FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Images available upon request.
Graffiti exhibition opens Oct. 7 in the IMA Galleries at Newfields
City as Canvas: New York City Graffiti from the 70s & 80s will feature more than
100 works from the Martin Wong Collection
INDIANAPOLIS, Aug. 23, 2017—This fall, step onto the streets of New York City and immerse
yourself into the world of graffiti art with City as Canvas: New York City Graffiti from the 70s &
80s in the Indianapolis Museum of Art Galleries at Newfields from Oct. 7, 2017 through January
Traveling to the IMA from the Museum of the City of New York, City as Canvas features more
than 100 works from the renowned Martin Wong Collection, and chronicles the origins of graffiti
and its evolution from a creative outlet—viewed by many at the time as a public nuisance—to an
accepted form of art. With intricate drawings, colorful works on canvas and photographs of
graffiti writing that has long since been erased, this exhibition includes a variety of seminal works
by pioneering graffiti artists such as Keith Haring, Lee Quiñones, Lady Pink and Futura 2000.
In spite of the movement’s beginnings on the streets and subways of New York—as well as the
city’s attempts to eradicate it—graffiti art quickly proliferated, forever impacting music, fashion
and visual culture. In the decades that followed, graffiti became heralded as an important new
form of artistic expression and an international phenomenon.
This exhibition also highlights local Indiana artists such as FAB Crew, Malcolm Mobutu Smith,
Samuel E. Vazquez, Nicholas Smith and Nathan Storm. Together, these individuals represent a
community of Indiana artists who carry on the legacy of their New York City counterparts.
Discover the artists’ collective spirit through photos, sketchbooks, hands-on activities and more in
this one-of-a-kind exhibition in the IMA Galleries.
Newfields guests are invited to celebrate the exhibition opening with four days of exciting events:
Oct. 5, join us at 8 p.m. for a special performance by the famous beatboxing pioneer
and hip-hop artist Doug E. Fresh. Tickets go on sale on Aug. 24 and are $25–$35 for
members and $30–$40 for the public. VIP Meet & Greet tickets are available for $75.
Members are invited to preview the exhibition this evening from 5-9 p.m.
Oct. 6, celebrate the opening of City as Canvas in an evening filled with dueling DJs,
beatboxing, breakdancing and graffiti demonstrations from some of the exhibition’s
featured artists. Member tickets are $15, public tickets are $20 and the event will be held
at 7 p.m. in Pulliam Family Great Hall. Members are invited to preview the exhibition
before the opening party from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Oct. 7, the whole family is invited to a day filled with fun for all ages. Family Day: Live,
Play, Create is complete with live music, graffiti tagging workshops and breakdancing
demos. Also on Saturday, join us at 2 p.m. as the Contemporary Art Society hosts a City
as Canvas Artist Conversation about the New York City graffiti movement with some of
the artists from the exhibition including Zephyr, Daze and Lady Pink. This event is free
and open to the public.
Oct. 8, members are invited to an exclusive behind the scenes Member Only Talk with
Elisabeth Smith, curatorial assistant of contemporary art, at 2 p.m. in DeBoest Lecture
Hall. Join Smith as she explains the influential works by pioneering graffiti artists such as
Keith Haring, Lee Quinones, Lady Pink and Futura 2000. The event is free for members.
Continue your exploration of art and its influence on the cultural life of a city at the IMA galleries
with Portraits of Our City, opening Oct. 27. The photography exhibition features hundreds of
photographs of Indianapolis residents and invites the community to discover human connections
through people and place.
City as Canvas runs Oct. 7, 2017 through Jan. 28, 2018. The exhibition is included with general
admission and free for members.
City as Canvas: New York City Graffiti from the 70s & 80s was developed in collaboration with the
Museum of the City of New York. City as Canvas is supported in part by an award from the
National Endowment for the Arts and is part of the IMA's ARTx series, made possible by a gift
from the Efroymson Family Fund.
For more information regarding the exhibition and upcoming events at Newfields, please visit
Newfields offers dynamic experiences with art and nature for guests of all ages. The 152-acre
cultural campus features art galleries, lush gardens, a historic home, performance spaces, a
nature preserve and sculpture park. From inspiring exhibitions in the IMA Galleries, to concerts in
The Toby, to a stroll through The Garden with a glass of something cold, guests are invited to
interact with art and nature in exciting new ways. Newfields is home to the Indianapolis Museum
of Art, among the ten largest and ten oldest general art museums in the nation; the Lilly House,
a National Historic Landmark; The Garden, featuring 40 acres of contemporary and historic
gardens, a working greenhouse and an orchard; and The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park:
100 Acres, one of the largest art and nature parks in the country. The Newfields campus extends
outside of Indianapolis with Miller House and Garden in Columbus, Ind.—one of the nation’s most
highly regarded examples of mid-century Modernist architecture. For more information
About the Museum of the City of New York
Founded in 1923 as a private, nonprofit corporation, the Museum of the City of New York
celebrates and interprets the city, educating the public about its distinctive character, especially
its heritage of diversity, opportunity, and perpetual transformation. The Museum connects the
past, present, and future of New York City, and serves the people of the city as well as visitors
from around the world through exhibitions, school and public programs, publications, and
collections. To connect with the Museum on social media, follow us on Instagram and Twitter at
@MuseumofCityNY and visit our Facebook page at Facebook.com/MuseumofCityNY. For more
information please visit www.mcny.org
317-923-1331 ext. 265
Assistant Director of Communications
317-923-1331 ext. 231