SoBro Artist Collective offers alternative to costly Penrod Festival, platform for emerging local talentPosted on: September 7, 2018, by : Trevor Potts
“Imagine a miracle and you are half way there.”
Such is the perspective of SoBro Artist Collective founder Jeremiah Little on the potential of art to transform society in positive directions. “I was always taught that artists paint the future and that is true. Whether it’s doing a concept piece for a new facility or a wide field of daisies, you render something that doesn’t exist and make it come to life. Artists change the world around them by imagining a better place. Not only that, artists more than anyone can envision that better world. That better place.”
Little and his collaborators in SoBro Artist Collective are just some of the many Indianapolis artists and organizers trying to do just that, creating platforms for “that better place.” And this Saturday, Sept 8, So Bro Art Collective takes its next step, with the PawnShop Pub Art and Music experience. This free all-day and all-ages event — offering an economical alternative to the more costly Penrod Art Festival at the Indianapolis Museum of Art — will feature independent and emerging artists and musicians from 1-8 pm at 2222 E. 54th Street. Music will be held outside on the back deck starting at 3pm.
Bands for this Saturday’s event include the power-pop of The Shake Ups at 3 pm, the ephemeral Robots And Magic Powers at 4, the lively bluegrass/punk of Union Suit Rally at 5, and the incomparably talented breathy soul of Kyra Waltz at 6.
Over a dozen visual artists will also be showing and selling their work at the event, including Andrea Ettinger, Aris Fedot, Cecily Turner, Paul Yoggerst, Lynne Arrowsmith, Jason S. Cavan, Enaj Jane Mills-Cavan, Sirena Iles, Debra Wells, Lee Cherolis, Sara E. Jones, Katt McConnell, Luisanna Rodriguez, Meredith Emmons Hyndman, Brat Conway and renowned photographer Ryan Baxter, with his first foray into the medium of paint.
Tomorrow’s event, says Little, is designed to provide opportunities for new and emerging artists. “This is what I wanted to do when I started this group (SoBro Artist Collective). I had spent so much money for years paying for spots to try and sell art (and) couldn’t afford to get into the bigger shows like the Broadripple art fair. It’s hard being a part time artist and to be able to sink that much money into an outdoor show that may or may not be rained out. So my main goal was to provide artists with free or really low cost shows . . . where people are already there and will have something else to do while they are there, i.e. ..food, beer, wine. music!”
“There are more people doing this type of ‘pop up’ art fairs in uncommon places and I love it!” continues Little. “I guess in the future I always hope we get the opportunity to do bigger and better shows for both artists and musicians. But again my dream is for more people in our group (SoBro Artist Collective) to take a role in putting on shows in the future.”
Jane (s.Jane Mills), one of the over 20 artists whose work will be on display at tomorrow’s show — and self-described “Artist, Illustrator, Storyteller, Astrophile” — seconds Little’s thoughts on the ability of art to effect transformation, both on a societal level and an individual one. “Creating art makes people think and look within themselves. It’s something we all need to do to understand the world around them and how others view the world. Seeing someone else’s view promotes social change.” Getting to know the community of South Broad Ripple and meeting one’s neighbors is a second plus of such events, says Mills. “I’m excited to be part of this awesome event and to share my love of space exploration with others!”
Ryan Baxter, one of Indianapolis’ leading photographers for over a decade, is equally excited to play a part, with the debut of his new paint-centered Textured Stroke Art Co. “The opportunity is something that you don’t see on a regular basis. As an artist, most beginners have to pay to be to be able to display and/or sell your work.” Again, unlike the Penrod or Broadripple Art Fair, which charge artists upwards of $400 to share their work, tomorrow’s event will be free for the artists, to provide them an open opportunity to share their work, and to offer commentary on our world. Says Baxter, “Art gives me the chance to express my views in a constructive way. I have a piece that I call ‘Red, Black and Blue’ which represents how I feel our nation is currently Black and blue from this administration, both nationally and internationally . . . I am looking forward to seeing the other artists’ work too. (They) each have something unique to offer.”
And then there art the musical artists involved in tomorrow’s event, which Little and SoBro Artist Collective view as instrumental to achieving the mission of the organization. “You have to have both . . . The bands I got to play were all the bands that already inspire me to be better than what I am doing currently. The Shake Ups — these guys are always taking song writing to the next level and they are are super fun. Union Suit Rally — just all around fun bluegrass and random stage happenings and mayhem. Super cool group of people there. Of course our band Robots and Magic Powers . . . We have worked hard in our first year and playing at the pawn shop is a wonderful opportunity. It feels like home. Finally, Krya waltz — stunning beautiful vocals and just a great soul and someone you want to be around.”
All in all, again, SoBro Artist Collective views its creation of a platform for the launching of emerging talent in concert with established artists as central to its mission. “From a couple of people that are doing their first show to our veterans that have been doing this for years,” says Little, “I see in them what I aspire to be. I see their fear that they won’t be accepted and also the affirmation that they are doing what they love. I hope that no one ever gives up on the things they love to do. I hope that at least I can take my experience and ideas and somehow give them the opportunity that they deserve to show off their talents to the world.
For more information on this event and on SoBro Artist Collective, see their Facebook group page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1290546807704178/