Portraits honor strong neighbors

Portraits can be found on 16th Street east of the Monon Trail

The strength and resilience of six African Americans who reside in and have spent their lives loving the Monon16 neighborhood have been commemorated in murals.

The works by Abi Ogle, Greatriarchs of Monon16, were formally unveiled by the Harrison Center during an impromptu Porch Party on July 17 at the corner of 16th and Lewis streets.

The exhibit is a precursor to PreEnactIndy 2018, and is intended to be a powerful reminder of the growth, change and strong heritage that makes Monon16 a resilient and inclusive neighborhood.

Ogle unveiled six portraits honoring Terri Taylor, Jimmie Lytton, Pearl Carter, Shirley Webster, Joanna LeNoir and Michael “Willie” Hawkins.

Motorists and pedestrians alike will encounter the portraits as they cross over the Monon Trail heading east on 16th Street. Each portrait was created with an intentional art history reference in an effort to pay homage to the work of an African American artist.

Each “greatriarch” is painted purple, a color that is associated historically with royalty. A detailed description and the artist’s thoughts behind the inspiration for each portrait can be found on the Harrison Center website.

“I can’t think of a better way to create an appreciation for the diversity and history that makes the Monon16 neighborhood so extraordinary than to shine a light through place-based art on the citizens who have played an instrumental part in weaving the social fabric of this community,” said Joanna Taft, executive director of the Harrison Center.

PreEnactIndy 2018 will be held, rain or shine, on Saturday, Oct. 6 on three blocks of 16th Street from the Monon Trail to Dr. Andrew J. Brown Avenue in Indianapolis. The event is free and open to the public. To find more information, visit www.preenactment.org or follow the hashtag #PreEnactyIndy.

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