Planning your first visit to the Arts Council? Never been to a gallery before and don’t know what to expect? We’re delighted that you’re thinking about stopping by, but know it can feel intimidating to visit a new space. Here’s some information that may help you feel welcomed and comfortable at the Arts Council.
How much does it cost to attend?
Free. Every art exhibit is free to view in person during our regular business hours. Additionally, virtually all events the Arts Council hosts, like On The Roof concerts and Creative Exploration Days, are free to attend — exceptions apply, of course, including special fundraisers and events hosted by outside organizations.
Where do I park?
There is on-street parking on Main Street, which is limited to two hours on Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There are no parking time limits in the evenings or on the weekends. The closest public garages are at the corner of Locust Street and Fourth Street, or at the corner of Third Street and Bob Jones Way. Please let us know by calling the office at 812-303-3178 if you have mobility issues that require an adjacent parking space — we’re happy to move a staff car from our spaces behind the gallery to accommodate you, we just need advanced notice!
What are your hours?
The Arts Council is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Mondays are available for appointments only. The Arts Council also puts on dozens of special events throughout the year that take place outside of those times.
Someone in my group uses a wheelchair, will they be comfortable in the gallery?
Yes! The Arts Council is ADA compliant. Our front entrance is wide enough for large power wheelchairs, and our restrooms are ADA accessible. Our front door is not powered, but a knock or phone call lets us know that a guest needs assistance holding the door open. The Rooftop Art Deck is accessible by an elevator.
We have a baby, is there a place to change their diaper?
Yes! There is a changing station in one of our restrooms.
May I bring kids to the gallery?
Absolutely! We love our young guests, and have a few suggestions for making their visit to our space special. For younger children, we will have a “seek and find” sheet for each exhibit in the front of the gallery. This scavenger hunt is a jumping off point for talking about the art with kids. We also suggest asking about their favorite pieces, describing images, and asking them about how they would make a piece of their own art. For concerts, we offer child-sized foam earplugs for young guests who find loud music challenging. Of course, even with all of these ideas, there’s always a chance that kids will be, well, kids. Your child will not be the first to lay on the floor in boredom, cry, or in other ways show their displeasure. Don’t worry about it too much, but please be conscious of other visitors.
Someone in my group would be more comfortable with additional accommodations, how do I communicate these to you before our visit?
Give us a call, we’re eager to provide the best experience for all of our guests! While there may be things we’re not equipped to facilitate, we’ll do our best to find options that make a visit to the gallery welcoming and comfortable with advanced planning.
Your time in the gallery
How is the Arts Council laid out?
When you arrive at the Arts Council, you will enter our front doors into the Bower-Suhrheinrich Foundation Gallery. There are stairs immediately to your left that access the Rooftop Art Deck, which is generally opened only during summer months. The Rooftop Art Deck has artist designed furniture and a wonderful view of Main Street, but does not usually have additional art pieces on display. Bathrooms are located at the far side of the Gallery. The back of the building contains offices for the staff, which is not a public area.
How long do visits to the Arts Council last?
As long as you’d like to stay! Most people spend half an hour to 45 minutes looking at the art, but it could be more or less time, depending on the exhibit or event.
How do I learn about each piece of art in the exhibit?
Each piece of art has a label listing the artist’s name, the title of the work, the price of the piece, and the medium (material, like acrylic paint or charcoal pencil) used to create it. You may always ask the staff if there is any more information available about a certain work, we love to share stories or insight that we’ve heard from the artists!
May I buy artwork from an exhibit?
Absolutely! Purchasing art from a local artist is a great way to support the arts community! Galleries keep a percentage of the sale price of each artwork; at the Arts Council, 65% of a sale is paid to the artist, and 35% of the sale is kept to support operating expenses and arts programs. It’s important to know that a red dot on a label means that a piece has already sold, and the letters “NFS” on a label mean that a piece is “not for sale.” You must wait until the exhibit ends to take home artwork that you’ve bought, so that other guests have an opportunity to see the full show. Artists decide the prices of their work, which is based on the time they’ve put into creating them, the cost of the materials they’ve used, and the quality and personal value of the piece.
Who are the artists? How do you choose work to display in the Gallery?
The Arts Council displays work from local artists. Some of our exhibitions are “juried,” meaning that a juror selects only certain pieces that have been submitted by artists to include in the show. Jurors judge work based on their own experience and expertise, and by how well an artist responds to the theme or guidelines of the show. The Arts Council asks artists for submissions of work by posting a “call for art” on our website, on social media, and in emailed newsletters.
How do I find out what exhibits are coming up?
What if I have a question that’s not listed here?
Please contact us at 812-303-3178, or by email at [email protected]. We’ll be glad to help answer any questions you may have.
What else should I know about visiting the Arts Council?
- Don’t worry about not knowing much, or anything, about art! The Arts Council is a great place for people of all backgrounds and experience levels to enjoy art.
- Don’t touch the art. Please. Just don’t.
Above all, we’re glad you’re here!