Terre Haute hosts amazing visual art and it’s free to see for all! You may just need an introduction to the visual offerings around. The best way to do that is to take an Art Walk.
First stop on the walk…
Public Art is outdoor art that helps to increase the culture of the community and make it a desirable destination. The Wabash Valley Art Spaces Outdoor Sculpture collection currently has eighteen sculptures placed around the city—each with its own unique theme and story. Visit their website to see images of the sculptures with great descriptions and insight about the sculptors and their vision. You can even download a map and easily see all the sculptures in a day.
Soon, Terre Haute will have an awesome exhibit of creatively painted sculptures of Coca Cola bottles, a part of the Root Family Public Art Project. The 27 sculptures, each standing 6 feet tall, will be on display at their respective sponsor sites. The now iconic Coke bottle shape was the winning design submitted by the Root Glass Co. of Terre Haute in 1915 for a nationwide competition put together by the soft drink maker. A huge mural will be painted on the side of the forthcoming Vigo County History Center at 929 Wabash thanks to Coca-Cola Consolidated, and a Birthplace of the Coca-Cola Bottle Festival will take place in downtown Terre Haute this fall thanks to the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Terre Haute.
Continuing the Art Walk to the galleries…
The crows have come to roost at the Arts Illiana Gallery, 23 North Sixth Street! The 2018 Crow Show continues through April 20th. The North American call for this biennial show yielded some amazing interpretations of the crow…the bird that some would call the bane of Terre Haute during the winter months. The exhibit ranges from whimsical to the beautiful. Gallery hours are 10 am to 4 pm Monday through Saturday. Come and cast your vote for the People’s Choice Award to be presented at the closing reception on April 20th. Admission is always free.
For over 75 years The Sheldon Swope Art Museum has been a true gem in our downtown. It’s known for its extraordinary collection of nearly 2,500 works of American art including paintings, sculptures, and works on paper from the 19th century to the present. Plus, general admission to the Swope is always free!
The Swope also hosts annual exhibitions: the Wabash Valley Exhibition and the Student Art Exhibition. The 51st Student Exhibition will open April 7 and run through May 20, 2018. This exhibit showcases the excellence of area students and art educators. In addition the Swope schedules exciting temporary exhibitions throughout the year and wonderful programming for adults and children. Some classes and workshops may have a nominal fee. Visit www.swope.org for details.
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is home to a wonderful permanent collection of art including the work of D. Omer "Salty" Seamon and the Hadley Pottery Collection. Each year, Rose-Hulman hosts a Fall and Spring Exhibition, often featuring the work of Wabash Valley artists. Click here for additional information. The 2018 Spring Exhibition runs through May in Moench Hall and features work from members of the River City Art Assoc. Admission is always free.
Indiana State University offers the ISU and the greater community the work of influential contemporary art through curated shows by nationally known artists. Students gain valuable professional experience through annual exhibition opportunities, including the Juried Student Show and thesis exhibitions which will be shown in April/May. Here is the current schedule. You will also find listings for the Turman Gallery where you can currently view “Constructing the Invisible Cities: Spring 2018 Digital Art Student Exhibition.” Admission is always free.
The Gallery at Clabber Girl is a community art exhibit space within the Clabber Girl Museum at 9th & Wabash in downtown Terre Haute. Exhibits rotate monthly showcasing the talent of area artists. Hours are 8:00-5:00pm Monday-Friday and 8:00am-3:00pm on Saturday. Admission is always free.
If you have an interest...
Art organizations help bring area artists together to promote the visual arts in the Wabash Valley. Both the River City Art Association and the Wabash Valley Art Guild, have monthly meetings, organize annual art exhibitions, and several other exhibition opportunities. Arts Illiana is the regional Arts Council for Terre Haute and surrounding counties and sends out regular notices of exhibition entry calls; exhibition openings, etc. You can subscribe to the weekly ArtsVine to receive up-to-date arts information.
Sherri Wright is the Associate Director for Arts Illiana