Where to see the best contemporary art in Indianapolis

By: Amy Lynch

March 9, 2016

Indiana’s capital city offers much more than auto racing and Hoosier Hospitality; it’s also becoming quite a hotbed for contemporary art venues. Here are the best places to see contemporary art in Indianapolis.

With more than 900 works covering a mixture of media, the Indianapolis Museum of Art‘s contemporary collection is a great place to kick off any modern art adventure. If the weather’s nice, tack on a hike through the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres to take in innovative site-specific pieces, and a little fresh air.

The edgy Fountain Square cultural district just southeast of downtown provides an ideal backdrop for the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art. The only facility in Indy devoted entirely to contemporary art, iMOCA launched as a pop-up gallery in 2001. Today, it has found a permanent home at the Murphy Arts Center, a local clearinghouse of sorts for creative types and an evolving roster of galleries, studios, exhibitors and entrepreneurs.

Where to see the best contemporary art in Indianapolis

The Transaction Boundaries exhibition at the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art highlights the works of artists Elena Lavellés, Artur Silva and Elizabeth Webb © Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art

The community-driven Harrison Center for the Arts seeks to energize renewal through endeavours such as concerts, art shows, festivals and other well-attended local events. The new City Gallery initiative is a perfect example, providing insight into local urban neighbourhoods through art and culture.

Housed within a historic automotive production factory, the sprawling Stutz Art Space draws crowds each spring for a see-and-be-seen annual open house of galleries and studios. There are plenty of other opportunities to visit throughout the year as well to shop, browse and mingle with more than 80 Stutz Artists Association members. Stutz is just one of more than 25 local art establishments that open their doors each month for the Indianapolis Downtown Artist and Dealers Association‘s First Friday Art Tour, during which visitors can leisurely wander in and out of participating venues.

Where to see the best contemporary art in Indianapolis

The Harrison Center for the Arts seeks to inspire, renew and foster change through the power of art © Harrison Center for the Arts

In the charming Broad Ripple Village neighbourhood, the Indianapolis Art Center holds court in a scenic spot along the Monon Trail bike path. In addition to several public galleries and exhibition spaces, the campus hosts an array of classes, programming and events including the popular Broad Ripple Art Fair each May. The interactive al fresco ArtsPark Sculpture Walk, designed by Indiana architect Michael Graves, is well worth checking out.


At the north of the sophisticated Mass Ave cultural district, Art Bank Gallery has reinvented a former century-old bank as a boho-chic holding space for creative arts. In a thoughtful turn, the second floor is dedicated exclusively to art produced by college students. Supported by the Arts Council of Indianapolis, Gallery 924 is a newer addition to the local scene, promoting a diverse slate of contemporary creations.

Where to see the best contemporary art in Indianapolis

Indy’s innovative Alexander Hotel skillfully blends art and accommodation for one-of-a-kind stays © Alexander Hotel

Indianapolis guests who don’t want the fun to end can book a stay in the cheeky Alexander Hotel, a boutique property adorned with forward-thinking contemporary art installations at every turn. Not to be outdone, the well-heeled Conrad maintains the on-site Long-Sharp Gallery, an extension of ModernMasters Fine Art, populated with works including everything from Picasso to Pop.


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Have you been to any of these Indy galleries? Where would you recommend seeing contemporary art in Indianapolis? Let us know in the comments section below.


Written by Amy Lynch


Amy Lynch

Amy Lynch is a freelance writer and editor in Indianapolis, Ind., and has traveled extensively throughout the United States and western Europe. A member of the Midwest Travel Writers Association, Amy’s work has appeared in Delta Sky, the Chicago Tribune, Midwest Living, Indianapolis Monthly, Cincinnati Magazine and Draft.

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