alongside the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, making it a perfect stop as you bike or run through the city. Another important point to make concerning IMOCA, is the fact that it’s a non-collecting museum. This distinction entails that this particular museum has the ability to be flexible when it comes to its showcases, constantly adding new material.
Other studios in the Murphy Arts Center include Luxe 218, Two Thirds Studios, Blackline Studio, Get Dirty Ceramics, and Blue Wren Studio.
Also located in Fountain Square is the Wheeler Arts Community. The WAC is a deemed as a unique collaboration between the University of Indianapolis and the Southeast Neighborhood Development. This unique one-of-a-kind venue is a refurbished, once abandoned factory located just a few miles north of the UIndy campus. The Wheeler Arts Community now houses 36 artist combination studio/lofts for professional artists, sculptors, writers, musicians, and dancers. The WAC is also home to UIndy Community Arts and Education Center, which provides open spaces for rent including community theatres and small galleries and classrooms.
What’s a good art community without a place, or places, to showcase said art. Aside from the fact that Fountain Square was once, and arguably still is, the theatre capital of Indiana, it is without a doubt the neighborhood housing the most art spaces in the whole city. With spaces like Funkyard Coffee Shop & Gallery and Domont Studio Gallery, Fountain Square is where you want to be if you’re at all interested in viewing what art is like in this Midwestern city. Alongside these spaces are the infamous First Friday events. Indianapolis Downtown Artists and Dealers Association is a non-profit membership based organization focusing on studio artists, art galleries, and arts-related businesses with the downtown area. IDADA founded First Friday events in Indianapolis and continues to push forward with its First Friday art efforts. First Friday events are simply a means to show Indy what it means to be an artist in our city. With pop-up galleries, brick-and-mortar spaces, and everything in between hopping on the First Friday bandwagon, it’s hard to not find something truly unique on the first Friday of each month here in Indy.
Keep an eye out for First Friday events, and be sure to check out one of the aforementioned gallery spaces, studios, or museums located in Fountain Square and beyond!