13 socially-conscious artists that deserve a follow now on Instagram

If you’re looking to bring something new into your Instagram feed, may we suggest these socially conscious artists. Some are people of color, and all allies of #BlackLivesMatter using their voices (and social media feeds) to bring new perspectives and first-hand insight to culturally important topics.


Hank Willis Thomas

@hankwillisthomas, 124K followers

His sculpture art is large and poignant, and his IG page follows with images and commentary that call for social justice and a deep look at systemic racism in America. Brooklyn-based, he works primarily with themes related to perspective, identity, commodity, media, and popular culture.

 

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Simone Leigh

@simoneyvetteleigh, 53.8K followers

Simone Leigh is an American, black female artist based in New York City by way of Chicago who strives to undo cultural assumptions about black women’s life and work. Her artwork is influenced by African and African American art. She posts stunning photos of her sculptures, as well as artwork that speaks to racial activism today and throughout history.

 

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Dammit Wesley

@dammit_wesley, 12.8K followers

One of the artists who created the Black Lives Matter street mural in uptown Charlotte, Dammit Wesley is the founder and force behind BlkMkrt CLT, the art gallery at Camp Northend in Charlotte that represents artists of color. He is a black, multidisciplinary artist, whose work “provides context and commentary on the black experience through the lens of pop culture” (Elsewhere). His work is thoughtful, albeit sometimes brash, but without apology. He was also part of the Mint Museum’s Battle Walls event in the summer of 2019.

 

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Owl and Arko

@owl.clt, 4.8K followers

@arko.clt, 4.5K followers

Colombian-born, Charlotte-based, Owl posts images of her work, as well as images of other artists’ work, including her partner, Arko, and positive messages that encourage change, equality, and respect. Owl is also the creator of the mural walls in the current exhibition Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of  Wedgwood and His Contemporaries at Mint Museum Randolph.

 

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John Hairston Jr. 

@jagolactus, 6.9K followers

A UNC Charlotte professor, freelance artist and illustrator, John Hairston Jr. is well-known in the Charlotte arts community for his graphic arts and graffiti style that blends social commentary and political satire.

 

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Arsham Studio 3020

@danielarsham, 728K followers

Sculptor Daniel Arsham’s IG posts are complemented by his social commentary. Recently he and artist Samuel Ross’s came together to provide $3,000 grants to 10 black artists in an effort to showcase under-represented creatives from around the world.

 

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Ola Ronke Akinmowo

@thefreeblackwomenslibrary, 41.8K followers

Ola Ronke Akinmowo is a Brooklyn-born artist and community activist. She started the Free Black Women’s Library to amplify the voice of black women and to bring their stories into the spotlight. She posts books to read, updates on the library, and other great content supporting black women and writers.

 

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Shane Pierce

@abstractdissent, 4.1K followers

Shane Pierce, aka the mural artist, Abstract Dissent, posts pictures and videos of his work. Many of his murals are responses to events like George Floyd’s murder and the pandemic, and he calls for change and unity.

 

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Nico Amortegui

@nico_malo1, 2.5K followers

A Colombian artist living in Charlotte, Nico Amortegui is a ceramic artist and painter whose art is rooted in being an immigrant. He moved to the U.S. at age 17 from Bogota, Colombia and lived undocumented for some time. In his bio online, he states: “Being forever between two cultures has shaped my views and molded the themes of my pieces. I consider myself 100% Latino – equally Colombian and American.” He even made a mask to fit on top of his mask during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

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Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy

@angelik.wiki, 1.6K followers

A curator, writer, and speaker who currently serves as the Assistant Curator at the Museum of Arts & Design (MAD) in New York City, Angelik shares works of art and promotes the talents of artists of color, and started a regular POC Artist series on her Instagram page. Her profile is full of bright colors and beautiful works. 

 


Bree Stallings

@breequixote, 3.8K followers

A professional artist and muralist based in Charlotte, Bree Stallings is active in the local art scene most recently helping to raise money for local organizations through the sale of her art. She was also part of Battle Walls at Mint Museum Randolph in 2019, and is the creator of the To be Seen and Celebrated solo exhibition.

 

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Stella McCartney

@stellamccartney, 6.3M followers

“Yes the designer, who has amazing posts,” says Mint curator Annie Carlano. The Stella McCartney IG page is fashion forward, but to support #BlackLivesMatter protests and campaigns, the platform was used as a way to learn from, listen to and amplify black voices, and amplify the voices of diverse women.

 

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