Art education

In the span of a single hallway of the Stutz Business and Arts Center, curious art lovers can browse vivid epoxy resin pieces, lifelike oil painting portraits and metallic abstract wall hangings.

They can pick up a brush and create a masterpiece themselves, learn about how to “read” art and peruse the artistry of 28 vintage artisan automobiles.

Members of the Stutz Artists Association open their studio doors this weekend for a two-day extravaganza of creativity. The event will feature more than 60 artists doing demonstrations, showcasing their work and educating their community about their artists’ enclave.

As the largest fundraiser for the association’s residency program, the open house weekend ensures that the Stutz maintains its role as an incubator for present and future artists.

“One of the goals is to showcase the amazing art made and created by Stutz artists. To have 65 of them all together under one roof, and see how they create their art is a really great opportunity,” said Cathi Wineland, executive director of the Stutz Artists Association. “But then the open house also supports the residency program to help new artists set up studios here.”

The Stutz Artists Association is a nonprofit volunteer community of artists. Housed in the former Stutz Motor Car automotive factory, the renovated studio space provides fertile ground for artists of all kinds.

Painters, sculptors, jewelry makers and mixed-media artists all share space together.

The open house has been conducted since 1993, regularly drawing more than 6,000 people to the downtown Indianapolis space.

“If you’re not showing your work, it’s just putting paint on canvas. It’s not really art until you get it out there and people start seeing it,” said Chuck Horsman, a Greenwood-based oil painter. “I’d love to sell some of it, but it’s a chance for me to get my work out there and seen by a lot of people in one night.”

Artists are encouraged to open up their studios to the public, displaying new work and classic creations to sell. Stutz members have been diligently finishing new pieces, while cleaning up their studios and getting everything ready for the event.

“You get the chance to have an immediate response from people on a wide range of things,” said Martha Vaught, a Franklin-based artist. “The Stutz tends to have more non-traditional people who don’t normally go to a Friday gallery opening.”

Some of the artists will offer wine and cheese for visitors to snack on while they browse. Others will feature demonstrations or classes to let people try their hands at their own artwork.

Debbie Bredemus, a Greenwood-based mixed media artist, will be showing people how she creates epoxy resin pieces — one of her specialties. The open house is a perfect chance to expose people to something new, while also showcasing her work to a new audience.

“Since I was a teacher for so long, I love seeing former students and other teachers that I know come through,” she said. “And it gives the artist a chance to show their work to a large number of people. That’s what we don’t have in Indianapolis, unless we have a special event.”

While the artist studios are the main draw, organizers have also lined up a weekend’s worth of entertainment and activities to bring in a crowd.

Artist and Stutz building owner Turner Woodard will have 28 collectible cars on display throughout the former factory. The Warehouse, a music venue located in Carmel, will be organizing regional musicians to perform throughout the weekend.

Live music will be featured on all four floors of the building. Wine and Canvas will host painting sessions in a special area. Food and beverages will be available throughout.

Organizers have also lined up a special appearance by Sarah Urist Green. As creator and curator of “The Art Assignment,” an educational video series produced in partnership with PBS Digital Studios, Green works to introduce people to alternative approaches to art-making.

Her presentation at the Stutz will help people see beyond the colors, shapes and forms in artistic creations to the deeper meaning behind it, Wineland said.

“It will be a fascinating chance to learn about reading art, rather than just seeing it,” she said.

If you go

Stutz Artists Open House

When: 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, 2 to 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: Stutz Business and Arts Center, 212 W. 10th St., Indianapolis.

What: Showcase of 65 artists and their work, as well as music, food, beverages, arts demonstrations and other activities.

Families are encouraged to attend Saturday, where hands-on activities, a youth art scavenger hunt, free cookies and other attractions will be featured.

Cost: $12 in advance, $15 at the gate. Children 12 and under are free. Tickets are valid for both days.

Information and tickets:

Author photo
Ryan Trares is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2727.