Fall Guide: Visual Art

Name Witheld, George Platt Lynes, 1930.  From the collections of the Kinsey Institute, Indiana University © Estate of George Platt Lynes

The Visual Arts scene in Indianapolis has exploded over recent years, and there are no shortage of local artists showing original and impressive work. The First Friday of each month is always your best bet for catching a new exhibit and discovering new work, and we've listed 20 Notable Art Spaces to keep on your radar elsewhere.

Here are 10 Visual Art openings we're most looking forward to this Fall.


Mesa Hive: Indianapolis Bee Sanctuary

  • Through Oct. 2
  • Tube Factory Artspace
  • bigcar.org
  • Juan William Chávez’s interlinked projects, Indianapolis Bee Sanctuary and Mesa Hive will be at Tube Factory artspace through Oct. 20. Chávez’s Mesa Hive installation highlights the beekeeping project in the green space next to Tube Factory. If you’re going to pay a proper visit to the Bee Sanctuary, the word is that you have to don a serious beekeeping suit.

Walking Wednesday: Public Art with Julia Muney Moore

  • Sept. 12
  • Meet on East Plaza of City Market
  • bigcar.org
  • There’s plenty of great public art in Indianapolis, from the flying donut sculpture in front of Central Library to the huge murals depicting Mari Evans and Kurt Vonnegut overlooking Mass Ave. Undoubtedly, Julia Muney Moore, Director of Public Art at the Arts Council of Indianapolis, will have other public art landmarks to show you as well on her walking tour.

Putty: An Art Talk Show

  • Sept. 15
  • State Street Pub
  • facebook.com/sspindy
  • Okay, so this is cheating a bit. Putty isn’t an art exhibition, but it attracts may artist-types. It’s an art-focused talk show in a venue that reminds us of nothing so much as a set piece out of the Martin Scorsese movie After Hours. But that makes it the perfect venue for Erin K. Drew’s talk show, where she interviews Indy’s artists and art icons in a playful, but never frivolous, way. In this particular edition, Drew will talk to Detroit artist Chelsea A Flowers, local artist Liz Weirzbicki, and 10th West curators Tony Quintana and Maria Behringer. The musical guest is Death Valley.

Kenneth Tyler: The Art of Collaboration

  • Sept. 19-Nov. 10
  • Herron Galleries at Herron School of Art
  • herron.iupui.edu/galleries
  • During his career, which spanned most of the latter half of the 20th century, Tyler radically changed the medium of printmaking through his collaborations with dozens of artists. This exhibition focuses on his relationship with 11 of them: Josef Albers, Helen Frankenthaler, David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, John Newman, Terence La Noue, Frank Stella, Steven Sorman, and John Walker.

FLAVA FRESH! XV Artists Talk and Reception

  • Sept. 27
  • Indiana Interchurch Center
  • facebook.com/FLAVA-FRESH
  • D. Del Reverda-Jennings has brought greater recognition to many a talented artist with her FLAVA FRESH exhibitions of juried, local artwork. This is a chance to meet some of the artists, and check out some of the artwork in an unhuried, non-First-Friday type of atmosphere.

Art of the Brick: The World’s Largest Display of Lego Art

  • Sept. 29-Jan. 26
  • Indiana State Museum
  • indianamuseum.org
  • This is the kind of exhibit that, when it comes to town, you just have to see whether you take a rug rat or not. It features 80 works of art entirely composed of Lego bricks built by Nathan Sawaya. His work includes interpretations of Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Perhaps the most popular of his works is Yellow, which is a life-size sculpture of a man ripping open his chest, with thousands of yellow LEGO bricks pouring out.

Sensual/Sexual/Social: The Photography of George Platt Lynes

  • Sept. 30-Feb. 14
  • IMA at Newfields
  • discovernewfields.org
  • Photographer Lynes was the house photographer for the New York City Ballet for many years, as well as a fashion photographer for Vogue. Through his photos, he explored male sexuality in his work at a time when homosexuality was criminalized in the U.S. Just the act of shipping these photographs from New York City to the Kinsey Institute at IU Bloomington—where they ultimately became part of the Kinsey Collection–could have landed Lynes in jail. See these finely rendered prints that open a window on a sexually repressed era in American history.


Anne McKenzie Nickolson & Richard Emery Nickolson

  • Oct. 4-5
  • Gallery 924
  • indyarts.org
  • The Nickolsons have a long history of art in Indianapolis. Anne McKenzie Nickolson is a fiber artist drawn to depicting a myriad of subject matter in her work, from wildlife to the Eiffel Tower. Richard Nickolson is a painter drawn to depicting radio transmission towers, among other subjects, in his painting. But he’s also influenced by prehistoric rock art painting that he’s seen in his travels. “What I am trying to do now is invent post-postmodern 21st century pictographs like warning signs,” he told NUVO’s Jennifer Delgadillo. One thing that will be interesting to look watch in this exhibition, is thematic parallels in their work.


Steve Paddack

  • Nov. 9
  • Edington Gallery
  • stevepaddack.com
  • In 2009, when Arts Editor Dan Grossman was just starting out reviewing for NUVO, he happened upon a solo Paddack show at the since-closed Four Star Gallery on Mass Ave. The name of the exhibition was The Redundancy of Errata which featured the painter’s surreal landscapes. He wrote the following: “There is both highly metaphorical content and sly humor in Steve Paddack's paintings. There is also an uncanny technical mastery that allows him to evoke a landscape without opeing it.” If you care about visual art in this city, you should make it a point of checking out this show.

New Western Art Galleries

  • Opening Nov. 10
  • Eiteljorg Museum
  • eiteljorg.org
  • The galleries will reopen with a brand new exhibition of Western art that explores diversity in the artists of the West, titled Attitudes: The West in Art. We are looking forward to seeing how the Eiteljorg reconciles the 19th and 20th century artwork with 21st century notions of diversity. After checking out this exhibition, you might want to check out the exhibition of art by Native American artist Henry Fonseca up through April 2019.