Indianapolis’ art scene is more than meets the eye


As Butler University students, we take advantage of the internships Indianapolis has to offer, immerse ourselves in the city’s prominent sports culture and can be seen on weekends grabbing a bite at one of the many eateries. You’re missing out on what’s right in front of you if you haven’t ventured into the Indianapolis area to explore the art scene.

The dictionary defines art as “the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.”

If art can be defined as something made “of more than ordinary significance,” then Indianapolis is filled with it.

Indianapolis Museum of Art

Located less than 2 miles away from campus, the IMA sits on 152 acres of land and just a short walk off the canal. Set aside time with friends to explore the museum and all it has to offer. The IMA is home to more than 54,000 pieces, and covers 5,000 years of art. The IMA is one of the 10 largest and oldest general art museums in the U.S. Walk through the entrance, and you are immediately greeted by books suspended from the ceiling. They seem to float in midair, and viewers crane their necks to get a better look. You can also tread across Funky Bones, where a scene from “The Fault in Our Stars” was filmed. Take a picture, write a clever caption, and post to Instagram for your friends back home.

Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres

The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park lies just catty corner from the IMA, and presents a spread of woods, meadows and pathways that wind around a 35 acre lake. If you’re looking for a quiet escape from campus or a spontaneous nature getaway, the park is a good spot to go. With 100 acres, the park presents the perfect opportunity for runners and walkers alike. Take time to stroll along the small lake and venture closer to the art exhibits lining the trees and clearings.

Central Canal Walk

The Canal Walk located in downtown Indianapolis is a three mile loop that cuts through the White River State Park. Highlights of the pathway include historic churches contrasted by modern architecture. Go for the sculptures created by local Indiana artists. Decorate your snapchat story with the colorful murals painted on the underpasses. Whether you are rollerblading, biking or paddling a kayak, don’t miss the opportunity to see the Canal Walk.

Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art

Take advantage of this unique museum–it is the only one of its kind in the Midwest and located right here in Indy. The museum is easily accessible through the Central Canal Walk and presents works by Georgia O’Keeffe and Andy Warhol to name a few. For only $4, you can travel through time and experience Native American culture through photos, artifacts and displays.

Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art

Interested in what’s new in the art scene? The Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art features rising contemporary artists. Located in the Murphy Art Building in downtown Indianapolis, the museum stretches over 8,000 square feet. Past exhibits have ranged from a display window with emojis to art based on race and equality.

Indianapolis Artsgarden

Buzzfeed placed the Artsgarden as one of the top 22 “Coolest Places to get Married in America.” Even if you aren’t planning on getting married anytime soon, the glass dome in downtown Indy is still a great place to see art. Chances are, you’ve seen the Artsgarden from the outside, but venture inside and you can experience anything from art to music performances. Managed by the Arts Council of Indianapolis, there are more than 300 free events a year hosted in the Artsgarden.

Indiana Repertory Theatre

Home to the Indiana Repertory Theatre, the Indiana Theatre in itself is a piece of art, and its detailed outside walls will leave architecture lovers in awe. IRT puts on a series of nine plays throughout the year. All shows are locally produced. Upcoming shows include “Fences” and “The Mousetrap” by Agatha Christie, the world’s longest running stage play.


Why wait until you’re a senior citizen to take advantage of reduced admission prices?  Most of the places listed above are either free for Butler students or cost less than $10.

So go. Turn off Netflix and spend a Saturday afternoon wandering the city with friends. Instagram it, snapchat it or make a Facebook post. See for yourself and share the art with the rest of us.


One Comment;

  1. Ron Kern said:

    Be sure to check out IDADA First Friday at the Circle City Industrial Complex – more than 40 artists have their studios and galleries open – 10th and Mass. Ave.