Photo by Katerina Anderson.
ABIGAIL OAKLEY | CULTURE CO-EDITOR | email@example.com
This past Labor Day weekend, one of Indianapolis’ biggest fine art fairs went smooth as BUTTER. This art fair, BUTTER, started in 2021 and showcases Black artists from Indianapolis and across the country. It was a weekend of art, creativity and fun.
Emma Skrypczak, a sophomore dance arts administration major, and Frances Anderson, a senior arts administration major, are interns with GANGGANG, the organization behind BUTTER. GANGGANG is a cultural development firm with the goal of equity and reparations in the Indianapolis arts community. The Butler Collegian caught up with these students to hear about their experiences and the importance of BUTTER.
THE BUTLER COLLEGIAN: First, could you explain what BUTTER is?
EMMA SKRYPCZAK: Yeah, it’s a fine art fair, in Indianapolis, featuring over 50 Black artists from around Indianapolis and around the nation. It focuses on bringing equity into the arts.
FRANCES ANDERSON: It is Indianapolis’ equitable art fair. The goal is to sell 100% of the works, and 100% of the proceeds go back to the artists. So that’s a really awesome thing that’s changing about the art world.
TBC: What should attendees expect from the event?
ES: They should expect to see lots of really, really cool art. The whole building [the Stutz] is made to build up an experience. Not only are the art and the galleries really cool, but the whole building, the food and all that stuff is specifically chosen to make a full experience.
FA: There’s about 180 exhibiting artworks on the fourth floor of the Stutz that showcase about 49 artists, 29 of whom are from Indianapolis, along with about 11 performance artists and 19 conversation panelists as well as 50 DJs from across the country that all tie [in] with Indianapolis. There’s a lot to do over the three days.
TBC: Could you try to explain the reasons and inspiration behind BUTTER?
ES: I mean, it is meant to bring equity to the arts and allow Black artists to be shown in a way that they haven’t [been] done in the past. Hopefully it’ll set a good structure for other places to also have equity.
FA: Yeah, so BUTTER is a multi-day fine art fair that features work made by Black visual artists from Indiana. It’s hosted by an organization called GANGGANG. And [its purpose] is to give back reparations to Black artists, specifically in the Indianapolis area. It’s different from other art fairs because it’s anchored here in Indianapolis and it advocates for the care and economic viability of Black artists.
TBC: What about the organization behind it, GANGGANG? Tell me more about them.
ES: They are a cultural development firm. So mostly they are about bringing beauty into cities [through] Black artists and letting them show their art through different areas.
FA: Its main event throughout the year is BUTTER, but they also are in charge of a lot of other events. They just released their new event, called “I Made Rock N’ Roll”, which will hopefully be like BUTTER but for performing artists.
TBC: How has the community responded to BUTTER?
ES: The community is getting more and more excited about it. I got to do a tabling event a few weekends ago, and so many people [I] didn’t even have to explain what BUTTER was [to them]. [They just said], “I’m just so excited about BUTTER.”
GANGGANG continues to have a relationship with the Butler arts administration program, and these interns are keeping that going. More information about BUTTER and GANGGANG’s other events are available on their website and social media.