3 Local Artists to Follow on Instagram

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We are incredibly lucky to live in Washington DC, an area that values the arts and actively nurtures a strong, vibrant arts community. Now, more than ever, it’s important that we pause to listen and to learn from our local Black artists and creators. One way to show that we value their voices and their work is to support these artists on social media. Here are 3 DC Area BIPOC Artists to start following on Instagram (if you don’t already!).

DC Area Artist Reggie Black displays his artwork at the Superfine Art Fair.
The work of DC Area artist Reggie Black on display at the 2019 Superfine Art Fair.

DC Area Artist Reggie Black

Reggie Black is a DC Area artist whose work incorporates elements of graphic design, typography, and abstract painting. Running through his work are themes of “mental health, transparency, vulnerability, and the human connection.” Black has a beautiful TED talk, in which he discusses his challenges with mental health and how he works to overcome fear through his art-making process. Shop his portfolio of super affordable art prints and follow him on Instagram @IAmReggieBlack.

A colorful grouping of contemporary paintings by Lory Ivey Alexander Anne Marie Coolick on display in a gallery.
The work of Lory Ivey Alexander on display at Willow Street Gallery for the group show, We Met on Instagram.

DC Area Artist Lory Ivey Alexander

Lory Ivey Alexander is a DC Area artist whose goal is “to make life more beautiful.” Through her abstract painting, Ivey has explored themes of inter-generational relationships, construction, deconstruction, and what makes a house, a home. Alexander also founded An Abstract Sisterhood, “an inclusive community featuring women artists working primarily in abstraction, conceptual art, and social practices.” In addition, the Sisterhood hosts a virtual gallery on Instagram featuring abstract and conceptual art by female artists, especially those of the African Diaspora. Follow Lory Ivey Alexander on Instagram @LoryIveyArt. Follow An Abstract Sisterhood on Instagram @AbstractSisterhood.

Social media promotion announcing the opening of Black Women as/and the Living Archive art project.
Social media promotion announcing the Black Women as/and the Living Archive art project. Image sourced from the Instagram account of @Tsedaye.

DC Area Artist Tsedaye Makonnen

Tsedaye Makonnen is an interdisciplinary artist and curator. Tsedaye is currently presenting, Black Women as/and the Living Archive, “a multi-part project aimed at initiating a conversation about the modes in which Black women encode, preserve, and share memory through community. Central to Makonnen’s inquiry is Children of NAN: Mothership, a recent film by Alisha Wormsley that functions as a metaphor for the survival and power of Black women in a dystopic future.” After the live film screening, performance, and discussion portions have concluded, the project will be transformed into a publication that “will serve as a repository for the conversations and intimate interactions between participants and the audience.” Follow Tsedaye Makonnen on Instagram @Tsedaye.

Amplifying the Voices of Black Artists and Creators

Artists’ voices and their artworks are powerful tools for expanding our understanding of race in this country. Show support for working Black and minority artists by following them on social media. Like their posts. Share a piece that moves you and don’t forget to tag the artist. Use artwork as a starting point for a meaningful conversation. Now is the time to amplify these important voices in our communities.

And Don’t Forget to Check Out These 5 DC Area Artworks!

Looking for more ideas about how art can help start conversations about race and diversity? Check out 5 Pieces of Art for Conversations with Children About Racism, a special guest post by Mehreen Tanvir (@MomattheMuseum). Tanvir lists 5 not-to-miss artworks “on view in DC museums (viewable on their websites due to COVID-19) that are especially relevant to constructing and deconstructing perceptions and emotions related to race and racism.”

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