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Mural unveiling kicks off annual ‘Butter: Fine Art Fair’

Mural unveiling kicks off annual “BUTTER” art fair

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The annual “Butter: Fine Art Fair” is using art to resurrect and restore community. Representatives are using Indiana Avenue as it’s backdrop to kick off a colorful event.

The second Keepers of the Culture mural series was officially unveiled on the side of 16 Tech facing Indiana Avenue. There is significance in the imagery, but also with the location. Butter representatives say this work is also about preserving Black art and Black culture.

“We are the descendants of Indiana Avenue,” said Alan Bacon, co-founder of Butter, to the crowd gathered for the mural unveiling.

Indiana Avenue isn’t a thing of the past. It’s current. It’s modern. These people are here to prove it.

“That’s why this moment is important. That’s why the location of this mural is important,” said Bacon.

Kevin West, through brush and paint, helps illustrates the timeline, saying Indiana Avenue is seeing a resurgence of growth, but it has always been fertile land.

“The background I left in a gray scale because I wanted to do a super hard nod to the past right,” said West. “The young children that are looking towards the new renovation of the new tech company that’s coming.”

Two years ago, the first “Keepers of Culture” mural helped kick off the organization GangGang’s four-day “Butter: Fine Art Fair.” West’s design does the same this year. He says art in Indiana has historically been conservative, particularly for Black creatives. West says this annual fair is already shifting that.

“Sometimes, the culture leaves and we don’t feel a part of that anymore. By the keepers of the culture being able to come alongside things like this and do murals like it, it makes it feel welcoming.”

Deonna Craig is a two-time Butter artist, now serving as director. She’s seen the benefit the event brings to artists. Many artists floated along the margins with little exposure.

“That’s the purpose of Butter. Butter is supposed to help the trajectory of your career, and as an artist of Butter one and Butter two, I’ve seen and can serve as testament to what that does for us,” said Craig.

West, as a product of Indiana Avenue, says he’s grateful to have his work displayed on this scale, and he hopes other artists will see their work blossom.

“Come out, support, and more importantly: Purchase.”

General admission for the event is Friday 11 a.m. through Sunday 11 a.m.