Engaging children with artists who look like them, have similar experiences, and come from similar backgrounds is a great source of inspiration and empowerment. By reflecting their own identities, experiences and motivations (mirrors) and also providing insight into the identities, experiences and motivations of others (windows) can move students toward more nuanced perceptions of the world around them (sliding glass doors).* Discover new BIPOC artists to add to your curriculum.
*Source: By Rudine Sims Bishop, The Ohio State University. "Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors"
MediA and Technique
Artists have many layered identities and art educators need to present them as such.
Representing diverse artists in your curriculum is only part of an Anti-Bias, Anti-Racist curriculum. It needs to be more than a symbolic effort and art educators need to take into account intersectionality when introducing these artists to students. How do aspects of an artists’ social and political identities (ex. gender, sex, race, class, sexuality, religion, ability, physical appearance, etc.) intersect within their work?
In addition, we recognize that race is socially constructed and it is impossible to put humans in clearly defined categories by race. Racial identity is deeply personal, and artists within any given subgroup define themselves differently. Race, ethnicity, and nationality are all factors artist's individually consider as their personal identity. However, as mentioned previously that is not all that there is to their identity. We know that artists have many layered identities and art educators need to do the research to present them as such.
For the purpose of accessibility, we have attempted to organize artists into 8 subgroups: Asian, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Middle Eastern/North African, Multiracial/Multiethnic, Pacific Islander/SE Asian, and South Asian. Our goal is to use present artists based on how each artist defines themselves in relation to their work. These groupings are not perfect, as humans are not meant to be divided into boxes. We hope this resource can help art educators identify who is missing from their curriculum in order to create a curriculum more representative of the incredible diversity among students and artists today.