Art IN Hand
Zionsville’s Co-op Art Gallery is Owned and Operated By Local Artists
Photographer: Ron Wise
Located on Zionsville’s famous brick Main Street, Art IN Hand is a cooperative gallery where artistic talent is nurtured, showcased and promoted. Founded by a group of friends in 2000, the venture was modeled on a successful co-op in Charleston, S.C. Most of the original members were Northwest side residents who were affiliated with the Indianapolis Art Center and drawn to Zionsville due to its quaintness and affordable rents.
“It is really a special place where artists can display and sell their work,” says Diane Couch, a mixed media artist who has been with Art IN Hand since 2014. “Many of our artists work from home and though some have in-home studios, sometimes it makes more sense to meet clients at the gallery where they have the chance to see other works by other artists.”
Art IN Hand is comprised of 24 artists who specialize in a variety of mediums. They include Deb Achgill who creates fused glass items, jewelry maker Chuck Bruce, founding member Chris Davis who crafts Raku pottery, as well as watercolorists Norma Davis and Paula Derringer, painter Daniel Driggs, photographer Scott Kinzie and weaver Donna Hudson.
“We have both 2D and 3D artists so there is something for everyone,” Couch says. “We like to have a good mix with enough space to display everyone’s work without overcrowding the space.”
Although they are at capacity for the moment, artists have come and gone over the years. When there is an opening, the members go through the applications submitted by candidates in order to find someone who can contribute something unique to the gallery.
“We ask to see photos of their work and then if we are still interested, we may ask for some samples,” Couch says. “After that, we vote on whether or not to bring them on board. It takes a 60 percent majority in order to join the roster.”
Beginning in October each year, the Art IN Hand gallery shares its display space with artists from area schools and hosts a reception for this emerging talent on the first Friday of the month in order to give patrons the chance to meet the artists and see some of their work. This continues throughout the year and has included artists from schools such as Thorntown Elementary School, Brownsburg High School, Western Boon Jr./Sr. High School, Lebanon Middle School and of course, Zionsville Middle School.
“We always host a Zionsville school during the month of March because it is youth art month,” Couch adds. “Although the student art is not for sale, it is a popular attraction because it gives folks a chance to see what our students are doing in the classroom and helps give students the chance to get their art off to a great start.”
During the holiday season, the gallery features a tree of ornaments that are created by artists and is something patrons look forward to year after year. The gallery artists also donate items for the annual Fat Cat Silent Auction to help raise money for the Humane Society of Boone County. Couch says it is not only important to promote the wares of local artists but to give back to the community whenever they can.
“For nearly two decades, Art IN Hand has been well-received by everyone in Zionsville,” Couch says. “We are members of the Chamber of Commerce and we are working with Zionsville’s Town Hall to secure art for their new building. We have locals who are long-time regulars and others who are just discovering us. It’s a wonderful community to be part of and we are glad to be here.”
Art IN Hand is located at 211 S. Main Street in Zionsville. Give them a call at 317-733-8426 or visit them online at artinhandgallery.com.