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Butter Art Fair Returns to Indy for Third Year

BUTTER 2022 Eric Lubrick.jpg
Posted at 3:45 PM, Aug 30, 2023

INDIANAPOLIS — An event that started small a couple of years ago has exploded in popularity and even landed on front page of the Arts & Leisure section of the New York Times.

The Butter Fine Art Fair returns for a four-day run at the historic Stutz building in downtown Indianapolis.

Now, in its third year, the event elevates artists who bring their vision and craft from diverse backgrounds.

Butter first attracted art lovers in 2021.

Back then, it was such an inspiration for young Hoosier artist, Ayanna Tibbs.

"My breath was taken," she said. "I had never seen anything of this scale before in my life. So many black artists able to show whatever work they want to. Be paid properly. I don't know what it takes to be there, but I want to be there. I want to be in it."

This year, Tibbs is one of the 49 featured visual artists.

She describes her work as very direct, yet abstract.

"I hope it makes people think. And makes people feel good," she said.

Butter curator Greg Rose is one of several curators, helping transform the historic Stutz space into a showcase of Black talent and celebration.

"So it's a chance for people to invest in your career," Rose said. "As an artist, the way you're going to be sustainable is by selling work."

The founders of Indianapolis-based "GangGang," a creative advocacy firm that aims to build equity, created the Butter Fine Art event.

Butter's aim is not only to exhibit the works of black artists, but also to launch their names and brands to a higher lever that's far-reaching.

"A lot of times artists don't get the respect or access they deserve," Rose said. "They don't get the chance to platform themselves in a way that's really going to help them boost their careers to the next level. And Butter is doing exactly that."

Last year, more than 8,000 people attended Butter.

The event delivered a measurable economic impact.

More than $250,000-worth of art was purchased at the weekend event in 2022 and $200,000-worth more, in the days following.

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The stages are being assembled for live performances too, since Butter also features 11 performance artists;19 conversation panelists; and 50 DJs from across the country.

The artists are ready to show off their newest, colorful creations.

"I'm excited for my city to see it and hopefully the whole nation to see it," Tibbs said.

 The entire fair is happening in and around the Stutz building on North Capitol Avenue in downtown Indianapolis.

Tickets are still available here. For more information on the Butter Fine Art Fair, click here.