Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)

Arts and Gardens Ready for Summer at Newfields
By Marcia Frost

A lot of the buzz around Newfields in Indianapolis this year has been around the Van Gogh Immersive Exhibition, but that was just the beginning of a special time at this one-of-a-kind cultural destination.

From Museum to Campus
The last time I visited, this location was called the Indianapolis Museum of Art. It was fitting for the museum building, but the property housed so much more, including the Madeline F. Elder Greenhouse, the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park, and the Old Fields Lily House. It’s from the latter that Newfields was decided as the name for the entire campus.

Seasonal programs have always been a staple here, with Winter Lights at the Lily House, Harvest, and Spring Blooms, which leads to the time of year when the grounds are filled with visitors enjoying the 100-acre nature park and a visit for the entire day and into the night. Programs keep children and adults busy and movie nights allow the entire family to get together for a night under the stars.

The Museum
The world-renowned exhibits were not lost in the rebranding of the museum. We wondered through the Egyptian Art, Interior Design, Indiana artists, and galleries that included interactive activities, such as the Design Lab.

We also heard about all the exciting things to come in the next few months, the most notable a Stephen Sprouse Fashion & Art Exhibit. Tours, including those for the visually impaired, are available daily for those who wish to learn about the latest collections.

Van Gogh at The Lume
Everyone who had seen it told me how wonderful Van Gogh at The Lume was, but no one told me exactly why. They all just said “you must experience it.” I think that was the point. It wasn’t a matter of looking at art, it was a matter of experiencing it.

There is still one more week left to see the Van Gogh exhibit, but it’s not the end of The Lume. Starting July 3rd, another immersive exhibition will be making Newfields its home through May 23, 2023. It will be another opportunity to experience art and those who create it in an exciting and unusual way.

Monet & Friends Alive will include Impressionism in 19th Century Paris. In addition to the art and story of Claude Monet, works by Paul Cezanne, Camille Pissarro, Edgar Degas, and more will be featured.

Eat & Imbibe
In addition to the Grab & Gogh and Café Terrace 1888 in The Lume (which will be rebranded to match the new exhibit), you’ll find plenty of food and drink to enjoy at Newfields.
The Café in the museum is anything but your usual cafeteria. There is a full coffee bar, as well as wine and beer. The menu includes sandwiches, salad and soups with unusual offerings such as an Open-Faced Spinach Artichoke Melt on sourdough, and a Shrimp Bahn Mi on a French Baguette. Desserts include freshly made chocolate chip cookies and specialty cheesecakes.

The Beer Garden started as an experiment and became so popular it was expanded to a permanent outlet for this spring and summer season. The patio location includes beer and wine on tap, with interesting flights from rare imports. There is food grown in the garden and everything is presented with sustainability in mind.

Parking at Newfields is free of charge. For more information on programs and admission, visit their website.

Be sure to Like Midwest Travel with Marcia Frost on Facebook for more travel ideas, follow @Spiritstraveler on Instagram or Twitter, and read travel stories at my Wine And Spirits Travel blog.

Sundara photos by Joseph Leute.