Nickel Plate Arts - Paige HunkinPaige Hunkin is a matchmaker. But she doesn’t bring couples together; she brings creative people and art lovers together through her work as strategic partner manager for Nickel Plate Arts.

“It is fun being surrounded by so many talented people,” Hunkin says.

She obviously loves what she does. A journey filled with a series of artistic experiences brought her back home to Indiana and to Nickel Place Arts. Supporting her husband’s career while raising two boys, Hunkin lived with her family in various parts of the U.S. and throughout the world.

“I took painting lessons in Old San Juan and painted with a French painter in Mexico City,” Hunkin says. Moving “back home again” in 2003 to raise her boys in Indiana was a welcome change for Hunkin. Upon returning to the Fishers/Geist area, she began working as the manager of Gallery 116 in Fishers before she moved to Nickel Plate Arts.

An arts initiative developed by Hamilton County Tourism Inc., Nickel Plate Arts’ mission is to support, promote and provide outstanding arts experiences in the six towns along the Nickel Plate Railroad. Every week, Nickel Plate Arts holds classes and events, with its major summer events beginning at the end of May.

May is a busy month for the art community. During the May 2 First Friday celebration, the Judge Stone House Gallery will welcome a new exhibit: “Mode Locale: A Look at Local Fashion Past & Present.” This fashion exhibit will run through May 24 and feature local fashion designers such as Norman Norell. Born in 1900 in Noblesville, Norell moved to New York City and became a famous fashion designer. Another featured designer is a local Noblesville High School student and Nickel Plate Arts intern who designed her own prom dress.

Nickel Plate Arts - ArtworkThe First Friday events provide a fun, open door for visiting the artists’ galleries in the Judge Stone and Stephenson houses on the Nickel Plate Arts campus.

“We have drinks, appetizers and a wonderful opportunity to tour our gallery, as well as visit our artists in residence, on First Fridays,” Hunkin says.

Beginning May 31, Nickel Plate Arts will hold celebrations in each town along the 30-mile Nickel Plate Arts Trail corridor from Fishers to Tipton. The first event is “Art in the Park,” held near the new Fishers Amphitheater in conjunction with the Fishers Farmers Market.

“It’s a busy time of year—and exciting to reach out to our community to increase the awareness of the amazing hub of talent in Hamilton County!” Hunkin says.

Nickel Plate Arts Festival:

  • May 31: Fishers “Art in the Park” returns
  • June 7: Noblesville—HCAA Plein Air Paint Out, Old Mill Festival, Live Music & Dance at NPArts
  • June 14: Strawberry Festival, Noblesville Square
  • June 15: Conner Prairie Curiosity Fair, Fishers
  • June 21: Cicero Rain Barrel Auction, unveiling of six murals in new pocket park and a free outdoor movie
  • June 28: Tipton Art Fair on courthouse lawn from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Visit nickelplatearts.org for more information.

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