In 1909, a group of local art enthusiasts banded together to foster a community appreciation for art and further the practice of creating art. More than three decades later, they moved from their home at the old Water Tower, and now fill their new space with workshops, classes, and exhibits. Louisville Visual Art Association remains dedicated to promoting local artists, artistic styles, and contemporary culture.
A team of instructors instills painting and sculpting skills in children of all ages with the Children's Fine Art Classes program, which lets kids hone their understanding of color and technique during nearly 40 classes and camps. They also teach adult art classes, and help economically and socially disadvantaged students exhibit their artwork through Open Doors. Six to eight annual exhibitions often showcase work from these programs, but may also display fabric and knit pieces from local artists, or house events such as custom plates, cups, and utensils fashioned by 16 national ceramics artists to recreate Salvador Dali’s themed dinner parties. Each year, staff also fill two galleries with up to 800 works from its children’s programs, and celebrate local restaurants and music at the annual Bacon Ball.
Urban Element assembles scrumptious café fare while surrounding guests in an inviting wine bar atmosphere replete with art-adorned walls and live music. The menu abounds with fairly healthy fare, including homade roasted red-pepper hummus ($8) and grilled-pineapple-and-shrimp salad ($10). Patrons can coordinate outfits to match the blue cheese pasta with chickpeas ($10+) or sample a curried chicken-salad sandwich or wrap ($7). The prevalence of paintings at Urban Element allows guests to appreciate local art without the need to pay admission or ship themselves inside cardboard boxes to fancy museums.
When The Haunted Angelus House's monsters first come out in the evening, frightened guests can ward them off with glow sticks. The neon batons send a warning signal to the unseen horrors, letting them know the group contains children or timid souls who may not be ready for the full brunt of their fearsomeness. But as the night progresses, so does the terror, and once the clock strikes eight, nothing can hold back the monsters, demons, and zombies as they spill from the shadows to horrify unsuspecting visitors. The only hope left for the innocent victims is to navigate the 37-room haunt, which swarms with demon tenants, and then make it past the 3,000-square-foot outdoor black maze haunted by chainsaw people and souls willing to risk eternity for their chance at a rent-controlled apartment.
Though the event aims to scare, its real intent will warm visitors' hearts, as all proceeds are donated to The Angelus, a nonprofit that aids those with cerebral palsy.
High above a lush vineyard, the morning sky brims with creatures of flight: an eagle, a large bumblebee, a pigeon that forgot how to land. These were just some of the sights Airbus Balloon Rides' owner Andy Richardson imagined would greet his future down-gazing passengers. He first fell in love with the roar of a hot air balloon's flame just before entering the second grade, and that passion has driven his dreams ever since. Ten years after buying his first balloon at age 14, Andy now commands a fleet of rainbow-colored balloons that come in standard and specialty shapes. These colorful vessels set the elevated stage for individual flights and tethered rides helmed by Andy and his talented team. Flights lift off at sunrise, in the afternoon, and at sunset, when the low sun paints an orange-red glow over water, fields, and reindeer still stuck on rooftops.
Back on land, Airbus Balloon Rides also educates visitors on hot air balloon creation inside their balloon factory, which welcomes tours. At the end of each tour, the guides lead guests in a champagne or mimosa toast with accompanying hors d'oeuvres, celebrating their skyfaring adventures together.
The students of the Butler Ballet wrap up their season with Coppélia, a comic tale of love, wizardry, and perfectly lifelike dolls based on a lesser-known novel of E.T.A. Hoffmann. Pirouetting to Léo Delibes's sprightly, pastoral score—performed by the Butler Symphony Orchestra—the ballet navigates a love triangle between fiancés Swanhilde and Franz and the beautiful, mysteriously unflappable woman residing at the local mad scientist's house. As Swanhilde strives to prove the woman's unreality to her moonstruck, slightly dim husband-to-be, Dr. Coppelius reveals sinister designs for creating automatons that need only a soul and the ability to get hangnails to become fully human. Franz struggles to decide if he loves his human bride or the doctor's exquisite simulacrum, leading up to an ending that lands with unexpectedly humorous grace. Located on Butler's leafy downtown campus, Clowes Memorial Hall has been hosting accessible cultural events in its lavish red and gold auditorium for more than 40 years.
Bites of Bloomington Food Tours introduces groups to foodie destinations off the town's beaten paths. On Saturdays, tour guides and participants head out to savor treats such as Turkish cuisine at Turkuaz Café, baked goods at Sweet Claire Gourmet Bakery, and ice cream at The Chocolate Moose. Groups learn more about Bloomington's neighborhoods, too, as the guides point out interesting historical and architectural sites along the way.
Situated amidst 80 acres of rolling countryside, Chateau de Pique Winery hosts wine tastings inside a fully restored, 19th-century horse barn. Glasses swirl handcrafted wines such as a bold Syrah, a rich, buttery Chardonel, Sweet Mile High, and their award winning First Class Blackberry wine. In warmer months, a 6,500-square-foot tent accommodates up to 350 guests during special events, and two satellite tasting rooms provide sips in Indianapolis and Clarksville year-round.