Making art obvious


The Nickel Plate Arts Weekend is bringing local art, food and culture outdoors this weekend

Kerry Ruschaupt is one of the 16 local artists selected to hand-paint a 9-foot market umbrella.

This weekend, artists and local artisans will take part in the Nickel Plate Arts Weekend. The weekend is comprised of over 30 separate events across Noblesville, Fishers, Tipton, Arcadia and Cicero. The planned events include fine art exhibits, interactive art locations, local food and train rides.

Jones with the Judge Stone House proposal

“The Nickel Plate Arts Weekend emerged out of the Hamilton County Artist Association’s Plein Air Paint-Out. Many area artists knew that this is not an event to miss. We saw that as an opportunity for something that Nickel Plate Arts could adopt and spin off from,” said Betsy Jones, Interim Director of Nickel Plate Arts and Director of Tourism Development for the Hamilton County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Nickel Plate Arts, the organization responsible for the weekend, is spinning off from the Hamilton County Convention and Visitors Bureau into its own nonprofit organization that will act as a single hub from which a number of area artists, local galleries, festivals and other organizations can collaborate to further the arts throughout Hamilton County and central Indiana. This weekend is the first major step in that collaboration.

“We commissioned 16 different, local artists to paint large, outdoor umbrellas. Those umbrellas will be spread across the five communities (during the weekend) and will be accompanied by information, volunteers, artists and musicians,” said Jones.

The public will have a chance to view all 16 umbrellas from 9 a.m. to noon this Friday at the Noblesville Square.

For more information on Nickel Plate Arts as well as the full listings for all of the Nickel Plate Arts Weekend events, please visit and “Like” Nickel Plate Arts on Facebook.

While the HCAA’s 4th Annual Plein Air Paint-Out is one of the weekend’s main events, other highlights include Noblesville’s Old Mill Festival, the Art Train from Noblesville to Cicero, Arcadia and Tipton, Main Street’s Jazz Squared and the Nickel Plate Arts Campus Preview at the historic Judge Stone House.

“We saw this weekend as our chance to enhance the Plein Air Paint-Out with more interactive elements and reasons to travel around the county. We aren’t looking to create something from nothing,” said Jones. “We are looking at what is bubbling up around us and what is already deeply embedded in our communities. We want to cultivate and enhance that.”

In the future, Nickel Plate Arts is planning to host classes in a wide variety of areas such as visual art, music and poetry.

“Our goal is to make art available and obvious. We want it to be accessible,” said Jones.


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