One of the country’s largest single-day arts fairs returns to Indianapolis this weekend. The nonprofit Penrod Society will Saturday host its 53rd annual Penrod Arts Fair at Newfields to raise funds to support arts organizations throughout the state. More than 350 artist exhibitions will be on display and Tim Haley, the 2019 Arts Fair chair, tells Inside INdiana Business the event furthers the nonprofit’s mission.
"All of the dollars that come in the door go back to the community," said Haley. "We give grants in excess of $200,000 a year. I think in the life of the organization, hopefully this year we cross over $5 million total. Our focus and mission is on giving grants to organizations that give art to areas where it usually wouldn’t otherwise be. So we’re really focused on trying to get art out into the world."
Charles Venerable, chief executive officer of Newfields, says they expect 20,000-30,000 people at the event, making it the largest event at venue each year. He says the arts are hugely important to any great city and the Penrod event serves as a "welcome mat" for the arts community.
"Statistically, we know that more people go to places like art museums and other performing arts venues than go to sports events and that’s something that you don’t really think about in a sports town like Indianapolis, but it’s true all over the country," said Venerable. "Penrod has a really special place in that. They opened the door, I think, to a lot of people who don’t consider themselves really well educated in the arts…whereas here, it’s so casual; You can come and enjoy yourself, maybe buy something you really like it but before you know it, you might become a collector and then before you know it, you might be looking at Rembrandt in art galleries."
The Penrod Society has partnered with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to display a NASCAR car that has been painted by Indy native Turner Woodard, an artist and car collector who owns the Stutz building in downtown Indy. The car will also be on display Sunday at the Brickyard 400 race at IMS.
You can see more about Woodard and his car in the video below, courtesy of our partners at WISH-TV:
More than 40 arts-related nonprofit organizations will also be on hand for this year’s fair. The Penrod Society says one of the main new features of the event is musical entertainment curated in partnership with Indy Jazz Fest, which will be performed on four stages. The fair will also see a return of the Stutz Artists Village, which features artists from the Stutz Artists Association.
"The Penrod Arts Fair is an Indianapolis tradition that we’re proud to be a part of," Laura LaForge, co-president of the Stutz Artists Association, said in a news release. "It’s one of the only single-day events where so many artists from various backgrounds congregate and celebrate the art all around us."
You can learn more about the Penrod Arts Fair by clicking here.