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Spotlight – Faith Blackwell Visionary Photographer and Mixed-Media Artist

Visionary Photographer and Mixed-Media Artist

Faith Blackwell is a multifaceted artist whose journey into photography and mixed-media artistry began unexpectedly in 2011 while she was working in marketing for the International Masonry Institute. Since discovering her passion for photography, Blackwell has dedicated herself fully to her craft, becoming a celebrated photographer and mixed-media artist known for her whimsical style and ability to evoke emotions in viewers.

Under the banner of Faith Blackwell Creative, Blackwell specializes in business headshots, and commercial, event, and fashion photography. Her portfolio boasts a diverse range of work, from capturing the essence of corporate professionals to documenting the energy of high-profile events. Blackwell’s artistic vision extends beyond photography, as she also creates vibrant mixed-media pieces that blend elements of pop art with a nostalgic touch.

Through Faith Blackwell Creative, Blackwell has evolved into a dynamic force in Indy through her photography and art. Driven by passion, creativity, and a commitment to making a positive impact, Blackwell continues to evolve and innovate in her artistic endeavors—inspiring captivating audiences in Indy and around the country.

Discovering her Passion

In 2011 while Blackwell was working in marketing for the International Masonry Institute, she suddenly picked up a camera. It was that random action that would birth a whole new passion and business for Blackwell. What began as a quick love for photography quickly proved to be an undiscovered talent, blossoming into a full-fledged career as Blackwell began to realize that photography had chosen her.

As I would take photographs, and experience the moment where others saw what I captured in them, I was hooked. I immediately realized that entrepreneurship was going to enable me to share my talents with a greater number of people to help them see their true beauty. 

“Unlike others around me who are successful entrepreneurs, I don’t remember dreaming of owning my own business,” Blackwell said. “But as I would take photographs, and experience the moment where others saw what I captured in them, I was hooked. I immediately realized that entrepreneurship was going to enable me to share my talents with a greater number of people to help them see their true beauty.” 

Over the last decade, Blackwell has made significant strides in the world of photography and she’s introduced mixed-media art into her practice. Within Central Indiana, she has garnered recognition for her unique style and artistic vision as a published photographer and mixed-media artist where her works are often characterized by their whimsical nature and ability to evoke smiles and nostalgia in viewers.

Bold, Brave Statements

Blackwell’s approach to her craft is a unique blend of nostalgia, creativity, and empowerment. Influenced by her upbringing in the vibrant culture of the 80s, she infuses her work with elements that harken back to a bygone era. Through her photography and mixed-media art, she transports viewers to a time filled with neon colors, iconic music, and unbridled creativity. Whether she’s capturing the strength and resilience of women through her photography or using her artwork to challenge societal norms, Blackwell is dedicated to using her platform to uplift and inspire others. Her pieces often depict strong, confident women—especially diverse women—breaking barriers and defying expectations. This illustration is intentional. 

“When I began my journey as a creator, I hoped to create pieces that would serve as a beacon of hope for those who encountered my art,” said Blackwell. “This intentionality still fuels me today. I strive to create art that inspires those who see it to live in full color, embrace their beauty, and go bravely in the direction of their dreams. Art is an exchange of energy, and I hope when audiences encounter my work they feel electrified.” 

And Blackwell’s commitment to empowerment goes beyond the images she creates; it’s ingrained in her approach to her craft. She strives to create a supportive and inclusive environment both on set and in her artistic community, encouraging collaboration and amplifying the voices of marginalized groups. 

“Regardless of who steps in front of my camera, I want them to feel more than comfortable, I want them to feel welcome,” Blackwell explained. “I begin every shoot by asking my subjects to pick a song that makes them feel their best—and we start there. By playing their favorite song and engaging them in a conversation, photoshoots become natural and allow for people to be captured on camera in their true form. This approach has yielded countless corporate headshots where professionals, but it’s also led to the images that have quite literally been hung outside of some of Indy’s most historic buildings to promote Black excellence.” 

Blackwell’s art isn’t just about capturing moments; it’s about making a statement and sparking meaningful conversations. Whether she’s exploring themes of identity, resilience, or social justice, her work challenges viewers to think critically about the world around them and inspires them to take action. 

Capturing Moments, Empowering Communities

And while Blackwell is an incredibly talented photographer and mixed-media artist, her work goes beyond her craft—she’s truly a catalyst for change within her community. One of her most impactful roles is as the official photographer of Dress for Success Indianapolis, an organization dedicated to empowering women to achieve economic independence. Through her lens, Blackwell captures the essence of these empowered women, showcasing their strength and resilience for the world to see.

“Dress for Success is an incredible organization, and it’s an honor to support their clients through photography,” shared Blackwell. “To see these women, I see my mom, my aunt and many others who could’ve easily benefitted from Dress for Success (but it wasn’t around during that time) some who have very little, use the resources they have to invest in their growth so that they can provide for their families, earn their education, and advance their impact in the community. It’s some of the most meaningful work I get to support.” 

In 2023, Blackwell was honored as the featured artist for their premier fundraiser, Stepping Out In Style. Her artwork became a centerpiece of the event, inspiring attendees and raising vital funds for the organization’s mission. And her commitment to her community doesn’t stop there. 

Blackwell serves on the boards of Dress for Success Indianapolis, Indy Maven, and the Indianapolis Zoo, leveraging her artistic talents to make a positive impact in various spheres. Whether she’s behind the camera or advocating for important causes, her dedication to service shines as she continuously and selflessly lends her time, talent, and treasure to her community. 

Recently, Blackwell’s talents were recognized at the Bottleworks Hotel and The Garage projects, where she was chosen as a featured photographer. Tasked with capturing portraits of the individuals involved in these transformative endeavors, her mixed-media artistry took center stage. Whether it was capturing the men and women at work, in a portrait setting, or while they were enjoying a break, these images are solidified in time and those captured are able to go to the hotel and point out their part in history.

A Community Call to Action

Investing in local artists is not just about purchasing artwork; it’s about investing in the heart and soul of our communities. Local artists are the lifeblood of cultural expression, creativity, and innovation, and supporting them is essential for keeping our communities vibrant and thriving.

When communities invest in local artists, they not only support individual creatives but also contribute to the overall cultural richness within their place. Local artists often draw inspiration from their surroundings, infusing their work with the unique flavor and spirit of the area. By supporting them, communities are helping to preserve and celebrate the distinct identity of their ancestors, residents, and neighborhoods. 

Moreover, investing in local artists has a ripple effect that extends far beyond the art world. Studies have shown that vibrant arts communities contribute to economic growth, attracting tourists, businesses, and new residents to the area. By nurturing a thriving arts scene, communities create opportunities for local businesses to flourish and for our communities to prosper.

 

“Supporting local artists fosters a sense of connection and belonging within the community—regardless of age, sexuality, or skin color,” Blackwell explained. “Art has the power to bring people together, spark conversations, and bridge divides. By investing in local artists, cities can strengthen the social fabric of the communities and create spaces where everyone feels seen, welcomed, and valued.” If you have a favorite artist that you want to support, simply ask them how. It can be as simple as sharing their work, telling gallery owners about them or purchasing gifts for yourself and/or others. Galleries, major retailers and licensing work is just a few of the many roads an artist can travel. Support them by speaking their names in rooms they’re not in so they can get a seat at the table (or help them to build their own). 

Blackwell’s journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring artists and creatives alike. Her dedication to her craft, combined with her commitment to community and empowerment, exemplifies the transformative power of art in all its forms. As she continues to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of photography and mixed-media art, one thing remains certain: her passion and creativity will continue to shine brightly, leaving an indelible mark on the world around her.

 

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Founder and CEO at Polished Strategic Communications | Website

Casey (Cawthon) Harrison has been a lifelong Hoosier since she was two years old. Harrison is a two-time graduate of IUPUI, most recently with her master’s in applied communication specializing in business media. Harrison currently serves as the vice president of marketing and communications with the Indy Chamber and recently celebrated her eleventh year as an associate faculty at IUPUI.

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