Meet the Artists

“Paw Paw’s Touch Up” by Chrystopher Burns.

Meet the Artists is back, and this year, the cultural event is celebrating Anthony Radford, who founded the exhibit and has guided it through its 31-year history. The event, which kicked off Jan. 29, is marked throughout its two-month-long run with various events and celebrations honoring the work of local African-American artists.

Radford has developed Meet the Artists over the last three decades to become one of the most prominent cultural celebrations in Indianapolis. This year, there are 20 local artists who specialize in mediums ranging from photography to knitting and crocheting. One of the events celebrating artists is a gala reception Feb. 9 at Central Library.

The gala will include special performances, a fashion show, author appearances and activities for children. Federal judge and Indianapolis native Tonya Walton Pratt will have a special presentation, and local African-American authors will sell and sign their books. Gala attendees can also see works of art students from Matchbook Learning at Wendell Phillips School 63 and Providence Cristo Rey High School made from reclaimed objects.

Featured artists at the gala include musician Ken Skelton, spoken word artist Too Black, gospel choir Judah Band and African dance and drumming group Sancocho Drum Troupe.

There will also be a “4th Friday Celebration” on March 22 at Central Library, where attendees can take tours of the exhibit and see painting demonstrations and programs by participating artists.

This year, 11 artists make their Meet the Artists debut. They include Mechi Shakur (acrylic), Anthony Armstrong (abstracts and photography), Shawn McClendon (mixed media) and the late Carolyn Irene Bell (graphite), whose work will be presented by her daughter, Michele Winston. There are also nine artists representing WE ARE Indy Arts Group, which acts as a networking group for local Black artists who want to inspire others through cultural artistic expression.


Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.


Celebrate and support the accomplishments of African-American artists by touring their exhibits, enjoying live entertainment and buying books by local authors. Learn more at or call 317-275-4100.

When: 5:30-10 p.m. Feb. 9

Where: Central Library atrium, 40 E. St. Clair St.

Youth Workshop: 6-8:30 the Learning Curve


Attendees can take tours of the Meet the Artists exhibits, get painting demonstrations and enjoy presentations put on by artists.

When: 6-9 p.m. March 22

Where: Central Library

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