INDIANAPOLIS — A new 3D mural was unveiled in downtown Indianapolis Wednesday in honor of Hoosier cultural leaders and the Indiana Avenue Cultural District.
The "Keepers of Culture" mural on the Stutz Building, located at 1060 North Capitol Avenue, depicts eight Black Hoosier artists and entrepreneurs — Vivica A. Fox, Mike Epps, Rob Dixon, Amos Brown, LaDeana Brown, Mariah Ivey, Deborah Asante and Maxie.
Painted by the artist Ashley Nora, the mural's unveiling comes in conjunction with the official announcement of a new fine art fair called BUTTER, founded by Indy-based cultural development firm "GANGGANG." The fair will feature works by more than 30 Black artists from across the country over Labor Day Weekend, beginning Thursday.
“As a lifelong Hoosier, I’ve seen our community grow and evolve. As we move forward, we can never forget our past," U.S. Rep. André Carson, D-Indianapolis, said during the mural's dedication ceremony. “The art we see today is helping to lift all voices.”
At the corner of Senate Avenue and 11th Street, the mural spans the entire northwest wall of a former warehouse in the Stutz building. That warehouse will also be the location of the BUTTER art fair.
All of those being honored in the mural were present for the ribbon-cutting ceremony except for Mike Epps. The wife of the late Amos Brown attended on his behalf.
Vivica A. Fox was the only person of the honorees to speak during the ceremony, and she let everyone know what Indy can do, especially a girl from Arlington High School.
"I’m still good 'ole Angie Fox from 38th and Emerson," Ms. Fox said to a cheering crowd.
The vibe GANGGANG curated for the official kick-off of BUTTER was locked in with music from DJ Lady Locks and the presence of dozens of local artists and creatives.
“This is what it’s about — Community," Ashley Nora, the mural artist behind the piece, said to the crowd on Wednesday. She was honored with a standing ovation and cheers from all in attendance.
"It was so important to me. I gave it everything I had. I hope that you feel it,” she continued. “I hope you feel the love.”
GANGANG's BUTTER art fair runs Thursday through Sunday with live music, Q&As, and, of course, art.
Watch the dedication ceremony live:
WRTV Digital Reporter Shakkira Harris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow her on Twitter, @shakkirasays.