By Andrew Goldstein, artnet news, February 14, 2018
In Indianapolis, the iconoclastic museum director Charles Venable seems to be heretically mingling these two cultural models with Newfields, a rechristened “place for nature and the arts” that he has shaped around the Indianapolis Art Museum. Walking through the park surrounding the museum, visitors can encounter exotic foods, meme-video screenings, theatrical productions, and more. Inside, mini-golf and car shows are given equal weight to art exhibitions.
Some people think it’s a cynical, lowest-common-denominator attempt to bring in the crowds. Others think it’s fun. Less contested is Newfields’s success. Membership and admission sales are growing at a fast clip, and this holiday season’s Winterlights show—a “curated” wonderland of one million colored bulbs festooning the trees around the museum—sold 70,000 tickets. Nearly half of those went to visitors who were either new to the museum or had not visited in the past year.