Art For Change: Black Lives Matter Movement Inspires Artist Community

June 10, 2020

Art For Change. Recently, the deaths of Black individuals such as George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade, all at the hands of either police officers or white people within the past few months, have resulted in a renewed amount of anger, grief, and continued calls for both accountability and justice from millions across the country. This type of violence against the Black community is, unfortunately, not new; however, the recent deaths have resulted in protests against police brutality taking place throughout the United States over the past week.

 

 

Throughout this time, images of more fond memories have been shared by the families and friends of the deceased resulting in artists turning these photos into both illustrations and various types of mixed media works. These works of art are important due to the fact that they are designed to bring awareness to those lives that have been taken prematurely and unfairly. Additionally, they also offer a refuge from all of the pain and suffering that many of these individuals' friends and family members experience as a result, despite how small that refuge itself may be.

 

 

For instance, Nikkolas Smith, one Los Angeles-based artist, was recently inspired to create portraits of both Floyd and Arbery using photographs that were shared throughout the internet. Below is what he had to say in regards to this:
 
“George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other Black lives in this country are being destroyed by a virus of racism, fear, and hatred. It is up to everyone to take a stand and actively work to tear down this centuries-old pandemic.”

 

 

 

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        Artwork Courtesy of Nikkolas Smith (Houston, TX)

 

 

Another artist, Stormy Nesbit of Phoenix, Arizona, an illustrator and designer who focuses more on expressing the elegance, strength, and beauty of the female Black communities in the United States. Her illustrations are created as a way to help with articulating all of the various hardships and struggles while living in this country as a Black woman. Below is what she had to say in regards to this:
 
“I and the members of my community have grown tired of being unseen, unheard, and being treated less-than. I use my platform and art to speak up for and shine a light on my community and my people because Black Lives Matter.”

 

 

The art being created throughout the Black Lives Matter movement has become a huge part of expressing, educating, commemorating, grieving, and impacting people all over the country. Please continue to share these artists’ work in order to support the Black community as well as the art community. And in doing so, it is important to show up for the Black community and call out racism, both with your actions and your words.

 

 

Below we have attached some of the artwork that has been circling during this time from local Austin artists as well as artists from all over the country.


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   Artwork Courtesy of Alannah Tiller (Austin, TX)

 

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          Artwork Courtesy of Danielle Coke (Atlanta, GA)

 

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        Artwork Courtesy of Dawn Okoro (Austin, TX) 

 

 

Thank you for visiting the Art From The Streets blog, an Austin based nonprofit that provides a safe and encouraging environment in which the positive spirit and creativity for those experiencing homelessness are nurtured through their own artistic expression. If you are looking to further discuss our program, please contact us today for more information. 




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