Antiques dealer Dan Ripley hopes his new street market is memorable

By Sally Falk Nancrede is an Indianapolis-based home-decor writer for the Indianapolis Star. Email her at

Paris has its famous Les Puces flea market, New York City has Hell’s Kitchen. Now Indianapolis has Indie Arts & Vintage Marketplace.

The new outdoor market, brainchild of local antiques dealer Dan Ripley, opened June 2 in the Glendale Town Center back parking lot.

Indianapolis did not have a well-known street market, Ripley says.

Every city needs a memorable street market, a place locals and out-of-towners gather to see and be seen, to hunt special finds, to catch up on today’s street style.

Ripley, who owns Antique Helper auction house and has been in antiques for 20 years, says, "The antiques business has changed tremendously. Between the Internet and the recession, everybody’s question was: ‘How are we going to find new collectors?’ What I realized was we weren’t necessarily looking for new collectors; we were looking for people who are interested in decorating.

"This market is more about decorating, more about design, more about repurposing than about collecting. These outdoor markets, when you integrate them with entertainment and food and atmosphere, are so much more inviting that antique shows or auctions."

That’s what sponsor Ripley and promoter Jon Jenkins did.

They collected an eclectic group of artisans, antiques dealers, Mid-century Modern dealers, vintage apparel shops and handmade jewelry artisans. Then they added live music, food from Smoking Goose and food trucks and beer from Sun King Brewing Co. for a festival vibe.

Jenkins, who lives in Carmel, promotes such markets as the 25-year-old Springfield Antique Show and Flea Market in Ohio and the long-running Tailgate-Music Valley Antiques Show in Nashville, Tenn., but hasn’t had a market in Indianapolis until now. This year, he’s adding the vintage festival attitude to the Nashville show.

Vintage is the key word. Vintage is hip, mid-century, never dusty, very au trend.

Want an old globe? Some mid-century art? How about a set of outdoor furniture or bistro chairs? A handcrafted solid walnut table? Lamps made of repurposed Thermos bottles with colander shades? A pair of vintage paintings by Hoosier artist V.J. Cariani?

"We wanted a real variety," says Ripley.

"I think we hit a home run. I’m real excited about it. It fulfilled my vision, and I see it growing quickly."

He plans three more shows at Glendale through the summer: June 30, Aug. 4 and Sept. 1. Later, he hopes to cap off the season with a fall festival in October to promote the White River as a natural resource.

Let the haggling begin.

Indie Arts & Vintage Marketplace

Where: 6151 N. Rural St., back parking lot of Glendale Town Center.

When: June 30, Aug. 4 and Sept 1 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Vendors: More than 45 scheduled for June 30 market.

Admission: $4.