If I asked you to name five artists, who would you name? Chances are, most people would list five male (and probably white) artists. I’m assuming that many people would find it easy to name five male artists, but may struggle to come up with five women artists.
Here are five incredible women artists of color to share with your family. I’ve included an activity suggestion for each artist to help your children engage with the artist and her work.
Because most of these women artists are contemporary, their artworks are copyrighted. I’ve included videos and links to show you examples of their art.
Women Artists of Color
Augusta Savage (1882-1962), a leading member of the Harlem Renaissance, was an African-American sculptor, arts educator, and activist. She created beautiful, expressive portrait sculptures and artwork that celebrated the black community. Savage created one of her most inspiring artworks, The Harp, for the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. The sculpture was inspired by Lift Every Voice and Sing by James Weldon Johnson. Read more about how to explore this artwork with your children.
Activity Suggestion: Read In Her Hands: The Story of Sculptor Augusta Savage. Discuss the choices Savage had to make to pursue her dreams, and have your child write about her own life dreams and the choices she would need to make to make them a reality.
Carmen Lomas Garza
Carmen Lomas Garza is a Mexican-American artist who creates positive paintings and illustrations of Mexican-American families. The artist hopes “to heal the wounds inflicted by discrimination and racism” through her art (Source).
See the artist discuss her work below and visit her website to see images of her work.
Activity Suggestion: Have your child make a painting that documents her own family traditions in a positive way.
Jaune Quick-to-See Smith
Jaune Quick-to-See Smith is an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Indian Nation, Montana. Through her art, she combines her Native American heritage with current issues facing Native Americans like Euro-American hegemony, the government’s oppression of native cultures, and environmental issues.
Learn more about Jaune Quick-to-See Smith in this video of the artist discussing her work.
Activity Suggestion: Learn about the history of Native Americans with your child through children’s books and discuss Smith’s artwork together.
Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian
After studying Fine Arts at the Tehran University, Farmanfarmaian was one of the first Iranian students to travel to the U.S. after World War II, where she completed her studies at Cornell University. Nearly five decades later, her drawings, sculptures, and installations transcend categorization as she treats traditional reverse glass painting, mirror mosaics, and principles of Islamic geometry with a contemporary sensibility.
Here is a video of the artist discussing her work.
Activity Suggestion: Compare Farmanfarmaian’s artwork with traditional Islamic mosaic artworks on mosques. Then, invite your child to create her own artwork using pattern.
Kusama is a Japanese artist whose work was a precursor and influence to Pop artists like Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg. Her artwork was bold and new, and focused on repetition of pattern in bold colors. Her exciting art varies from sculpture to painting, from performances to installations.
Watch this video of the artist discussing her work to learn more.
Activity Suggestion: Turn your house into a Yoyoi Kusama-inspired installation. Cover the bathroom with big polka dots or use stickers to turn the ordinary into something new.
Join us for our second annual Women’s History Month series, celebrating the contributions and accomplishments of women around the world. Follow along all month plus link up your own posts below! Don’t miss our series from last year, and find even more posts on our Women’s History board on Pinterest:
A Crafty Arab on Multicultural Kid Blogs: 7 Women Artists Who Changed History
The Art Curator for Kids: Songs We Can See – The Art of Peggy Lipschutz
Kid World Citizen: Children’s Books about Women Scientists
Mama Smiles: Picture Books about Great Women in History Your Kids Need to Know
Hispanic Mama: 4 Latina Women Who Made It Happen
Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: Spanish Children’s Book on the Life of Felisa Rincón de Gautier, First Female Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico
Colours of Us: 28 Multicultural Picture Books about Inspiring Women & Girls
Witty Hoots: Some Awesome Women in My Life
MommyMaestra: Women in World History Trading Card Template
Crafty Moms Share: The Thinking Girl’s Treasury of Real Princesses
The Jenny Evolution: Non-Fiction Books about Women for Kids
Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes
La Cité des Vents
A Crafty Arab
La Cité des Vents
All Done Monkey
The Art Curator for Kids on Multicultural Kid Blogs: 5 Women Artists of Color
Creative World of Varya
Family in Finland
The Jenny Evolution
For The Love of Spanish