On September 23, 2022 We. The Culture: Works by The Eighteen Art Collective will debut in the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, featuring at least one piece by each artist from The Eighteen Art Collective. Artworks in the exhibition will address subjects as varied as religion, queer identity, joy, hip-hop culture, materiality, nature, and social justice, with all encouraging observers to acknowledge inequities in the arts and to channel their emotional experiences into behavioral change. The exhibition will be on display in the former European Galleries on Floor 2 of the IMA Galleries for one year, closing on September 24, 2023.
The group of 18 Indianapolis-based artists rose to prominence in August 2020 with the Black Lives Matter street mural on historic Indiana Avenue–each of the artists was responsible for painting one letter. We. The Culture will recognize each individual artist within the collective and will highlight their diverse practices and distinctive perspectives as contemporary artists.
We. The Culture: Works by The Eighteen Art Collective is co-curated by Mali Jeffers and Alan Bacon, co-founders of GANGGANG, a cultural development firm working to bring more beauty and equity to cities. Both Jeffers and Bacon were instrumental in the creation of the original #BlackLivesMatter mural on Indiana Avenue. Jeffers also sits on the Board of Governors at Newfields.
“We. The Culture is about identity,” Mali Jeffers, Co-Founder of GANGGANG, said. “It’s about giving a platform to the individuality within the collective and about lifting up the creatives themselves. This exhibition is a bright, colorful look into the works of 18 artists who are shifting the momentum and changing the narrative of Black influence on American culture.”
We. The Culture: Works by The Eighteen Art Collective is a reworking of the previously announced exhibition, DRIP: Indy’s #BlackLivesMatter Mural that was set to open at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in early 2021. This new collaboration between The Eighteen Art Collective, GANGGANG and Newfields comes after one year of conversations and work towards Newfields’ Action Plan and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) goals.
“This exhibition marks a huge shift in the way we present art at the IMA. It is a sign of growth and changes to come as we work to re-envision the galleries in new and exciting ways that reflect our community,” Katie Haigh, Chief Operating Officer at Newfields, said. “It’s truly exciting to see local artwork displayed alongside works from our permanent collection. I look forward to this change and hope guests are inspired.”
The Eighteen Art Collective are
Amiah Mims Israel Solomon
Ashley Nora Dr. Jarrod Dortch
Pope Gaskine John G. Moore
Wavy Blayne FINGERCREATIONS
Deonna Craig Kevin West
Ess McKee Kyng Rhodes
FITZ Rae Parker
Gary Gee Rebecca Robinson
Harriet Watson Shamira Wilson
About The Eighteen Art Collective
The Eighteen is a collective of 18 like-minded and civically engaged Black visual artists in and around the Indianapolis Metropolitan Area. Our mission is to collaborate on the betterment of Black creatives and the community that we serve. Our vision is to promote awareness and engagement of the arts by supporting local organizations, providing community education and mentorship, exhibiting to the public and serving as a resource for other artists. For more information visit 18artcollective.com.
GANGGANG activates the creative economy to bring more beauty, equity, and culture to cities. Born out of the pandemic and a civil rights movement, GANGGANG is an Indianapolis-based cultural development firm on a mission to produce, promote, and preserve equity and culture. Learn more on Instagram @ganggangculture or www.ganggangculture.com.
Newfields’ 152-acre cultural campus features art galleries, lush gardens, a historic home, performance spaces, a nature preserve and sculpture park.
Newfields is home to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, among the ten largest and ten oldest general art museums in the nation; the Lilly House, a National Historic Landmark; The Garden, featuring 40 acres of contemporary and historic gardens, a working greenhouse and an orchard; and The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres, one of the largest art and nature parks in the country.
The Newfields campus extends outside of Indianapolis with Miller House and Garden in Columbus, Ind.—one of the nation’s most highly regarded examples of mid-century Modernist architecture. For more information visit DiscoverNewfields.org.