On First Thursday Night—Feb. 4, 2021 from 4–8 p.m—in celebration of Black History Month, we are pleased to welcome 11 of the 18 artists who worked on the Black Lives Matter Street Mural that was painted on Indiana Avenue in downtown Indianapolis this past summer. They will be showcasing some of their artwork and discussing their roles in creating this iconic work of art.
Each letter in the mural was created by a different artist. When combined, it makes a powerful tapestry that shares an important message. Here's the artists who created the mural, including the brief bios that they provided to The Children's Museum.
#: Dr. Jarrod Dortch
Dr. Jarrod Nicholas Dortch is a Professor of Communication at Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis, Indiana. He also serves as the owner and operator of Solful Gardens, a local urban agriculture startup specializing in bringing Fresh.Urban.Natural produce to clients' properties and working with community gardens.
B: Nathaniel Rhodes
Nathaniel Rhodes’ work is explanatory of his existence as a black person in society. It’s an examination of his thoughts, and feelings towards the events that he has experienced or sighted through the media infused with his spirituality.
L: Rebecca Robinson
Artist Rebecca Robinson creates impactful artwork, specifically with concrete and tar. Her strategic use of texture and contrast creates various subjuects and themes which continue to evoke emotion and spark dialogue while enriching the community and contributing to the culture.
A: Amiah Mims
C: Billy Hoodoo
K: Kevin West
L: John G. Moore
I: Gary Gee
V: Deonna Craig
Deonna Craig was born and raised in Indianapolis. She is a full-time visual artist and the owner of DC's heARTbeat. Through her company, she is able to pursue her passion of teaching, community building, public speaking, and mentoring.
E: SheRae Parker aka Rae Parker
Rae Parker, pronouns "Them/They," is a visual artist from Newark, NJ. They are a community art activist and the owner of Rae Parker Art & Design. They have been actively published and their work has been shwon in Los Angeles, Cincinnati, as well as in Indy.
S: Ess McKee
Ess McKee, a mixed-media artist, is an Arizona native based in Indy. With a background in graphic design, she merges the world of analog and digital to create works that are both grunge and cosmetic.
M: Wavy Blayne
Hailing from Indianapolis, Courtney "Wavy" Blayne is a mid-career artist focused on mixed media and music production. His love for the arts is simply the thing that drives his passion. Pulling influence from Japanese culture and street art, he creates a unique Afrofuturism style that he calls "Wavy."
A: Harriet Watson
Harriet Watson is an Indiana native who loves to express herself through different artistic mediums, including acrylic painting and textile design. Her artistic goal is to be able to create art in hopes of connecting with others and sparking a meaningful convesation.
T: Israel Solomon
Israel Solomon is a visual artist and educator who works primarily within the city of Indianapolis. He is also a Visiting Artist at The Children's Museum. Israel enjoys using bright colors and geometric shapes within his compositions to create his engergetic paintings.
E: Shamira Wilson
Shamira Wilson creates minimal abstract art that explores the repeat patterns of textiles. Her work alludes to the storytelling qualities found in narrative textiles and objects across the African Diaspora.
R: Ashley Nora
Ashley Nora is a full-time, self-taught visual artist and mom of two. Her art captures moments of human interaction through portraiture, using multiple mediums to express different ideas.
Fist: Kenneth Hordge
Please note: the artists listed who do not have bios included will not be at the museum on First Thursday Night.
We're also pleased to welcome two of the orgnizers of the downtown mural—Kyra Jay and Stacia Murphy. You can meet them at the Black Lives Matter Mural Information Table on First Thursday Night!
Don't miss First Thursday Night
In addition to the Black Lives Matter Street Mural artists, we have other special programming available for First Thursday night from 4–7:30 p.m.:
- Hear stories of the Civil Rights Movement from Storyteller Portia Jackson
- Be inspired by Ella Fitzgerald®, Laurie Hernandez, Katherine Johnson, and other Black women in the Up Close and Personal—Women Changing the World program inside BarbieTM You Can Be AnythingTM: The Experience exhibit
- Discover how to use your Words, Actions, Voice, and Education to make a change in the Making WAVES—Social Justic in Action program inside The Power of Children: Making a Difference®
We hope you'll join us for this special First Thursday Night celebration of Black History Month. Admission is just $6 per person from 4–8 p.m. Capacity is limited. Get your tickets in advance. They'll go fast.