Arts » Visual Arts

Why iMOCA is leaving the Murphy building

The Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art is leaving their Fountain Square home of 7 years


A show inside of iMOCA at the Murphy Arts Center - NUVO FILE PHOTO
  • NUVO file photo
  • A show inside of iMOCA at the Murphy Arts Center
Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a comment from the Hi-Fi.

Last week the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (iMOCA) announced that they would be leaving their location of seven years at the Murphy Art Center. The UNLOADED show that is scheduled for an October First Friday opening will continue as planned, showing at the Murphy until Nov. 19 and CityWay until Dec 31.

According to Paula Katz, executive director of iMOCA, the move was not as unexpected as it might seem. It had been planned for some time.

“We are just in the early phase of what our next move will be — where it will be,” says Katz. “We know we will stay close to Downtown.”

Although Katz made sure to say that they love Fountain Square and the Murphy Building, she noted that their current space has a few issues (like noise from concert venue The Hi-Fi during business hours). So when The Hi-Fi showed interest in expanding into the space, iMOCA took it as an opportune moment.

“We have been landlocked, so to speak, between the Hi-Fi and the Red Lion,” says Katz. “We have always been aware that if we were to move out, there would interest in moving into our space.

Josh Baker from MOKB, Do317 and the Hi-Fi said to NUVO: "We are excited that we've been afforded such a great opportunity with our expansion. We've put a lot of work into helping develop, along with many others, Fountain Square's live music scene. This is a great growth opportunity not just for HI-FI, but for Fountain Square and the entire City of Indianapolis. With a projected capacity of 400, our new size will fill a void Indy has been missing for a mid-sized concert venue. This being said, iMOCA has been a great neighbor and we wish them the best of luck and continued success."

“I guess in some ways it came to a point with [The Hi-Fi] being interested,” says Katz. “But I think we have had some really good stability for a couple of years now. We have had the experience of what it’s like having two spaces … I think we kind of recognized as a group that we want to kind of be doing more at one venue.”

They indicate the CityWay location may not continue past 2017. iMOCA plans to continue its work with the Englewood CDC on the Near Eastside. For the time being, they will be using the studio at Cat Head Press for exhibits.

“We want to create opportunities for local artists — which we do already — but we are one of the few organizations that brings in national, international artists,” says Katz. “That will always be something that we continue to do; so how do we do that, and also make sure that we have great ability to support our local artists as well?”


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