Common Mag’s July theme is Indigenous experiences and reconciliation. I wanted to expand my own worldview and use this platform we created to share with you Indigenous artists who are absolutely thriving at what they do. The following list was curated with the help of entire Common Mag team, with a special shout out to Lauren Stasyna. Check out her awesome words here.
Without further ado, here’s a list of artists you should follow on Instagram, who just happen to be Indigenous.
Kent Monkman is a Cree-Canadian artist whose work covers a variety of mediums including painting, drawing, installation, film, and performance. Every single piece will have you in awe of his abilities. Specifically, his incredible realism paintings. They are truly works of wonder and heartbreak, depicting traditionally religious scenes from the Renaissance era, but with a modern twist and focus on Indigenous peoples’ experiences in Canada. Kent’s gender-fluid alter ego, Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, will oftentimes make an appearance in his work, which you can see here.
Toronto artist, Nancy King, is an incredibly talented muralist and interdisciplinary artist. Her art focuses on themes of spirit, ceremony, family, community and connection. As such, she uses her spirit name Chief Lady Bird, given to her in ceremony by her grandfather, as her artist name as a way to acknowledge the importance of Anishinaabe culture and language in her life. Her work ranges from tablet drawings to postcards to massive wall murals. Check out her work here.
This next artist is a content creator for Instagram and YouTube named Tiffany. With nearly 35 thousand followers on Instagram, she is an extremely talented makeup artist who utilizes an array of vibrant colours in the execution of her detailed looks. More like art than everyday makeup, Tiffany’s work is aimed to gain more recognition and representation in the beauty community for Indigenous MUAS (makeup artists). You can follower her on Instagram here.
Aura is another muralist and interdisciplinary artist based in Tkaronto. She combines painting, drawing, beadwork, textiles, images, and collage to express her personal stories and experiences. Her work focuses on intergenerational healing, identity, empowerment, and mothering. She believes art is an critical part of reclaiming her identity, sovereignty over her body and emotions. Find her artwork here.
Daniella Zalcman is an award-winning Vietnamese-American documentary photographer and founder of Women Photograph, a collective of independent women photojournalists, in order to uplift the voices of women and nonbinary visual storytellers. She takes breathtaking photos that capture the legacies of western colonization, including the unwilling assimilation education of Indigenous children in North America. Follow Daniella here.
Midnight Wolverine is an Indigiqueer performer in Toronto. They are a burlesque temptress and drag king, as well as the city’s newest self-proclaimed midnight tease, trickster, and shapeshifter. Their work encourages us all to explore our inner performer. Check out their Instagram to see when you catch their next show here.
Lauren Crazybull is an Edmonton based Blackfoot, Dene visual artist. Her incredible paintings have been influenced by her years working as an Indigenous advocate and artistic facilitator and mentor for youth in her home province. Through her work, she explores the complexities of existing in this world as an Indigenous woman. “I am not here to perform my Indigeneity for settlers. I am here to create work on my own terms in my own way.” Follow Lauren here.
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