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Muralists and Herron graduates open art gallery and store in Broad Ripple

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Posted at 3:44 PM, Apr 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-05 14:39:34-04

INDIANAPOLIS — You'll see something different every time you walk into Chromatic Collective in Broad Ripple.

"There will almost always be something on the walls for you to look at or interface with, in some way, shape, or form," Hailee Smith, one-fifth of Chromatic Collective, said.

The gallery and art shop, located at 6216 Carrollton Ave., has a sprawling assortment of aerosol paintings and murals — among other forms of art — on its walls at any given time.

The Chromatic Collective is all about the niche — selling specialty supplies, offering space for emerging artists, and curating eclectic pop-up events and markets for local makers and the community.

"We also want to foster this connection between the public and artists. So our shop is a common ground; it's a safe ground for people to come and interact with art and artists," Erica Parker said of the collective's mission.

Following extensive renovations and ahead of its grand re-opening on April 1, three of the five-person collective talked with WRTV about why carrying on Broad Ripple's vibrant culture is important to them and what they're offering to the community.

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Murals cover the walls inside Chromatic Collective, located at 6216 Carrollton Ave., in Broad Ripple.
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Two murals inside Chromatic Collective.

'It's time for us to carry the torch.'

A group of five local muralists and Herron School of Art and Design graduates formed Chromatic Collective in April 2021. The collective includes Hailee Smith, Erica Parker and Rafael Caro.

The collective opened its storefront next to Egyptian Hookah and Hubbard & Cravens on Carrollton Avenue. Over the last year, they've transformed the space into an interactive gallery and storefront.

Chromatic says it's not about opening something entirely different for the art scene but adding something new to the already eclectic community.

"There has always been a very rich art scene in Broad Ripple and Indy that all of us are shaped by," Smith, 32, stated.

Broad Ripple is the group's hometown. They all agree that the art and artists that came before them over the last 20 years shaped the current creative culture in Broad Ripple.

"We've gotten a lot of inspiration from the mural productions that were behind the old Kroger building. That whole alleyway has inspired us to do creative projects similar to that," Caro, 30, told WRTV. "We just hope to keep growing that, and hopefully, we can have some more public art that adds to what's already here."

Chromatic Collective is proud of its Broad Ripple roots and says they're honored to help carry on its attractive reputation.

"I want to bring more people here to experience the other things that Broad Ripple does have to offer," Parker, 31, said.

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Chromatic Collective is next to the Egyptian Cafe & Hookah Bar in Broad Ripple, Indianapolis.
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Chromatic Collective's "Off the Wall" event included a live DJ on Friday, Apr. 1, 2022.

A Communtiy of Niches

Chromatic's brick-and-mortar location was not only possible through the metaphysical art of the local community, but quite literally the physical, Caro said.

"It was just a lot of just using our own resources and re-purposing a lot of stuff. We took hand-me-downs from different businesses; I mean, we pretty much pieced this place together, down to the floor," Caro shared.

"We're constantly learning from each other," Parker said of Chromatic. "We are growing as artists."

Each one of them is actively creating art in their medium. The collective comprises acrylic painters, illustrators, animators, muralists, laser-cut artists, and more.

Smith shares that it's about fostering a space for all-encompassing growth.

"We feel like we have skills to share with the community; we also feel like the community has skills to share with us and with others," Smith said. "We want to provide a space where people can come and learn something from someone local, or if somebody feels like they have a skill that they can teach others, we want to provide a space for that as well."

One of Chromatic's next showcases is the return of the "Indy Post-it Show," where artists from around the city showcase their art on a Post-it note. The group says they get everything from drawings, paintings, embroidery, and collages.

To keep up with Chromatic Collective and all of their events, follow them on Instagram and visit their website at chromatic6216.com.

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