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Indianapolis Art Center building turns 25
by Alan Hague
posted: Aug. 05, 2021

Indianapolis Art Center (IAC), 820 E. 67th Street [A4 on map], is celebrating an anniversary. Twenty-five years ago the current IAC building opened. It was designed by renown architect Michael Graves, who grew up in Indianapolis, attending both School 80 in Broad Ripple and Broad Ripple High School.

The rendering for the iconic Michael Graves building
The rendering for the iconic Michael Graves building
image courtesy of Indianapolis Art Center


The theme of the upcoming ARTSPARKLE event at the IAC is Silver Jubilee, in honor of the anniversary. The event is scheduled for August 21, 2021, from 6pm to 10 pm. Tickets are still available.
Around 1986, the IAC realized it had outgrown the original 1976 Indianapolis Art League building on 67th Street. A capital campaign was launched to raise money for the design and construction of a new building. Joyce Sommers, Executive Director of the IAC, thought of Broad Ripple High School classmate Michael Graves to design it. Graves was thrilled to do a project like that in his hometown and agreed.
$5 million was raised and the project began. The new complex opened in 1996.

The original Michael graves plan
The original Michael graves plan
image courtesy of Indianapolis Art Center


In 2021, there is an effort to place the distinctive IAC building on the National Register of Historic Places. While a building is required to be at least fifty years old to be considered for the Register, it was recommended to start that process now, due to the significance of the building's architecture. A committee will soon form for that purpose. Those interested in volunteering for that effort may contact Diane Seybert at bungalowdee@gmail.com.
The IAC is once again running out of classroom space. The leadership and board are working together to better utilize current space and study creative options for expansion in the future.
Come explore the Art Center for yourself. Exhibits are free and open to the public.

The site plan for the IAC grounds from 1996
The site plan for the IAC grounds from 1996
image courtesy of Indianapolis Art Center


The ribbon cutting in 1996: Michael Graves, Joyce Sommers, Mayor Steve Goldsmith, and John Hoover.
The ribbon cutting in 1996: Michael Graves, Joyce Sommers, Mayor Steve Goldsmith, and John Hoover.
image courtesy of Indianapolis Art Center




alan@broadripplegazette.com
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