First Fridays Support Local Artists

For the past several years, galleries and art centers have opened their doors to the general public on the first Friday of every month. Over the years, the first Friday events have evolved beyond quiet gallery showings with free wine and cheese to collective, interactive, sometimes boisterous gatherings of Hoosiers from many walks of life. Even if you’re not “arty,” Indianapolis First Fridays are likely to have showings and events that you will find appealing. On December 1 from 6-9 p.m., several local gatherings will be held that may provide a respite from the mass commercialism of Black Friday and CyberMonday — and give you a chance to see what the collective artistic community is up to in the area.
Community achievements will be celebrated in Englewood Village, a Great Places 2020 neighborhood near Rural St. and East Washington. The Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (iMOCA), Englewood Community Development Corporation (ECDC), and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) will celebrate The Englewood Project and all placemaking projects, Wonderland Film Festival and permanent/semi-permanent art installations by Indianapolis artists Josh Betsey, Quincy Owens and Gautam Rao. Enjoy some treats and watch the premiere of The Englewood Project video featuring all tattoo and cross-stitch participants. The party and show will be held from 6-8 p.m. at the Englewood Recreation Gym, 23 N. Rural St.
The Harrison Center will present Emerald City, their annual color-themed show with an artist reception from 6 to 10 p.m. on Fri., Dec. 1. Now in its 16th year, this holiday tradition is the Harrison Center’s biggest group show of the year. See the work of over 60 local artists in emerald and every other shade of green (and maybe a nod or two to The Wizard of Oz). December 1 is also the last of their four 2017 open studio nights, when 36 artists will welcome you into their workspaces. The Harrison Center is located at the corner of 16th St. and Delaware.
The INDIEana Handicraft Exchange returns with its annual holiday show in the Harrison Center gym and Underground from 5:00 to 10:00pm. The IHE is a contemporary craft fair that consciously celebrates modern handmade goods, the relationship between creator and consumer, and local, alternative economies. Also, returning for the third year is the Harrison Center’s Holiday Window Tour. Grab a complimentary cup of coffee or hot chocolate and take a tour around the building where artists have created window installations that harken back to the days when downtown department stores like L.S. Ayres created magical window displays for the holidays.
In the historic sanctuary at the Harrison, enjoy the sounds of the holiday with performances by the Indiana Choral Artisans and Nathan Partain and friends. For more information on the Harrison Center, please visit
Circle City Industrial Complex, located at 1125 Brookside Ave. will be open and hopping for First Friday. The CCIC Artists present “Joyful Holidays,” throughout the CCIC building. Joyful art exhibits and special events welcome all throughout the 500,000 sq. ft. warehouse that is home to over 50 galleries, artists, and small creative businesses. “Joyful Holidays” offers original art for everyone, including photography, painting, sculpture, jewelry, ceramics, and plush toys. Enjoy the local art and find that special piece for gift giving from a range of artists, including jewelry and metal artist Nancy Lee, photographers Rad Drew, Denis Ryan Kelly Jr., painters Anthony Armstrong and Genna Pianki, and many more. While at the Complex, the Ruckus makerspace and talk to some of the fascinating people behind the most successful makerspace in Indianapolis.
The Stutz Starry Night: Artists Holiday Open House features the work of many of the Stutz artists and provides guests and art lovers the opportunity to view and buy exceptional art — including smaller works, great for unique and heart-felt gift giving. During the Holiday Open House more than 40 artists will open their studios to visitors, giving them not only an opportunity to see where and how the work is created, but also the opportunity to purchase the art. Artwork ranges from paintings, drawings and photography, to sculpture, jewelry and furniture. This event also features live holiday music, refreshments and an opportunity to explore the 400-square-foot building, which includes classic and collectible cars owned by Stutz owner Turner Woodard. The Stutz Bearcat 1914 car will be available for guests to take selfies! Guests may take “Selfies in a Stutz” benefitting ArtMix. The event will be held from 5-10 p.m. The Stutz is located at 212 W. 10th St.