‘Grown-up’ Butter fine art fair expecting 10,000 attendees at the Stutz

  • Comments
  • Print
Butter 2022
In 2022, the second edition of the Butter fine art fair topped $250,000 in sales of artwork. (Photo provided by GangGang)

The third annual Butter fine art fair has a director for the first time, a role made necessary by the event’s growing reputation, bigger physical footprint and attendance that’s expected to reach 10,000 people this weekend.

GangGang, the cultural firm that founded Butter and promotes racial justice by supporting Black artists, enlisted Deonna Craig for the director task.

“This year, Butter has grown up,” said Craig, an Indianapolis-based artist and president of the Eighteen Art Collective. “We have higher expectations from ourselves and from the public.”

Following a preview tonight at The Stutz, 1060 N. Capitol Ave., Butter 3 will present visual art, live music, DJ sets and public conversations Friday through Sunday at the newly renovated complex that opened as a car factory more than a century ago.

Attendees will enter the Stutz from an east entrance along Capitol Avenue or a west entrance along Senate Avenue. Butter attractions will occupy 40,000 square feet of space.

The art fair’s upward trajectory includes the amount of money collectors have spent to acquire paintings and sculptures. At the 2021 debut, sales reached $175,000. In 2022, the total was $250,000.

Craig said Butter’s mission to be “North America’s equitable fine art fair” has been transformative for Black artists in Indianapolis.

Deonna Craig
Deonna Craig became director of Butter fine art fair in May. (Photo provided by GangGang)

“When you’re at Butter as an artist, there’s a new pool of collectors that has eyes on you,” said Craig, who exhibited her paintings at the first two editions of the event. “I can think of about eight people who were doing art on the side and are now full-time artists because of Butter.”

This year’s roster includes more than 50 artists, including Aaron Coleman, April Bey, Delisha McKinney, Joshua AM Ross, Shabez Jamaal, Terrible Tony and Yeabsera Tabb.

GangGang co-founders Malina Simone Bacon and Alan Bacon designed Butter as an art fair that requires no fees from artists and collects no commissions on sales.

Beyond an attractive financial structure for artists, Butter nurtures careers, Craig said.

“Butter solidifies what you already know about yourself,” she said. “It’s that extra confirmation of professional collectors appreciating your work and curators giving that feedback you need. It’s different from other art shows. You feel the care of your career from the people who are at the head.”

For attendees, the event isn’t restricted by a single definition.

“If you’re into arts administration and the background of how the arts work, there’s something for you at Butter,” Craig said. “If you like live music and performances and concert vibes, that’s Butter. If you’re a collector—new or if you have 25 famous pieces in your home—that’s Butter. If you want to hear poetry or you want to have the greatest food vendors in Indianapolis, that’s Butter.

“We’re activating the creative economy all the way around. When people ask what Butter is, it’s a family of creatives coming together to show what Indianapolis has and inviting national artists to see what Indianapolis has.”

Alan and Malina Bacon, a husband-and-wife team, describe the mission of GangGang as paying back the culture that shaped the United States of America. Last week, GangGang unveiled an initiative to celebrate the Black architects of rock ’n’ roll music.

Presented in partnership with Indianapolis concert company Forty5, “I Made Rock ’N’ Roll” will feature first-person storytelling events, listening sessions and a series of concerts leading up to the first I Made Rock ’N’ Roll festival in downtown Indianapolis in 2024.

At Butter, a performance space billed as the I Made Rock ’N’ Roll Stage will feature an appearance by Grammy Award winner Van Hunt at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Butter fine art fair

  • When: 11 a.m. to 10 a.m. Sept. 1-2; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 3.
  • Where: The Stutz, 1060 N. Capitol Ave.
  • Admission: $40.
  • Info: Visit butterartfair.com.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.

5 thoughts on “‘Grown-up’ Butter fine art fair expecting 10,000 attendees at the Stutz

  1. This is definitely something that I would suggest anyone to attend in the Indy metro area. You see things like this in Chicago, LA, NYC,Houston and other bigger cities. Indy needs more events like this for mature grown adults to get dressed up and attend a nice refreshen atmosphere and entertainment. I’ll definitely be there to support.

Get the best of Indiana business news. ONLY $1/week Subscribe Now

Get the best of Indiana business news. ONLY $1/week Subscribe Now

Get the best of Indiana business news. ONLY $1/week Subscribe Now

Get the best of Indiana business news. ONLY $1/week Subscribe Now

Get the best of Indiana business news.

Limited-time introductory offer for new subscribers

ONLY $1/week

Cancel anytime

Subscribe Now

Already a paid subscriber? Log In

Get the best of Indiana business news.

Limited-time introductory offer for new subscribers

ONLY $1/week

Cancel anytime

Subscribe Now

Already a paid subscriber? Log In

Get the best of Indiana business news.

Limited-time introductory offer for new subscribers

ONLY $1/week

Cancel anytime

Subscribe Now

Already a paid subscriber? Log In

Get the best of Indiana business news.

Limited-time introductory offer for new subscribers

ONLY $1/week

Cancel anytime

Subscribe Now

Already a paid subscriber? Log In