SportsNBA All-Star 2024 Indy


Meet the artists, three Black creatives share their stories through art

meet the artists
Posted at 4:05 AM, Feb 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-15 12:24:35-05

INDIANAPOLIS — In its 36th year, the Meet the Artists Exhibit at the Indianapolis Public Library promises an “All-Star” experience.

That’s because the showcase of Black artistry in Indianapolis is paying tribute to the NBA All-Star game this weekend.

Whether their medium is sculpture, airbrush or paint, artists Precious Jewel, Nick Hoggs and Leo Ra’chel each have a story to tell.

The three are featured artists this year.

“The black community, we don’t see it enough. I can freeze us into those moments of peace and joy. And highlight that and recognize my people," Precious Jewel said.

Precious Jewel’s newest piece, created for the exhibit, is entitled ‘KOBE!’

The soap-maker-turned-soap-sculptor says it pays tribute to an experience many Black folks could relate to.

“Childhood. Through different generations. It wasn’t just us. The generations before, they didn’t have hoops. All they had was waste baskets. They would just shoot the trash in the trash can, yelling out ‘Kobe,'" Jewel said.

Nick Hoggs is a self-taught painter and tattoo artist, with a focus on black and grey realism.

He pulls inspiration from the men he aspires to be like.

“I like to think of myself as having a code. Like men and people to mirror myself after," Hoggs said.

His artwork includes portraits of men like rapper Nipsey Hussle, Afro Samurai and late basketball superstar Kobe Bryant.

“Kobe stood for something. He wasn’t gonna stop until he won," Hoggs said. “I like what he stood for as a father, as a man. Value your family, value all this time.”

Leo Ra’chel is a creative force here in Indianapolis.

The podcaster, stylist and painter is the boisterous wild child of her family.

And her art reflects that.

“It is so freeing. It’s been the best space that I feel like I could have ever stepped into," Ra'chel said.

Art is healing for her.

She explores ideas of mental health, self-reflection and owning your story through her work.

“I’ve been making sure that I let not just black women, but Black people know that your mental health matters. Being able to find your tribe, being able to find a therapist, being able to talk about the things that we’ve been told for so long to sweep under the rug," she said.

The Indianapolis Public Library will host the Meet the Artists Gala on Saturday, Feb. 17.

The exhibit is open to the public now through March 23.