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Ten Reasons to Vote for the IMA as the BEST Museum in Indy

Today’s blog post was written by Public Affairs intern Dori Thayer. Dori is a recent graduate of DePauw University where she studied Art History.

IndyChannel recently launched their A-list ballot for 2011 – a yearly poll that highlights the best of Indy. The IMA is proud to say that we have been nominated as a contender for best museum. The wide-ranging list below, in the form of a TOP ten, are just a few reasons why you should vote in support of the IMA as Indianapolis’ BEST museum. We know you already agree but we hope to reassure you anyway.

10. First and foremost, the IMA is an ART museum, even though it provides films, talks, events, galas, and workshops that may convince you otherwise, the enormous and comprehensive collection is at the heart of our existence. The IMA strives and achieves in providing an art museum environment that is friendly and non-threatening to those without an artistic background, embracing the community as a whole. Those with a love and passion for the arts can mingle amongst peers and schedule an entire weekend of events solely with IMA activities.

9. The IMA has had a remarkable year which included a recent performance at the Venice Biennale, representing the US on a global venue. As you know, the IMA has been working tirelessly on this event, which has garnered amazing responses to Allora & Calzadilla’s works. The IMA represented Indianapolis and the US in an authentic and innovative way through this artistic duo. Did I mention the IMA represented the ENTIRE UNITED STATES? Just checking.

Photos by Andrew Bordwin.

8. In recent years, the opening of the Randall L. and Marianne W. Tobias Theater, aka The Toby, has drawn some big-named speakers into our Indianapolis sphere. Most recently Stefan Sagmeister came to speak about design and happiness from his personal studio, Sagmeister Inc, which was founded in 1993. Sagmeister has designed for the likes of The Rolling Stones, HBO and the Guggenheim with his maxim’s made of both conventional and unconventional mediums using his words and design as a “tool for social renewal.” The Toby has also hosted, Temple Grandin, a woman living with Autism, who is praised with her humane design for handling livestock facilities. An HBO film biography on her won seven Emmy awards! With an amazing turn out for the Toby’s first year (almost 37,000 visitors) the future only looks brighter. Who will the Toby draw in next?

Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial7. Not only does the IMA host galleries filled with ancient arts and artifacts from cultures around the world, it also hosts its own contemporary art wing from a world-wide net. Do-Ho Suh’s contemporary work, Floor is  a very awe inspiring piece. Viewers are allowed and meant to step upon this expansive platform where hundreds of male and female figurines seemingly hold you up. The hundreds of figures that cover the underside of the 32 individual squares allow each viewer’s weight to be held up by their tired plastic arms. The IMA has a contemporary collection worth noting as well as artist showcases, presently being Mr. Thorton Dial—whose exhibition Hard Truths runs through September 18.

6. Spring has sprung and summer is fully fledged! 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park is an amazing outdoor experience that is definitely worth its own visit to the IMA. On these beautiful Indianapolis summer days, 100 acres is a perfect getaway from the bustle of the city (even just for a few hours)! With eight sight-specific works commissioned, the park shows how art and nature intertwined in a contemporary style. Joep van Lieshout, with his studio Atelier van Lieshout, created Funky Bones, and interactive large-scale sculpture of a Halloween-esque skeleton to be multifaceted, as both art and as functional benches. Plus, where else can you row out to an artist-inhabited island? Pretty sure we’re the only one.

5. In 2008 the IMA was named an Energy Star partner with a pledge to reduce energy consumption. In turn, we reduced natural gas consumption by 48 percent and electricity by 19 percent. In 2010 the IMA was named one of 11 museums to receive recognition by the Environmental Protection Agency which sparked the IMA’s own “greening committee”- displaying art and protecting the environment, one day at a time.

4. We love to collaborate! The Indianapolis International Film Festival has again paired with the IMA’s Toby theatre and DeBoest Lecture hall and will be running from July 14-July 18. This festival will show films from all over the world of varying genre, skill level and lengths. From one minute films (Check out Dinosaur Ballet) to full length feature films, this festival will have a film to suit everyone’s taste. The IMA bringing a small piece of the world to you through this collaboration is sure to be an eye-opening experience. (It also includes a film by one of the IMA’s own staff, be sure to check out Type A!)

3. A certain buzz has been generated from the unveiling of the enigmatic Miller House and Garden in Columbus, Indiana. This acquisition marks an expansion that the IMA knows no bounds and will restore and display art of many forms while also showcasing Indiana’s architectural gem, the city of Columbus itself.

2. Summer Nights is a summer film series that has been widely received by the Indianapolis community. Not only can you sit amongst your friends, and enjoy a great film in the evening, but you can lounge in an amphitheatre setting reminiscent of the ancient Greeks and enjoy food and refreshments. This series is widely popular and lets you escape from the air-conditioned doldrums of the standard blockbuster while enjoying an acclaimed film and a nice summer breeze. Are you convinced yet?

1. In the words of a beloved YELP reviewer: “…an art museum that’s free? Must be a joke or not worth going to. Turns out that I was wrong.” You heard right, to everyone’s utter amazement and enjoyment, admission is FREE! VOTE NOW for the IMA as the BEST Museum in Indianapolis!

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