The Indianapolis Museum of Art will offer traditional and relaxing ways to celebrate the Christmas season and to escape the hectic holiday schedule.
This year’s holiday agenda at the museum includes annual traditions such as Christmas at Lilly House and new additions such as Playtime in Indy, a 50-foot-tall tree of children’s toys on the Lilly House lawn. The colorful, whimsical installation by Minnesota artist Karl Unnasch creates an eye-catching contrast to the historic estate and offers the perfect family photo opportunity. At night, the tree is lit from within to create a multicolored display.
At the IMA’s Winter Solstice celebration Dec. 17, sections of the tree will be dismantled, and the toys will be donated to local charities in time for the holidays. The tree will be on display through Jan. 3.
Here are some more highlights:
Christmas at Lilly House
Nov. 14 to Jan. 3
The Lilly House is decked out with festive holiday décor from the 1930s and 1940s. Visitors can explore the former country estate of Indianapolis businessman J.K. Lilly Jr. with guided tours at 2 p.m. Fridays through Sundays and self-guided tours during regular museum hours.
Silent Night Community Day
5 to 8 p.m. Nov. 28 Admission is free
Guests can enjoy a relaxing alternative to holiday shopping, advertisements and crowds. Unwind with “slow-looking” tours of the galleries, private headphone concerts, massage and meditation spaces, a reading room and more.
Close out the night with “Hourglass,” an immersive music, movement and video performance, which features a 60-minute continuous arc of fully composed music by Robin Cox, while Stephanie Nugent guides the event with approaches to experiencing the sound, video and facilitating physical movement concepts. Everyone is welcome to join in or simply watch and listen to this special performance.
Monster Drawing Rally
6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 3 Deer Zink Special Events Pavilion
Admission is free; artwork is $35 per piece.
Watch local artists create original works of art and purchase your favorite pieces on the spot at the second Monster Drawing Rally. More than 100 artists will work in three one-hour rounds at 6, 7 and 8 p.m. to produce as many drawings as possible in their allotted time. Each drawing is available for sale as soon as it hits the wall (first come, first served) for a flat price of $35. All proceeds support ARTx programming at the IMA.
Family Day: MadeIN
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 5
Celebrate homegrown artists on Family Day, dedicated to Indiana’s local talent. See a local woodblock printmaker in action in the special exhibition, Gustave Baumann, German Craftsman — American Artist. Enjoy children’s holiday film classics, design your own luminaria, participate in a mini version of Monster Drawing Rally for kids and make homemade gifts for your loved ones.
Community Day: Winter Solstice
5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 17
The Oldfields-Lilly House & Gardens will be lit up with hundreds of luminarias and vintage holiday décor decorating the estate.
Enjoy ice carving demonstrations, live reindeer and musical performances at the signature annual event.
Snack on sweet and savory treats from local food trucks, and finish up your holiday shopping at the Madeline F. Elder Greenhouse and Museum Store. The event will also feature Big Tent, a portable multimedia performance environment with 360 degrees of sound and visuals integrated with live performers and audience. The event will conclude with a community “disassembling” of sections of Karl Unnasch’s 50-foot-tall toy tree, and the toys will be donated to local charities.