Sidney and Lois Eskenazi

Donor highlight: Sidney and Lois Eskenazi

Herron School of Art and Design is pleased to recognize yet another visionary move from the powerhouse philanthropic duo Sidney and Lois Eskenazi. They have made a transformational gift to Herron’s soon-to-be-expanded Sculpture and Ceramics facility. To recognize the gift, the facility will become the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Fine Arts Center.

Located at 1410 Indiana Avenue, the 26,000 square-foot building, designed by Blackburn Architects, originally opened in 2000. It has garnered national acclaim as one of the very best facilities of its kind in higher education.

That same year, Sidney and Lois made a leadership gift which kicked into high gear Herron’s first-ever capital campaign and made possible the completion of Herron’s move from 16th and Pennsylvania streets to a marquee spot on the IUPUI campus. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hall at 735 W. New York Street was named in their honor.

Dramatically increased undergraduate enrollment, the launch of new Master of Fine Art degree programs, and a very successful public art initiative have made more space a necessity.

Under the direction of Ratio Architects, the expansion includes 10,000 square ft. of new construction and extensive renovations to an existing 38,000 sq. ft. warehouse immediately north of the Sculpture and Ceramics facility. The additional space will be used for art studios, classrooms, galleries, community arts programs, and public art fabrication.

“Sid and Lois are very much a part of the Herron community and have witnessed the growth and success of the school during the past decade. They saw the need for the expansion and were eager to help,” said Dean Valerie Eickmeier. “Their support will transform an already highly-acclaimed building into a prestigious, signature Fine Arts Center—a facility that will represent the creative work that resides at Herron.”

Sidney, commenting on their reasons for this newest gift said, “As Lois and I observe the work of the students, continue to learn about Dean Eickmeier’s vision for the school and realize the important role this facility will play, we know we are doing the right thing.

“It makes us happy to see the students doing what they love to do.” He adds, “It’s gratifying to know that Herron is one of only a few schools in the country to offer its students the unique educational experiences they receive at both the undergraduate and graduate level.”

The expansion project is funded solely through private support and would not be possible without the additional support of the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, George and Diane Seybert, Don Gummer and Meryl Streep, Drs. Thomas and Shirley Mueller, and other members of Herron’s Advisory Board. Opportunities for giving are still available.

As Lois and I observe the work of the students, continue to learn about Dean Eickmeier’s vision for the school and realize the important role this facility will play, we know we are doing the right thing.

Sidney Eskenazi

The Eskenazis are held in high regard beyond Herron and share a commitment to both higher education and the visual arts, and strongly believe in the development of a rich arts and cultural community. The Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Fine Arts Center will help position Herron, Indiana University, and the city of Indianapolis as world class destinations.

Sidney, an avid art collector, founded Sandor Development in 1963 and served as managing partner of an 18-member law firm in Indianapolis. Lois, a painter, has won recognition for her work from the Hoosier Salon and at Indiana State Fair art exhibits.

Even when their family and businesses were young, Sidney, Lois, and their three children—David, Dori, and Sandy—began changing the world around them. They made giving back to the community an integral part of their philosophy. Now, in their 56th year of marriage, they continue to make a lasting mark in the world.

“Each day, hundreds of aspiring artists’ lives are changed because of the Eskenazis’ philanthropic spirit,” said Dean Eickmeier. “Sid and Lois truly make a difference in the lives of our students, faculty, staff and friends in the community. They are indeed a very special couple.”

To learn more about supporting Herron School of Art and Design, contact Kim Hodges, Office of Development, at 317-278-9472 or