Arts » Visual Arts

Insights from visual artists at the Indiana Black Expo

Black Expo hosts some of Indiana's best visual artists, so we chatted with three of them

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Tyrell Broughton in front of his canvas
  • Tyrell Broughton in front of his canvas


The Indiana Black Expo got its start in 1970, just after the height of the Civil Rights Movement. Several religious and community leaders in Indiana traveled to Chicago for the expo there; when they returned they knew that Indianapolis needed one as well. According to the Expo "they understood the pressing need to create an avenue to display positive African-American ideas."

Famous speakers at the Expo have included figures like Rev. Jesse Jackson, but one of the real gems of the event are the visual arts. We caught up with three who you shouldn't miss.

Work by Lance C. Parker
  • Work by Lance C. Parker

Lance C. Parker
Illuminate Hue Photography
Artistic medium/specialty: Smoke Art
Years as an artist: 4
City of birth: Queens, New York
Years in Indiana: Since 1979
Role models: Yeshua – and other than that from various people who I watch. It may be something small or something great that I have garnered from them through life.

NUVO: What inspires you to create the work you do?

Lance Parker: Seeing the different things that I can create from one shot of smoke. The creativity of it and trying to make things out of it.

NUVO: When did you know you had to begin to create art?

LANCE: Well, it started from a smoke class in a photo club that I am in. We did smoke photography and I went home in post process and was able to create art with it. It started out as making things that look like glassware, then it pushed beyond into something that look like a character created from smoke.

NUVO: What would you most like to be remembered for?

LANCE: Being a God-fearing man that done what he could. I would like people to remember the art not me. Creativity has create in it thus to me by being creative it helps those who either are lacking in the creative part, struggling to find the passion or a let me see what I can create from someone else creativity. I had a smoke show a couple a months ago and I got an inbox about a week later. A young man that came said my smoke along with myself inspired him to go back and finish photography school.

NUVO: What advice can you give to aspiring artists?

LANCE: Be real with yourself and the art. The feeling may be dull but it's there. If the feeling is not there question is this what I'm supposed to be doing or is this just something we pick up and put down along the way of life. Photography became that thing I didn't put down and my smoke art is its child.

NUVO: What does participation in Black Expo mean to you?

LANCE: Meeting and networking with people of all walks of life. It also incorporates meeting other people and presenting what Indiana has to offer.

NUVO: What are some of your future goals?

LANCE:
To continue making smoke art and taking pictures as well as working on branding and marketing. Ultimate goal is to be a full time photographer and travel. I just want to say thank you for the opportunity to answer these questions. It's great that one gets to showcase on such a grand level and people that come here from all walks will get to see the art that one creates. I think the art world struggles because it's not a plausible thing in the working world unless you've made it, so I fight for the little people trying to show that art can be someone's life.

Tyrell Broughton
  • Tyrell Broughton

Tyrell Broughton

Mcflyart/Canopy Clothing
Artistic medium/specialty: abstract art
Years as an artist: since 1986
City of birth: Huger, South Carolina
Years in Indiana: 2
Role models: my siblings, parents, Michael Jordan, Deion Sanders, and any true artist.

NUVO: What inspires you to create the work you do?

Tyrell Broughton:
I don't know really know where to start! I've been inspired by various things, such as, childhood cartoons, fashion, and other artists who inspire me to do more and push myself to be more creative. And, in the end, it's really the personal fact that I just want to be better at being an artist.

NUVO: When did you know you had to begin to create art?

Broughton:
My mom said I began as a child to draw, and draw on everything. She said I would draw on walls, paper, in church, in the car, and in class. I've always had a great imagination. I had family and friends to play with but I did not need them to keep me busy. My cousin Colin really pushed me as a kid. Sometime I wish sports wasn't as big as it was in my family's life. I could imagine where I would be with art. The thing that people ask the most is when did you start painting – and so, I started my first painting in 2011 or 2012, but never did another until 2015. I just continued to want to paint and create and now I am.

Tyrell Broughton
  • Tyrell Broughton

NUVO: What would you most like to be remembered for?

Broughton: I would love to be remembered for being a man from little ole' Huger, SC, Scotty Broughton (Scotemcfly). I said that because with me, it's my abstract circus of a mind, my love for art, and love of fashion/fashion sense. Remotely I just want to be remembered as a creator. I do and don't care to be rich and famous, because some things are to reach for the sky but what's dreams without some type of motivation. I'm humbled by any and every experience though.

NUVO: What advice can you give to aspiring artists?

Broughton: Stop caring about what people are going to think and push your own envelope. Study as much as you can, ask questions, never be too good to take advice (good or bad), always remember to tell yourself "YOU ARE DOPE." Give yourself some self-encouragement, and success takes time.

NUVO: What does participation in Black Expo mean to you?

Broughton:
When I was younger I always heard about Black Expo and seen how big it was here. This mean a lot to me, because of the exposure and just the humbling fact I'm being featured in the first place. The experience will be a great stepping stone for where critical eyes will speak of what's liked, disliked, and advice from whomever viewing.

NUVO: What are some of your future goals?

Broughton: My biggest goal is to not to work a job ever again and just to create. I believe God didn't put me here to work for a boss, but for Him. If I work for me I can sleep and wake on my time. Paint and create when I can or on my own set schedule. I want to have my artwork in famous people's houses and in major cities so people can enjoy it. Another future goal is to get the clothing line that my cousin and I own, off the ground. I'm a graduate of Oklahoma State University. The youngest child of six children (two girls and four boys). I take shirts, jackets, jerseys, and whatever is needed as my canvas. I have billions of ideas for art and fashion, we just have to go for it.

Work by Tiffany Parker
  • Work by Tiffany Parker

Tiffany Parker

Artistic medium/specialty: Painting
Years as an artist: 15
City of birth: Evansville
How long have you lived in Indiana: My whole life!
Role models: My parents are my role models. They are kind and creative.

NUVO: What inspires you to create the work you do?

Tiffany Parker: I am inspired by my community and our desire to preserve the spirit of love and acceptance. I admire the little black woman who can face struggle with a sincere smile on her face.

NUVO: When did you know you had to begin to create art?

Tiffany:
I grew up around music and creative types. My dad is a musician who encouraged us to be artists. Naturally, in the first grade, I became infatuated with drawing. I could draw really well at a very young age.

NUVO: What would you most like to be remembered for?

Tiffany: Most likely, I will be remembered for my ability to heal and care for others. My paintings and drawing are made intuitively from the pain and joy I have experienced.

Work by Tiffany Parker
  • Work by Tiffany Parker

NUVO: What advice can you give to aspiring artists?

Tiffany:
Once, I told a younger artist to get life experience because that is the only way to enrich your work. Have your heart broken and paint about how it was pieced together.

NUVO: What does participation in Black Expo mean to you?

Tiffany: Well, the Black Expo has always celebrated black culture and entertainment. I am humbled. When I was teenager, I remember taking pictures of Beyoncé and Alicia Keys! These experiences inspired my wildest dreams.

NUVO: What are some of your future goals?

Tiffany: Artistically, I want my work to reach people who are not in the art community. Of course, I want to make a living, but I don't need much to be happy.


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