Art in the heart of Mass Ave.

The Christel DeHaan ArtSpace is a rotating art gallery that features independent artists from Indianapolis and the surrounding communities. Our ArtSpace is located in the lobby of the Basile Theatre and is currently open to the public seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Exhibits typically rotate every month, and each new exhibit opens with a First Friday reception from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Please direct all ArtSpace inquiries to

Upcoming Exhibits

June/July 2024 Exhibit

Pride & Joy 2024

Artist: Indy’s LGBTQ+ community

About the Show:

We are proud to host our third annual Pride Month community art showcase! 

The Athenaeum is proud to host its third annual Pride Month community art exhibition. We hope to showcase the diversity of pride, along with the diversity of our community’s creatives. The exhibit will be free and open to the public in our Christel DeHaan ArtSpace & Lobby through June/July 2024, with special receptions on June 7 and July 26.

Submissions for the exhibition are currently open to any LGBTQ+ individual of any age. There is no fee to submit artwork. 2D and 3D artwork will be accepted. Multiple submissions are welcome, but gallery space is limited. 

All submissions must be received by 5:00 PM on May 15th.

Link to submit: 

If you have any questions or would like more information about these programs, please contact Gara Gaines at

Thank you for your support!

Current Exhibit

May 2024 Exhibit

Art Saves Lives

Artists: The Indianapolis community, curated by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – Indiana Chapter, and the Athenaeum Foundation

About the Show

In the luminous intersection of art and advocacy, the Art Saves Lives exhibition emerges as a beacon of empathy, resilience, and healing.

Curated in collaboration with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – Indiana Chapter (AFSP), this community art show serves as a poignant exploration of the intricate landscapes of mental health, suicide prevention, and survivorship.

Against the backdrop of Mental Health Awareness Month, Art Saves Lives serves as both a platform for advocacy and a sanctuary for self-expression. Together, let us reaffirm the transformative power of art, the resilience of the human spirit, and the unwavering belief that, indeed, Art Saves Lives.

Past Exhibits

April 2024 Exhibit

March 2024 Exhibit


Artists: React and Brandon Burdine

About Brandon

In addition to being a hometown hero of haircuts (founder of Brick & Mortar Barber Shop, Commissary Barber & Barista, and the Goldie Provisions hair product line), Brandon Burdine is a photographer with an eye for capturing the endless fascination of everyday moments. He has partnered with React to capture photographs of the theatrical process behind Dreamland.

About React

React, originally known as Young Actors Theatre, was founded in 1976 as a place for youth to build confidence, creativity, and discipline through rigorous theatrical training in downtown Indianapolis. Today, React has made a name for itself as a devised theatre company that specializes in social issues– meaning that every React play is built from the ground up, by youth and for youth.

About Dreamland

Dreamland is React’s latest original play, produced in partnership with Earth Charter Indiana, Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Trust, and Glick Philanthropies. Dreamland is a fantastical sci-fi play rooted in the real-world issues of eco-anxiety, the climate crisis, and the power that youth have to change the world around them.

Who Am I?

Artist: Durango

About the Artist:

Darrell Collins known in the art world as “Durango”,is an emerging artist based out of Indianapolis, Indiana. His work is inspired by music, nature, and the need to ignite important conversations. He specializes in acrylic and watercolor paintings that often give off a dreamlike aura and allow the viewer to step in and surround themselves with the world he is presenting.

Curatorial Statement:

The journey of loving yourself can be a lifelong battle. I too am not immune to these struggles. It’s a very human experience to question yourself and have insecurities. Unfortunately we currently live in a world hyper fixated on being perfect and having no flaws. This can cause you to feel like you’re not enough or that something is wrong with you. In reality comparison is the thief of joy. You don’t need to be perfect, you are fine just the way you are. Each of us has our own unique ways of being and that’s ok. I hope through experiencing these pieces you can know that you’re not alone in these thoughts. And that you know it’s perfectly fine to be imperfect. Figure out who you are and who you want to be and embrace it fully.

The Art of SAQA IN

Artists: Local quilt artists across the state of Indiana!

Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc. (SAQA) is a worldwide nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the art quilt: “a creative visual work that is layered and stitched or that references this form of stitched layered structure.”

Our vision is that the art quilt is universally respected as a fine art medium. SAQA’s core values are: excellence, innovation, integrity, and inclusion.

Over the past 30 years, SAQA has grown into a dynamic and active community of over 4,000 artists, curators, collectors, and art professionals located around the world.

With over 40 member regions, SAQA provides a network of support, camaraderie, and inspiration no matter your location. These regional groups offer a variety of resources that help foster personal and professional development.

SAQA INdiana is one of these regional groups and is a gregarious, welcoming, eclectic bunch of artists. We range from seasoned professionals to eager beginners. Members are supported, applauded, and valued as we move along in our creative journeys. We are delighted to get together to share a meal, view an exhibit, share our work and learn new skills.

Misplaced Gratitude

Artist: Lindsay Lord

Thank You. It’s a simple, universal phrase expressing gratitude. However, in the case of rampant, irresponsible consumerism, this gratitude is misplaced – both by consumers and the corporations or businesses from which we buy.  By incorporating the ubiquitous Thank You bag into her artwork, the artist hopes to encourage viewers to take the time to examine what they want versus what they really, truly need. When we interrogate want versus need, we will often find frivolity and excess: single-use containers, cheaply made clothing, seasonal knick-knacks, the latest gadget and sadly, so much more.



With motherhood, memories, and environmentalism at the core, Lindsey Lord’s work often includes materials at hand as well as an exploration of additional media: watercolor, pen and ink, embroidery, and more. Inspiration comes from places where nature persists, highlighting the absurdity of consumerism, and stories of hope that quell her eco-anxiety.

Art Therapist: An Integrated Professional Portrait

Artists: Alumni of the IUPUI Herron School of Art + Design Art Therapy Graduate Program


A curated collection of artwork, in a variety of media, created and exhibited by licensed art therapists


Art therapists hold a foundation in studio arts and psychology with a master’s degree in art therapy. In the 1940s art therapy became a recognized profession as artists, educators, and mental health professionals recognized the therapeutic benefits of art-making as a form of therapy. With the standardization of the field through master’s training programs in the 1970s, art therapists have been an integral part of the mental health field. Unfortunately, art therapists and their training are often misunderstood.

Herron School of Art and Design, IUPUI Master of Arts in Art Therapy Alumni (2014 – present) explore their integrated professional identity of artists and therapists in this exhibition. By maintaining their artistic practice, art therapists engage in creative meaning-making and process their personal experiences to gain deeper insights into self.

Today is a Retrospect

Artist: Andrea Townsend


Portraits of high fashion ads from the late 80s/early 90s & portraits of hip-hop and graffiti pioneers from the 80s


I wanted to paint things I remember from my childhood that helped form my views of culture and develop my aesthetic and interests. It’s both nostalgic and relevant because all these trends have thrived over the past 30+ years and are also re-trending. I wanted to make work that pokes fun/conceptualizes content that shows “influencers” aren’t a new thing. They’re just referred to that way now.


Andrea Townsend is a contemporary freelance painter specializing in custom artwork and murals. She is a graduate of Herron School of Art and Design with a BFA in painting. Outside of commissioned projects, her most recent work includes mixed media and oil portraits and abstracts that depict urban landscapes along with interactive pieces that alter image perception with movement and reflection. She works out of her studio in downtown Indianapolis, IN where she resides.

Pride And Joy

Artists: Indy’s LGBTQ+ Community

The Athenaeum ArtSpace is proud to host this exhibition of artwork from Indianapolis locals who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community. The central theme of this exhibition is creative self-expression, and the diversity within this concept is mirrored by the diversity of our exhibiting artists. This exhibit is free, open to the public, and will run from June 2 through the end of July, 2023.

The exhibit kicks off on the First Friday of the month with a special reception from 6pm to 9pm. Our bar is open and ready to make this the best way to kick off your First Friday gallery tour.

Idol Eyes

Artist: Courtney Elizabeth Elston

My work, Idol Eyes, is inspired by Andy Warhol’s iconic Marilyn Monroe portrait portfolio, not only visually but also in meaning. The color variations he created symbolized the glamorization of Marylin Monroe and the image she created of herself. The amount of portraits he made symbolized the redundance of celebrities and how, through repetition, this glamor becomes their identity.  His goal was to show that portrait, that image, so many times that it became just that, an image.

The title, Idol Eyes, is in reference to how, as a society, we idealize people who appear to have it all. Whether it’s influencers, celebrities, or our peers, what we see is what we believe. The issue is that a lot of the time the image we see of others is just a carefully crafted version of themselves. My self-portrait is a posed and polished image, a viewer wouldn’t know what’s going on in my life just by looking at it. The image on the wall is all some people will ever know of me. The viewer may never know my thoughts, feelings, beliefs, or struggles. They will only know and think of the image I present to them. People seem to always have Idol Eyes for everyone they see, and idealize the person they could be.


For Now I Am Enough

Artist: Abi Raine Mirro

The artwork in this collection tells a story of my past, present and future self and experience as a neurodivergent woman. I aim to explore the beauty of femininity and its connection to identity as well as neurodivergence and how they connect and intertwine for an ephemeral experience of self love and acceptance through exploring this duality.

Emerging: A Veteran Art Therapy Exhibition

The artworks in this collection were created by veterans in art therapy groups. Some individuals represented in this exhibition have been practicing art for years, and some picked up a paintbrush for the first time this year. However, every art piece represents a part of someone’s healing journey. The collected artworks are displayed here in order to share the perspectives, stories, and skills of local Indianapolis veterans and artists. 

Art therapy challenges individuals to abandon the idea of what is “good” art or “bad” art, and rather encourages clients to engage in self-reflection and psychotherapeutic exploration through the use of art materials. Art therapy is focused on the process of creating art rather than the final art product. Many of the works in this collection are deeply personal and represent moments of self-discovery, awareness, and healing.  

This exhibition provides a space for art therapy clients to share their stories and transform the personal and public narrative about the veteran population. Art is a form of communication. Think of the artwork as a conduit for connection through time and space. As you engage with the art in this space, tune into what thoughts and feelings arise from interacting with the work, as well as the dynamic, complex, and deep humanity behind the artists that created the work. 

This exhibition is part of the graduate thesis research of Brooke Neubaum, Herron School of Art, IUPUI.

Shared History Project: 1700 Years of Jewish Life in German-Speaking Lands

Traveling Exhibit: Leo Beck Institute 

The year 2021 marked the 1700th anniversary of a Roman imperial edict authorizing the municipal authorities of the Roman colony at the site of modern-day Cologne to recruit Jews to serve on the municipal council. This document, preserved in the Vatican Library, is the earliest evidence of a Jewish presence north of the Alps, and institutions in Germany and beyond marked the occasion with a year-long festival of exhibitions, events, and commemoration.

The Leo Baeck Institute (LBI), a New York-based library and archive, joined the commemoration with its Shared History Project, an online exhibition of 58 objects drawn from dozens of institutions and accompanied by essays from leading scholars. This traveling exhibition presents a selection of those objects organized according to recurring themes of Jewish life with links to further reading on the “Shared History Project” Website. A German-language version of the exhibition traveled to German State Parliament buildings in 2021 and 2022, and the English-language exhibition has been displayed in several locations.

Free To Be

Artists: Indy’s LGBTQ+ Community

In partnership with Indy Pride, the Athenaeum ArtSpace is proud to host this exhibition of artwork from Indianapolis locals who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community. The central theme of this exhibition is creative self-expression, and the diversity within this concept is mirrored by the diversity of our exhibiting artists. This exhibit is free, open to the public, and will run from June 3 through the end of July, 2022.

Deonna Craig

I am an artist; I am a creative and I am chasing my dreams.

My dreams live through my art and my art through my dreams.

Through my ethereal abstract work, rich in texture and color, this never-ending creative chase is often depicted. And while this exhibit is entitled “The Chase”, there are subtle reminders to slow down and reconnect.

This season of dream chasing has opened a new chapter of exploration and discovery. I no longer simply believe in my dreams. This time around; I’m chasing them.

Torrie Hudson


A collection of cybernetically-enhanced beings longing to reconnect with that which makes them human: emotion. This series of acrylic paintings on canvas is a portrayal of a spectrum of feelings that utilizes experimental color theory and the contrast between rigid and organic forms to instill a sense of connection within its viewers. I hope to inspire a sense of empathy within you that translates to a stronger sense of empathy for those in the world around you.

Jamahl Crouch

Glide through the flow of Jamahl’s personal and introspective work in this 10-year retrospective of autobiographical drawings, paintings, and comicbookesque scenes. “Over the years, drawing and painting have taken on many different forms for me. It was my hobby, my escape, my window and doorway to knowledge and understanding, my financial living and still my life journey.” Jamahl is a born and raised community-oriented Indy artist, formally trained at Vincennes and Herron, translating his daily existence to paper and canvas to create images that are simultaneously raw and poised. Process, works in progress, and thoughts in the making are all part of stream of consciousness. “This will be an honest look in the long journey of my career as an artist, the effort that was given, and the growth that came from it.”

Maxine Wallace

Evident Truths: A photojournal of Trans Indianapolis
In December of 2018, I was approached by two Trans activists, Kit Malone with the ACLU, and Tyne Parlett, who works towards eliminating Trans homelessness, to collaborate on a photography series highlighting the pride, vulnerability, and beauty of the Trans community of Indianapolis. The project was to capture three to four pictures of each subject, one of their face, full body, favorite body part, and something on them that made them feel visible or most like themselves.

Maxine Wallace is a visual storyteller based in Indianapolis. She believes that good storytelling relies not only on technical skill but creating an emotional connection with her subjects and collaborators. Bloom is the result of collaboration and experimentation gone right. As the photographer, Maxine wanted to experiment with different lighting techniques, primarily using color to make something visually appealing. The models all happen to be her friends, and it was interesting seeing how they all interacted with the flowers in different ways. It took between one to three lights to get the combinations perfect.

LIVE from ArtSpace

May 2021 at the Athenaeum sees the full return of in-person First Friday receptions! With art from three very talented painters, we welcome you back to the Athenaeum and to discover all the beauty that is our ArtSpace. Located on the second floor of the west wing of the building, the gallery is in the lobby of our Basile Theatre and is open daily from 8am to 2pm.

Broken Rims and Dirty Dreams

Once the dreams of a child in Chicago wearing The Sacred No. 23, Nick Conlon’s dreams are being realized as a sundry artist. But one thing, he says, has stayed the same: Ball is life. “I don’t think I’m going to make it to ‘The League.’ I’m an artist now, so I’m turning these pieces of forgotten equipment—and the dreams they signify—into beautiful sculptures.”

Conlon says his show is about the equipment used to play basketball, “…and by used I mean overused, worn out, ripped apart, broken, torn down, tethered, recycled, and repurposed. I’m talking about rims that have been beaten up and dunked on, shot on 100,000 times.”

He likens the backboards on which he paints as if they were canvases, to people. “I feel they’re just like human beings. They are all the same, yet different. They all need love. They all need to be encouraged and lifted up and sometimes cleaned up a little bit, just to feel alive again.”

Basketball is a pastime of all Midwestern kids, or more so, part of our cultural baptism. For Nick, creating these pieces brings back memories, a sense of nostalgia, stories long forgotten. Viewing this work might come with a bit of sadness or regret for the dreams one had as a child and never realized, or the toll life takes on all that suffer it. It should also remind us, however, of happy and carefree times with friends when anything in the world felt possible, and the possibility of these well-worn and forgotten pieces of equipment becoming something new and beautiful again can attest to our abilities to discover new passions and make new dreams come true.

On the art of the game, Conlon says, “Basketball is sometimes called ‘poetry in motion’ because of how beautiful the sport is – the colors, the players, the movements, the arenas.” In this way, life too is a sort of poetry in motion. Really, this sport is inextricable from the idea of life itself – at least for a kid from the Midwest. As Conlon says, “Ball is life.”

Allisa Frazier

Allisa Frazier’s imagination and creativity have always been far more vast than the small-town lifestyle she was brought up in.

After graduating from Ball State with a degree in design and focus in illustration, Allisa’s first showcase exhibition was with RAW Underground Artists in the summer of 2017. Her evolution into collage art and then digital collage followed.

“With collage, my ideas flow most freely and naturally.”

Allisa currently does contracted design work and freelance projects, and is looking towards a future as a progressive and ethical artist working on personal projects as well as in collaboration with creative artists of all mediums.

“The goal is to focus on creating art that stands to provoke, be it through thought, inspiration, or opposition.”

Learn more about Allisa and her work on her website @

Aaron Scamihorn

Aaron Scamihorn is a designer, illustrator, and artist from Indianapolis. His business, Ronlewhorn Industries, works in a variety of industries but specializes in beverage packaging, portrait illustration, and poster art.

Scamihorn’s exhibition – The Ronlewhorn Political Circus – will open with a reception on Friday, October 2 from 5pm to 8pm with a very special beer from Indiana City Brewing in support of the exhibit and the Athenaeum’s upcoming Spirit & Place event, The Origin of Fascism. Sales from this fruited, hazy pale ale will benefit the S&P event.

These works address the current climate of electoral politics in the United States. Aaron states, “As we look forward to the upcoming election, the most soul-crushing and mind-boggling situation has been watching people vote directly against a majority of their core values as human beings who care for other people.” Scamihorn will donate all profits from the sale of his work.

You can find his work on all social channels @RONLEWHORN

Athenaeum Foundation401 EAST MICHIGAN STREET

Our Mission

The Athenaeum Foundation preserves a treasured historic landmark that welcomes all to nurture a sound mind and a sound body through arts & culture, wellness and community.

The Athenaeum Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization.