Nickel Plate Arts highlights Petersen’s art


Nickel Plate Arts in Noblesville will feature artist Leigh Petersen in the Stephenson House during the month of May.

Petersen, who graduated from Center Grove High School, said she loves to use art as a way to escape and unwind to get in touch with her thoughts, dreams and inner self. She chose to enroll in summer school in high school to complete as many required courses as she could so that she had more room in her schedule for art classes during the school year, according to a news release.

By the time she was a senior at Center Grove, she had taken every art class that had been offered that resulted in the creation of independent art classes for her. Upon graduation, she didn’t commit to any single medium and enjoyed drawing, painting, fashion design and photography, she said.

“I moved to New York City and got a job at a small graphic design firm as one of my first ‘real’ jobs,” Petersen stated. “From there, I was hooked on graphic design because it was a place where I could draw from all of my favorite mediums and experiences, and I just never looked back.”

Petersen worked as a design apprentice in New York City before moving back home to Indiana and shifting to production and advertising design. Because she did not go to college, Petersen learned as she worked and was able to work her way up as a result of her admirable performance and achievements, according to Nickel Plate Arts.

Petersen said working as her own boss gave her more time to dedicate to traditional creative pursuits. The pandemic was also a turning point for Petersen’s career as the uncertainty served as creative inspiration for her pieces during that time, according to Nickel Plate Arts.

“Art has always been a means of escape for me, a way for me to disconnect from my day-to-day stress and worries and delve more deeply into my thoughts and feelings,” Petersen stated.

Although her work is often classified as fantasy or surreal, she said each piece of art is a visual representation of some piece of her inner self.

“They come from the chaos within,” she stated.

Petersen’s exhibit, “The Within,” can be seen in the Stephenson House on the Nickel Plate Arts campus, 107 S. 8th St., through May 27. Hours are from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

Nickel Plate Arts is also featuring the work of Joy Tilson Cobb at Four Day Ray Brewing, 11671 Lantern Road, Fishers. Her exhibit, “Free Flowing,” can be seen from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday and Monday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. A public reception will be held for Tilson Cobb from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. May 22 at Four Day Ray Brewing that will feature live music by Party of Two with Steve Bogard on guitar and Tilson Cobb on vocals.

In addition, Nickel Plate Arts is also highlighting the work of artist Mark Timmis at Meyer Najem, 11787 Lantern Rd., Fishers. His exhibit, “Mark Timmis: One Man Show,” can be seen from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. A public reception will be held for Timmis from 5 to 8 p.m. June 2 in the Meyer Najem second floor gallery.

For more, visit or call 317-452-3690.