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Experience 19th-Century Paris through the eyes of impressionist artists at The LUME: Monet & Friends Alive

The Indianapolis Museum of Art hosts its second art exhibit inside The LUME, highlighting impressionism art and, soon, a digital artist.
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Posted at 7:10 PM, Jul 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-01 19:13:56-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Newfields has brought France to Indianapolis with its second showcase inside The LUME.

Created by Grande Experiences, "The LUME: Monet & Friends Alive" brings impressionism art to life in its fully-immersive display, highlighting 19th-Century Paris as told by the father of impressionists, Oscar-Claude Monet, and similar artists of that time. Impressionists painted the sensations of the world around them, outdoors, rather than in a studio. Impressionist artists painted on the spot in a more spontaneous manner, capturing light and color in a more natural way.

From the floral smell at the entrance to the music of Debussy, Tchaikovsky, Ravel, and Offenbach that carries you through all 30,000 feet, The LUME allows guests to see, walk through (on), and experience the art of Monet, Pissaro, Renoir, Cezanne and more. Greeting you at the gallery's end is a room full of all of these artists' work, never before showcased in the same room at the same time.

The LUME has three main movements in its examination of the world of impressionism: "Metropolitan," "A Day in the Life," and "En Plein Air."

With the use of 150 floor-to-ceiling high-definition projectors to transform the entire fourth floor of the museum into a three-dimensional digital art gallery, The LUME makes the sound of color possible.

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The entrance to The LUME at Newfields
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The second showing at The LUME is "Monet & Friends Alive."

"One of the things about Monet, and the whole Impressionist movement, was all about the invention of the tube of paint. And that invention of the tube of paint got artists out of their studios, and out in the environment," Jonathan Berger, Newfields' deputy director for marketing and external affairs, told WRTV.

Berger hopes the Monet & Friends Alive exhibit helps demystify the art museum in a way that welcomes people who are interested in art but have felt too intimated by it to actually go to a gallery.

"That's our mission: to provide exceptional experiences with art and nature, and Monet really collides with art and nature," Berger said. "And I think that will bring people here to do that deeper dive into art."

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Impressionists painted the sensations of the world around them, outdoors, rather than in a studio. Impressionist artists painted on the spot in a more spontaneous manner, capturing light and color in a more natural way.

The LUME is a perfect Instagrammable place where light, sound, and action make for various backdrops and meanings.

In the art world, coining something "Instagrammable," however, can sometimes take away from the art at hand, according to some artists. Berger says he, on the other hand, can find a parallel between digital art and impressionism.

Impressionism art, in its origin, was ridiculed by the art world at large. It took years for the concept to be accepted and then admired.

Digital art is a more modern art form that today is often ridiculed among artists of other disciplines, such as painters, sculptors, drawers, etc.

It's an interesting conversation to be had, Berger says, and in drawing the comparison of the two art forms, Newfields has decided to showcase one Hoosier artist's digital artwork in The LUME alongside Monet & Friends Alive.

"We want to get people thinking about doing this (digital art) for the future because we want this to be an ongoing thing," Berger said.

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Jonathan Berger is Newfields' deputy director for marketing and external affairs.
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The LUME's Cafe is "the best-kept secret of Indianapolis," says Jonathan Berger, Newfields' deputy director for marketing and external affairs. Lindsay Jo Whirley, the culinary arts operations manager, shared that The LUME's Cafe features food items from four women-operated businesses in Indianapolis. In addition, the Cafe has a fully stocked bar where you can order just about any style of drink.

Newfields is currently seeking a local digital artist in partnership with the Indy Arts Council for a debut in The LUME alongside Monet & Friends Alive in January 2023. "We're partnering with them to cast a net out locally in the state of Indiana to find up-and-coming artists that work in this digital arena," Berger said. "So we can highlight their artwork on this canvas — and when I say this canvas, I mean, 30,000 square feet of projection space that we can highlight their work on."

The selected digital artist would be on display through the exhibit's end in May 2023.

Pairing 1860's impressionism art next to a digital artist working in 2022 inside The LUME assimilates that change in culture from the 19th century to the 21st.

As one of the oldest art museums in the country, Newfields is keeping up with being at the forefront of artistic movement.

Monet & Friends Alive opens to the public on Sunday, July 3. Tickets are $29 for adults, seniors 55 and older can get tickets for $25, children 6 to 17 are $20, and kids 5 and under are free. Tickets to The LUME include general admission to the rest of the art museum.

WRTV Digital Reporter Shakkira Harris can be reached at shakkira.harris@wrtv.com. You can follow her on Twitter, @shakkirasays.