Hey everyone! Hope you’ve had a great week! Since February is Black History Month, I made it a point to find some new Black artists to follow this month. I think it’s important to find artists of various backgrounds, because art can truly tell a story. It’s for this very reason that we study art history: art is a visual insight of culture and community. Following and supporting BIPOC artists ensures that you have a rounded experience with art, which allows you to appreciate all of the different art forms. I’d like to share five of my favorite artists that I found this month with you all!
Laylie Frazier is an artist and educator in Houston, Texas. She mainly works in digital art using the warm color palette you see above. What I especially love about her work is the floral imagery, which is what first drew me to her. Throughout high school, I uncovered a pattern of including plant and flowers in my work. Usually, they represented something: growth, family, and connections. I have to wonder if Frazier uses plants in her pieces for a similar reason.
Tarika Campbell is a live painter and instructer located in Washington DC. She tends to paint women, specifically mothers, and claims that she tries to capture the wramth and love in her paintings. I would have to say that she does! Her pieces feel very welcoming and exciting. I found the ones above particularly amazing. I especially love the last two because of the acrylic pour effect she used. It really pulls you into the piece so that you can appreciate every detail.
Andre Simmons is an Atlanta native who uses his experience as a sketch artist to help him explore the art of painting. In this exploration, he found a way to combine expressionism and abstractism. He does this through his use of color, shape, and mark-making. I especially love how he uses color to show emotions and personality. My favorite part of his pieces, however, is definitely the liberties he takes. I think the middle piece, Night & Day, is my favorite because I love how simple it is while also being incredibly intricate.
Melissa Sutherland is an artist based in Brooklyn, New York and is the co owner of sk.ArtSpace. With her two friends Symone and Jarryn, Sutherland created the gallery sk.ArtSpace in Brooklyn as a safe place for emerging artists with the hope to provide resources to local artists and change how the world views “urban art.” Sutherland is a collage artist, and mostly works using hand cut paper. I really love her work because I love collages – it’s one of my favorite forms of art! I love how free Sutherland is with her collages. She utilizes irregular shapes and vibrant colors to create a unique flow in her pieces.
Avis Lashonda is an artist that specializes in hand embroidery. If you read my article “Mishi Embroidery,” you’ll know how fascinated I was by embroidery painting, so I’m so happy I found Avis Lashonda! She focuses on portraits, which are beautifully done. I love looking closely at them to see the small details – especially in the hair where you can see red and blue threads among the dark. I also the shapes she uses for their bodies interesting. The first and last pieces above have a pointed bodice, which seems to suggest that the figure is fierce, whereas the middle one is rounded which helps paint the subject as curious and filled with wonder.
I hope you enjoyed the artists I shared, and I hope this post might have inspired you to find some new BIPOC artists that you love! We should continue to support artists of all backgrounds year round, not just for a month every year, but Black History Month certainly stands as an important reminder of this. If you’d like to, follow the instagram profile blackartistspace, which helped expose me to some of the amazing artists I included above!
Featured Image by Laylie Frazier