Understanding engenders peace. This is a philosophy upon which most of us– hopefully–can agree, and it is the driving belief behind this year’s Meet the Artists XXXI showcase. For decades, Meet The Artists has been a totem in the Indianapolis community, inviting all walks of life to gather and experience the beautiful, personal and meaningful creations of Indianapolis’ African American community of makers and artisans. This year, with Nicole Rene at the helm of the fashion show, a staple of the Meet the Artists gala evening, this promise of peace will surely be delivered.
If you’re familiar with the Indianapolis fashion community, it is likely you have come across Nicole Rene’s work. She is a passionate stylist, outfitting a deep roster of athletes and celebrities. Beyond advising an impressive clientele, Nicole regularly expounds fashion and beauty advice on Indianapolis’ Fox 59, as well as Cincinnati’s affiliate, Fox 19. As the stations’ resident Beauty, Style, & Lifestyle Expert, Nicole, 39, makes her sage fashion advice accessible to a large audience of viewers across Indiana, Ohio, and Northern Kentucky. Needless to say, she is a natural choice to curate this year’s Meet the Artists fashion show.
While the beauty and potency of this year’s showcased artwork and designs will surely be evident, its application as a driver for the promotion of peace is worthy of exploration.
“If we don’t understand one another, we can’t have universal peace,” explains Nicole. “This event will support African American designers, while promoting their stores and upcoming shows, but it’s more than that. It’s a celebration of African American heritage that is open and welcoming to all. I hope people walk away with a better understanding of our community.”
At this years event, you can expect to see the work of several local African American artists and designers. Amongst the wide array of art and design, the showcase will pay tribute to the founder and curator of Meet the Artists, Anthony Radford. While the exhibit will be on display at the Central Library in downtown Indianapolis from January 29 – March 30, the main gala reception event takes place this Saturday, February 9.
One of the highlights of this event will be the widely anticipated fashion show, featuring the designs of Tony Arrington, Beatrice Williams, Langston Christopher Bell, Bridgette Love, Carcelia Amial , KoKo Brown, Briana Davis, Julian Semaj, Ebony Nicole, William Etters and featured artist, Mike Sylla.
This work is necessary in these fraught times. While the world can’t be saved through a fashion show and artists exhibition, people can be introduced to a culture they may not fully understand or appreciate. Through this introduction, real connection and, ultimately, peace can blossom. It’s a tall order for a one day event, but it’s important work, and Nicole and the team behind the exhibit, are proudly rising to the challenge.
The event will be held at the Central Library, located at 40 E St Clair St, Indianapolis, IN 46204. Doors open at 5:15 p.m. The fashion show starts at 9 p.m. This event is free of charge and family friendly.
Photography: Markee Wilder with KeeTouch Studios
Styling and Makeup: Ms Nicole René
Hair: Styles By Dustyn
Models: Kwani Young-Cornell, Aerial Jones and Jonathan Summers
Clothing provided by Perfect Pick By Ebony Nicole & Perfect King