ArtSparkle Chroma—Historical Influences, What to Wear, Party Preview


ArtSparkle carries a tradition for flair and quirky aesthetics, so when planning this year’s end-of-summer party, we thoughtfully considered how to evolve the concept in a way that complements the upcoming Fall Exhibition Opening. Sticking to the theme of Chroma—the intensity of color, and namesake of the upcoming exhibition’s title—we aim to strike a chord with the fashion conscious crowds who flock to this annual extravaganza. 

The evening functions as the Art Center’s second-largest fundraiser of the year and as a critical event that benefits its operations and programs. Proceeds will also help the continuation of the Moxley Glass Studio, which offers community-based glassblowing classes unlike anywhere in Indianapolis to students of all ages and experience levels.

Additionally, it offers a special first look into the Art Center’s latest exhibition, specialty food and drink, dancing, interactive art activities, and the opportunity to mingle with artists and philanthropists who contribute to Indy’s most innovative creative projects. It’s a party with purpose that benefits the entire community.

But what is Chroma, and what inspired staff members to run with this geometric, sometimes psychedelic theme? To understand, we look back through art history at movements that defined generations. The Bauhaus and Memphis Group movements in particular stood out and colored our plans, artists like Klee and Kandinsky.




This confluence of styles also harmoniously arose in conjunction with the geometric patterns and colorful creations brought to the foray by solo exhibition stars Jen Broemel and Jaime Lynn Williams, both who reside and create in the Indianapolis region. What results is a unique Midwestern metamorphosis that’s not quite one or the other, but wholly original due to the circumstances and philosophies that inspire these artists. Chroma will also showcase local and national painters working intuitively in bold statements of color. Guided by abstraction and formalism, Chroma touches upon the relationship between artists and painting while highlighting the love affair with materials, techniques, and pigments that many brush-wielders hold dear to this day.




Part of this event's originality lies in collaborating with partners like LModelz for stellar talent and MDG Salon—who brought their A-game when creating and outfitting models with headpieces, props, and cosmetic flair reflective of the greater thematic choices. The resulting dynamic and vibrant imagery provides a glimpse of what staff hopes to see during the party: boldly geometric outfits with eye-catching colors juxtaposed with explosively bright accessories.

What did it take of our staff to put this together? A lot of exploration and experimentation, several trips to local hardware stores, and putting our heads together to shape attractive set pieces that would augment the style. 




Whitney Alderson—Creative & Communications Manager, Art Director of the ArtSparkle photo shoot, and all around badass—led the charge in envisioning the creative elements for the upcoming ArtSparkle experience. She began by exploring her trusty Pantone booklet searching for gripping hues and colors that evoked a certain mood. Once a palette was chosen, she worked with her team to dream up geometric forms that both abstracted but also emphasized the lines of the human body, drawing inspiration from the “Triadisches Ballett” (Triadic Ballet) from German-native Oskar Schlemmer. 

From this starting point blossomed a trove of outfit ideas, stitched to life in her spare time by Shannon Bennett, the Art Center’s Director of Marketing & Communication. Set pieces were chiseled and shaped to perfection by Shannon Strock, the Art Center’s Exhibition Associate, while numerous other contributions came from the many faces who encompass our organization. Of particular merit for the party itself will be a velvet couch photo-booth to function as an “Instagrammable” selfie-spot, complete with trippy neon lighting and uniquely shaped objects illuminated underwater. 



But where do you start when creating a “lewk” to match such a prismatic aesthetic? In years past we’ve had all flavors of guests with incredible costumes, even nude artists whose outfit consisted of thick body paint meant not only to exaggerate the hues and tones selected for ArtSparkle, but to give life to Pop Art so that it appeared as if Warhol and Liechtenstein’s work stood before you in human form.

First we’d recommend picking two to three of your favorite cool complementary colors that beg for attention. Next, hunt for something oddly shaped at your local thrift shops, or if you’re skilled in the textile arts we’d recommend experimenting with your own fabrics and shapes using rigid materials to give form to your outfit. You’ll want strong lines, whether squiggles or straight. Then bust out the sewing machine and let the inspiration flow through your fingers! 




Interested in gaining the skills to make these ideas a reality for a future ArtSparkle, or to impress everyone at your next Halloween party? Hey, all we're saying is we know a place with INCREDIBLE textile teaching artists and instruction. Hint hint. 

If thrifting is more your speed, check out local shops with funky items. A few include: Broad Ripple Vintage, The Toggery, Zodiac Vintage, Simply Chic, and of course Goodwill. Costume shops would also be a good place to look. AND TRY ON EVERYTHING. Even if you’re not so sure about it, stack it up and fill your dressing room. You might be surprised! Belts, scarves, and broaches are easy ways to fix any over-sized items. Plus, this will help accentuate your body shape and add a pop to your overall look.

Don’t forget about your shoes! Shoes will make or break any outfit, and can help communicate the look you are trying to portray. Be sure to wear a comfortable pair because you’re going to be dancing the night away with the Endless Summer Band!

Take your look one step further with colorful eyeliner, bright shadow, or a lipstick in an interesting hue. And what accessories can everyone use to spruce up their look? Try a pair of colorful shades or a layered look with bright pants.




We understand if you’d rather leave it up to the professionals for now. In that case you’ll want to check out MDG Salon and Kendra Scott—who will help on the journey toward an unforgettable outfit, makeover, and set of accessories that would impress pioneers of the movements we’re inspired by for this event. Plus both are giving exclusive deals to patrons of ArtSparkle. In fact, Kendra Scott is hosting an in-store partnership promotion from July 31 from 6 PM-9 PM with macaroons, wine, and will be donating 20% of sales to the Art Center.




So what are you waiting for, get stitching or get thrifting! Arrive dressed to impress, because we cannot wait to see you in your most glowing accoutrements while snapping selfies, having a thrilling time, and of course tagging @IndplsArtCenter with all your #ArtSparkle memories. General admission occurs between 7 PM-10 PM, while VIP tickets are available and offer a variety of benefits for ArtSparkle including early access to the event at 6 PM, specialty drinks, premier parking, and the opportunity to meet the exhibition artists. Refreshments will be provided by MBP Catering, Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering, Pinnacle Catering Group, Mallow Run Winery, and Sun King Brewery. Live entertainment by Endless Summer Band. 

Tickets can be purchased online through the Indianapolis Art Center. Supporters can also donate or bid on auction items remotely if they are unable to attend. For table and sponsorship information, please contact the Art Center’s Corporate & Foundation Relations Manager, Max Browning. 




And of course we want to thank our sponsors for their generous support and making this event possible. We appreciate each and every one of you! 


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