June 1, 2021

Local Artists' Works To Highlight Social Issues

Israel Solomon, American Duality (detail), 2020, Acrylic on canvas. - Israel Solomon/provided by Arts Council of Indianapolis

Israel Solomon, American Duality (detail), 2020, Acrylic on canvas.

Israel Solomon/provided by Arts Council of Indianapolis

Indianapolis-based artists will display their works at several sites across the city to raise awareness of police brutality, gentrification, migrant workers' rights, climate change, and other social issues.

“Art and Activism,” will kick-off the Arts Council of Indianapolis’ First Friday summer season this week at Gallery 924. The exhibition is a collaboration between the arts council, the Indiana State Museum, and the Indianapolis Public Library to honor the one-year anniversary of Murals for Racial Justice that were created on downtown Indianapolis' boarded-up storefronts. 

Director of Artist Services and Gallery 924 Lindsey Lord said the First Friday series has grown to become an arts culture staple over the past 10 years.

“People knew about it,” Lord said. “It was something that you just knew you had plans for the first Friday of every month, and it has slowly gotten to be something that you almost can't get to everything anymore on a first Friday.”

The arts council conducted a search for artists, with an eye out for artwork specifically about activism. Fifty artists responded.

“We worked with our gallery staff and our co-curators Matthew Cooper and Israel Solomon, who were both Murals for Racial Justice artists, to narrow down that field and select about 15 artists and we have about 25 artworks,” Lord said.

The Arts Council of Indianapolis’ First Friday summer season will run through July 23. Garfield Arts Complex, Harrison Center for the Arts and the Circle City Industrial Complex are designated locations included in the series. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the artists whose works are on display.

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