In the late 1970s, a group of local artists organized Indiana Heritage Arts to support the current members of the Brown County art community. The principal activity of this non-profit group was an annual, juried art competition to take place each June.
Today, IHA makes its home at the historic Brown County Art Gallery in Nashville. What started as a local competition has grown statewide, open to any artist with ties to Indiana. The annual June exhibition and sale is one of the largest art competitions in the midwest, handing out as much as $80,000 in prize money and purchase awards to the winners.
IHA continues to honor the legacy of the early artists by supporting today’s Hoosier Masters. IHA leases a room in the Brown County Art Gallery to provide year round exhibition space to prize-winning artists, where they can offer paintings for sale. IHA sponsors artist workshops by bringing in the country’s top instructors, providing workshop space and administrative services. IHA also supports an annual student art competition held at the Gallery by providing prize money to the area's top art teachers.
An elected Board of Directors administers all of IHA’s activities. In recent years, the Board began buying major works of art from each year’s show to build a Permanent Collection for future generations to enjoy.
IHA has a statewide membership of artists and patrons and depends on generous donors including corporate sponsors, local merchants, along with loyal collectors, to continue the mission of supporting Indiana’s top artists.