Eiteljorg Musuem Blog
  • Meet Our Admissions Staff

    by Samantha Roll, marketing and communications intern | Apr 17, 2018

    Brandi Crocker and Lorna Speece, the guest services coordinators at the Eiteljorg, are strong advocates of the positive impact their admissions staff has on guests to the museum. Their staff does much more than take admission and greet visitors – they are a guest’s best resource to get oriented to the content of the exhibits, understand the core values of the museum and answer any questions they have.

    Brandi Crocker and Lorna Speece

    “We have the opportunity to help positively mold (our guests’) view of the Eiteljorg during their visit with us,” said Lorna, who cherishes any opportunity she gets to interact with the visitors. 

    Lorna started at the Eiteljorg as a security supervisor three years ago, but when the guest services coordinator position opened in 2016, she jumped at the opportunity. With a background in customer service, she wanted to be able to interact with the museum guests, who come to see exhibits and attend events.

    Much like Lorna, Brandi started at the Eiteljorg in a much different position than the one she holds today. In 2013, she served as an intern in the collections department, moved to admissions in the spring of 2014, and then coordinator in the spring of 2015. In her time as a part-time admissions staffer, Brandi experienced first-hand the large responsibility that falls to those working the front desk. She has a degree in history and museum studies, as well as a background in banking and finance, giving her even more experience in customer service through her work as a lender.

    “Many other departments within the museum contribute to the visitor’s experience, which in turn affects the guest services department,” she said. “One or both of (the coordinators) are involved in the planning process of programming and events throughout the museum so when the visitor has questions we can answer them in an educated manner. This requires our staff to have a wide breadth of knowledge.”


    Lorna and Brandi are joined by seven part-time staffers who work the admissions desk. All members of the guest services team have a background in education or museum studies. Here is the team roster of the part-time employees:

    • Elizabeth (Courtney) Duff is graduating from IUPUI this year with a liberal arts degree and is minoring in Native American studies. She plans to attend IUPUI for graduate school this fall to earn a master’s in museum studies.
    • Khadija Evans in addition to her Eiteljorg admissions job also works full-time for the Indianapolis Children’s Museum’s call center, focusing on group tours. These two jobs have given her an excellent background in customer service and knowledge of the museum institution.
    • Kelsey Keating works a full-time job in addition to her part-time Eiteljorg work. She recently received a position at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, where she continues to share her passion for art with visitors through guest services.
    • Briana Cockerham works at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum in guest services and attends IUPUI full time in pursuit of an engineering degree on top of dedicating part of her time to the visitors of the Eiteljorg.
    • Shelby Barlow has a number of positions in museums all over Indianapolis, working guest services at the Eiteljorg, the Indiana State Police Museum in collections, and at IMA-Newfields in audience engagement.
    • Jeff Coulson, a retired schoolteacher, also dedicates some of his time to working in the Frank and Katrina Basile Museum Store in addition to his admissions work.
    • Sarah Naum also works at the Museum Store in addition to admissions, making her a great source for guests to ask questions about the items they can purchase at the Eiteljorg. She serves in the Indiana National Guard.

    “We have some hard working people,” Brandi said. “They’re the ones who make the guest experience at this museum memorable.”

    Next time you visit, make sure to utilize the vast source of knowledge and experience our admissions staff has to offer.

  • Spring Market Returns April 21 Featuring Unique Local Artists

    by Brittan Semler, marketing & communications intern | Apr 10, 2018

    Spring Market, an annual event featuring local artists selling their artwork, is set to return to the Eiteljorg Museum on Saturday, April 21. This event, previously known as the Women in Art Market before its name changed last year, will feature about 25 vendors selling handmade jewelry, glassware, paintings and more in the museum’s Eagle Commons. Access to the market is included with admission to the museum; and Eiteljorg members are free. (Click here to purchase a membership today)

    For Jaq Nigg, the museum’s festivals and markets manager, the best part of Spring Market is the intimate atmosphere which fosters building relationships between artists and the public. “There’s nothing like finding something you love that’s handmade, and being able to express that and discuss it with the artist who made it. It makes it so special.” The spring theme of this particular market inspires bright colors and some floral themes, making this a perfect opportunity to select a thoughtful gift for Mother’s Day. “I always think it’s neat that, if you’re going to give gifts, that it’s handmade because it’s so much more special . . .  and not even gifts – for yourself, too, you know? Everyone likes to treat themselves during spring, especially after this winter that doesn’t want to end.”

    Liz Perr-McColm

    Guests can look forward to admiring and purchasing the works of many notable local artists including Katrina Mitten, a popular Indian Market artist who specializes in beaded bags and Miami-style jewelry, and Mint Evans, an artist who repurposes found objects to make quirky art pieces. Some new artists will also be making their Eiteljorg debut during Spring Market; Matt Breunig specializes in rough-hewn jewelry and B. Skinner will be selling glass work.

    B. Skinner

    Spring Market gives Eiteljorg visitors the opportunity to purchase original handmade artwork from local artists within the community. To Jaq, art markets go beyond the buying and selling of art; they affect people on a much deeper level, inspiring genuine human connection. “Every time people have the opportunity to interact with living artists, it just makes the world better,” Jaq said.  The market begins when the museum opens at 10 a.m. We hope to see you there.

  • Kick up your boots at Cowpokes & Cocktails benefit, Saturday, April 28

    by Samantha Roll, marketing & communications intern | Mar 28, 2018

    In 2017, we reimagined the annual Eiteljorg fund-raiser benefitting the museum’s education and public programs departments. Cowpokes & Cocktails was born and what a resounding success it was with increased attendance and contributions. This year’s iteration will once again be an exciting, high-end fundraiser and guaranteed night of fun.


    The second annual Cowpokes & Cocktails heads to Fitness Farm – a new venue that offers lots of room under a large party tent, with ample parking and speedy checkout for auction items. Guests are encouraged to abide by the “Cowboy Optional” dress code, and to wear attire conducive for walking on plush grass. We are very grateful to Fitness Farm and Joan SerVaas for the opportunity to share this beautiful space.

    The night will kick off under the main tent with the return of the cocktail contest featuring High West Bourbon, and food stations with a variety of offerings from Kahn’s Catering. The silent auction and fund-a-need opportunity officially open at the start of the event, and will be powered by BidPal, so guests can conveniently bid in real time from their smart phones. However, BidPal will have people onsite to help those who may not have a smartphone.

    Forty-three silent auction items are available this year, all sure to pique the interest of any guest. The Visual Arts Package is predicted to be among the most popular, offering the winner passes to IMA-Newfields and the Indiana State Museum, a private tour for four at the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, and a gift certificate to Tinker Street restaurant. The Performing Arts Package also will be in demand, with tickets to The Cabaret, Dance Kaleidoscope, the Indianapolis Opera and Indiana Repertory Theatre and a Cunningham Restaurant Group gift certificate. Other big ticket items include a Sun King Brewery Tour, A West Fork Whiskey Distillery Tour and these one-of-a-kind pieces of Native art and jewelry:

    Sterling Silver and Turquoise Pendant
    Artist: Erick Begay
    $330 value
    Starting bid $116

    A Maine Morning painting by Brain Woods
    $1,500 value
    Starting bid $525

    Inlaid Watch
    Artist: David Kuticka
    $400 value
    Starting bid $140

    Although bidding will not open until 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, the remaining silent and live auction items are available for view on the Cowpokes & Cocktails BidPal website, which can be accessed by clicking here.

    This year’s live auction will begin after the conclusion of the cocktail contest. Kristi Lee, news director and co-host of The Bob & Tom Show on Q95 and host of Kristi Lee Uninterrupted, will serve as the evening’s emcee and auctioneer.  A private two-hour painting workshop for a group of six with Eiteljorg artist in residence, DG House (Cherokee of Northeast Alabama) is up for grabs, along with a home-cooked dinner with Eiteljorg president and CEO John Vanausdall. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway package is also among the live auction items, and includes four tickets to the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500, four Silver Badges/Race Day credentials, four VIP tickets to the Carb Day concert and four more VIP tickets to the Legends Day concert.

    A chance to win a three-night stay at the Tickle Pink Inn in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, also will be auctioned off live.

    Join us on the evening of Saturday, April 28 at the Fitness Farm, 2525 West 44th Street, Indianapolis. At our core is the belief that all children should experience art, regardless of socioeconomic status, and the proceeds will directly benefit the museum’s education and public programs that are ever important and impactful.

    Sponsorships still are available. Entertain clients and reward employees all while supporting arts education. Sponsorships range from $5,000 to $20,000. Individual tickets are $200 per person or $1,800 per table of 10. Registration is required. Contact Mary Whistler for more information at 317.275.1316 or

  • Meet Paul Jones, our new assistant to the dir. of technology

    by Brittan Semler | Mar 21, 2018

    Technology has been a big part of Paul Jones’ life since he was a child. Paul, the Eiteljorg’s new assistant to the director of technology, said he first became interested in electronics “probably at a young age when I was sticking my hands in tube TVs and taking a chance on getting myself electrocuted trying to get the TVs to work. I think that’s where it all started. And then, later on, taking things apart and being able to put them back together.”

    Paul Jones

    Technology has been a big part of Paul Jones’ life since he was a child. Paul, the Eiteljorg’s new assistant to the director of technology, said he first became interested in electronics “probably at a young age when I was sticking my hands in tube TVs and taking a chance on getting myself electrocuted trying to get the TVs to work. I think that’s where it all started. And then, later on, taking things apart and being able to put them back together.”

    Paul grew up in Indianapolis alongside 13 brothers and sisters – “a whole basketball team,” Paul joked. He later earned a degree in electrical engineering through the ITT Technical Institute in Indianapolis and also spent four years serving in the United States Marine Corps, working as a military police officer and in the Staff Judge Advocate of the First Marine Division’s office as a chaser. After military service, he began as a contractor for the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, a job which eventually evolved into a full-time position lasting 29 years.

    Paul has been in the electronics field for more than 30 years, so he’s seen a lot of changes in the industry. Speaking about his constantly adapting responsibilities during the peak of the Digital Age, Paul recalled an amusing story from his Children's Museum days: “I remember when they actually brought a (computer workstation with) PageMaker up to the exhibits department, and how the whole staff swore up and down they’d never touch it." Once that initial reluctance was past, "we moved all the way from there to where everybody had a computer on their desk … a long way. So I just had to evolve as time went on and technology changed.”

    Before joining the Eiteljorg, Paul was semi-retired, helping his sister flip houses. On why he rejoined the workforce, he said, “I got the idea that I’d done that, and I’m not wanting to do that for the rest of my life. It was nice doing it when I did, but I had other things I wanted to be doing.” Beyond that, the quiet life of retirement just didn’t suit him. “You got to keep busy. I can’t just sit around saying ‘Maybe I do something today, maybe I don’t?’ So yeah, that’s what drove me to start looking for a part-time position.”

    Information technology isn’t the only thing that keeps Paul busy. In his free time, he also enjoys fishing and working on cars and motorcycles – doing bodywork, welding and painting. These hobbies aren’t easy; they require a wealth of patience, skill and precision. But for Paul, those are all welcome obstacles. “I look forward to challenges,” he said. “I’m looking for some more challenges, but I’m sure they’ll come around sooner or later. I should be careful what I wish for,” he said with a chuckle.

    Paul started his new part-time position at the Eiteljorg on Jan. 22. His responsibilities  include staff computer support, server maintenance and gallery installation and maintenance. Being able to work in a familiar IT job handling museum electronics combined with his previous knowledge of similar technology systems has led to a “pretty smooth” transition into the job, he said.

    Tom Coble, the Eiteljorg’s director of technology, knew Paul was the man for the position. “I had worked with him for 24 years, know that he has the right skill set, work ethic and personality for the Eiteljorg," he said. 

    Overall, variety is what Paul enjoys most in his position. “(I like) the different tasks where it’s not a set routine; it can vary from day to day as far as what you’re asked to be doing.”

  • "Interwoven" basketry exhibit is cover story in Native American Art magazine

    by | | Mar 21, 2018

    Thanks to Native American Art magazine and writer Michael Clawson for this cover story about the new exhibit Interwoven: Native American basketry from the Mel and Joan Perelman Collection that opens April 14 at the Eiteljorg.   Click to this link to see the story:

    Perelman Baskets Story - Native American Art

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