Taking Comfort in the Community of Art Classes

Meet Leah Keel, a student in our Community Arts Classes who has sold work in the ArtMix Gallery. Leah stumbled upon ArtMix as she was exploring the Harrison Center for the Arts where ArtMix resides. As she recalls, “the smell of clay and the hallway filled with ceramics” was something she needed to be a part of.

Spring is Blossoming in Community Class

Spring is a time of renewal. The grass is turning green, leaves are growing on trees, and flowers are beginning to bloom. Just as spring has begun so has the latest session of community arts classes. This session the students are focusing on nature and growth.

On Wednesday night our Community Arts Class students entered our visual arts studio where a large tree branch, coffee filters, gauze, cotton swabs and pink paint awaited them. Teaching Artist Bella Heilbrunn, apron on and paintbrush in hand, was ready to give students directions for this new project.

April First Friday: Poet’s Tree


Underneath the poet tree

Come and rest awhile with me,

And watch the way the word-web weaves

Between the shady story leaves.

The branches of the poet tree

Reach from the mountains to the sea.

So Come and dream, or come and climb—

Just don’t get hit by falling rhymes.

-Shel Silverstein

April is National Poetry Month, and the ArtMix Gallery is taking inspiration from Shel Silverstein’s poem “POET’S TREE,” which is the name of our exhibit. With Spring in the air, this exhibit melds together poetry and nature. Our students have been inspired by the changing of the seasons and created a cherry blossom branch, which you can read more about here.

Finding Respite and Healing through Art

Meet Catherine Dixon (Cat), parent of Lucy who was born with a club foot on her left side. Lucy went through several rounds of serial casting and wore Ponseti braces for most of her first year. As Lucy grew, her tendons didn’t stretch along with her bones. As a result, her orthopedist recommended a surgical intervention – a procedure called Anterior Tibialis Tendon Transfer. So, at the tender age of four, Lucy was admitted into the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital where she met Bella Heilbrunn, an ArtMix Teaching Artist in The Lolly Project.

A Mother’s Story: How ArtMix Changed Her Sons’ Lives

Let me introduce you to Susan LeVay, a parent of two sons with autism. Susan first registered her boys, Jonathan and James, for ArtMix Community Arts Classes, and when they became teenagers, they became interns in the Urban Artisan program. In the beginning, they were challenged to learn many skills. When they completed the program, they had “gained confidence in themselves, pride in their work, better social skills, and a sense of accomplishment at earning a paycheck,” Susan recalls.

AFAF Community Partner Spotlight – Arts Council of Indianapolis


The arts are important to a vibrant and thriving city. The Arts Council of Indianapolis leads and participates in partnerships to ensure that the arts are part of the fabric of our city and a catalyst for community engagement and civic pride. We are glad to have the Arts Council’s support as our partner for AFAF15!

Meet the Arts Council of Indianapolis

The Arts Council of Indianapolis fosters meaningful engagement in the arts by nurturing a culture where artists and arts organizations thrive. 

AFAF Community Partner Spotlight – IndyFringe

Indy Fringe

Indianapolis is bursting with creativity and diversity and IndyFringe cultivates and celebrates the talent of local artists. Just as we at ArtMix believe in the power of art, IndyFringe also believes in art’s unique ability to bring a community together.

About IndyFringe

The Indianapolis Theatre Fringe Festival (IndyFringe) was founded in 2005 because of a community need. During a community meeting about how to retain the best and brightest young people, a Fringe Festival was suggested as a way to keep young artists in Indianapolis. Executive Director Pauline Moffat began IndyFringe in response to that.

AFAF Community Partner Spotlight – Harrison Center for the Arts

HCA-Logo Main Color JPGsquare

The Harrison Center for the Arts has been the best kind of neighbor to us here at ArtMix! It’s been so great to work alongside them in the same building, and we’re so glad they can join us as a partner for AFAF15!

About the Harrison Center

The Harrison Center for the Arts is a force for cultural development in Indianapolis and a model for community arts, education, and urban revitalization programs across America. They address community problems with cultural solutions: art, music, education, and grassroots activism. They cultivate emerging art patrons by redefining the boundaries of artist and audience: everyone is part of the art.

AFAF Community Partner Spotlight – Special Olympics Indiana

Special Olympics IndianaSelf-esteem is important to foster in individuals, just as much as it is important to teach people how to instill positive self-esteem into others. ArtMix provides people of all abilities access to the arts, and Special Olympics Indiana provides people with disabilities access to athletics.

About Special Olympics Indiana

Special Olympics Indiana provides year-round training and competition in more than 20 different sports for adults and children with intellectual disabilities, reaching more than 11,000 athletes across Indiana. While some may express themselves through painting or storytelling, others may feel most themselves on the track, or working as part of a team. Special Olympics Indiana promotes an inclusive environment for anyone with a disability, breaking down barriers that have historically kept people apart.

AFAF Community Partner Spotlight – Peace Learning Center

Peace Learning Center

Peace Learning Center (PLC) is using the power of peaceful resolutions to teach people about the strength of diversity in our community. Just like us here at ArtMix, PLC values our community, and supports all the diverse people in it! We are very excited to have them partnering with us for AFAF15, and are happy to share the things they do for the community!

Learn About Peace Learning Center

1795567_10152225563439484_499750460_nThe Peace Learning Center of Indianapolis educates, inspires and empowers people to live peacefully.

They are located in Indianapolis’ Eagle Creek Park at the former Eagle Crest Estate of J.K. Lilly, Jr., brother of Eli Lilly. Eagle Creek Park is the fourth largest city park in the United States, which is a beautiful setting for indoor or outdoor programs as well as year-round nature hikes. A partnership with the City of Indianapolis, and Indy Parks and Recreation provides this incredible setting for PLC programs and administrative staff.