There’s nothing like having a little art in your Instagram feed when you just want to have a little down time but still feel like you’re accomplishing something. Here’s a look at 10 BIPOC artists working in Arizona whose Instagram feeds will give you plenty of new ideas and landscapes to explore.
Phoenix artist Emily Costello creates paintings, prints, and mixed-media artworks. Her art has been featured on several Arizona lottery tickets, and she is currently working on art for a future Valley Metro light rail stop. Costello operates Mucho Mas Art Studio with Kathy Cano-Murillo and is part of a Latino artist collective called the Phoenix Fridas.
Thomas “Breeze” Marcus, an artist born and raised on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, began making his mark on Phoenix as a teenager painting graffiti, but he’s best known today for murals that dot the urban landscape, which feature elaborate line work reflecting the traditional baskets of his Tohono O’odham heritage.
Phoenix native Antoinette Cauley specializes in portraits that reference rap music and hip-hop culture while addressing both social issues and her own “internal conflicts.” Her paintings have been exhibited by Artlink, monOrchid, West Valley Arts HQ, and others. Recently, a mural wrap of her portrait of writer and activist James Baldwin was installed on the Ten-O-One building in Roosevelt Row.
An artist raised in Phoenix who now calls the San Carlos Apache reservations just east of Globe his home, Douglas Miles addresses colonizing culture through photography, murals, film, paintings, and mixed-media works. Miles’ artwork challenges false historical narratives and contemporary stereotypes of indigenous peoples.
Mia B. Adams uses installation art, sculpture, mixed media, and video to prompt reflection on social justice issues. Her work exploring the intersection of art, politics, and contemporary culture is designed to create both conversations and action. Specific themes in her work include race, identity, social hierarchies, and discrimination. Adams’ work will be featured in the 2020 Arizona Biennial in Tucson.
Artist Aaron Coleman was born in Washington, D.C. He’s an assistant professor with the School of Art at the University of Arizona in Tucson whose work often explores stereotypes and policies that devalue people of color. Coleman’s paintings, sculptures, and mixed-media works have been shown at numerous art spaces, including Modified Arts and Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum.
Papay Solomon is a Phoenix-based artist and Liberian war refugee whose work explores the intersection of Western culture with the African diaspora. When painting portraits, he includes imagery that reflects the history and unique life experiences of his subjects. His work had been exhibited at numerous venues, including Phoenix Art Museum and the University of Arizona.
Ashley Macias lost several years of sketchbooks in a fire that swept through her art studio four years ago this month. But that didn’t dissuade her from making more art, including paintings, drawings, and murals that bring a surrealist sensibility to biological forms, including people, animals, and plants. Most recently, she painted a portion of the collaborative Black Lives Matter mural in Roosevelt Row.
Artist Chip Thomas, who often creates work using the name Jetsonorama, is also an activist, physician, and photographer. He has lived and worked for more than three decades in the Navajo Nation, where he curates a mural project called the Painted Desert. His work, which often addresses social justice issues, has focused in recent months on minimizing COVID-19 impacts in indigenous communities.
A Phoenix-based artist who hails from Mexico, Diego Perez has been painting since his teens. He’s heavily influenced by Caravaggio, a late-16th-century Italian artist renowned for his dramatic use of light. Perez infuses his work with irony and humor, transforming paintings of everyday scenes into playful commentaries on contemporary values and norms.