Methow Arts education programs spotlight BIPOC artists

Historically underrepresented in arts education curricula, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) artists took center stage in Methow Arts’ art lessons during the winter and spring of 2021.

Studying contemporary art—in particular the work of traditionally underrepresented communities, such as BIPOC artists—is critical to an understanding of the complexity of contemporary society and culture. Contemporary art shows the artist’s commentary on the culture around them, allowing the viewer to engage with the narrative or dialogue exhibited. Contemporary artists reflect on society and current issues; their art draws the viewer into this conversation.

As an organization, Methow Arts recognizes that racial injustice deeply affects the lives of many individuals and communities through our work. The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted communities of color, amplifying the existing racial equity crisis. The arts play a critical role in unifying communities and advancing equity in underrepresented populations. We are committed to supporting equity in the arts in all that we do, including elevating the work of BIPOC artists in our education programs, offering students an perspective on art that is representative and inclusive.

Methow Arts teaching artists deliberately planned many of their art lessons to use the artwork of BIPOC artists as mentor art, providing young learners with not just a hands-on experience of creating art, but also with a familiarity with the artists and their values. Through BIPOC artists’ work students can continue to learn different artistic techniques, build a foundation in the elements and principles of art, and experience artistic expression that is reflective of our global community.

Some artists featured in recent lessons include Alma Thomas, Beatriz Milhazes, Faith Ringgold, Favianna Rodriguez, Frida Kahlo, Kehinde Wiley, Marty Avrett, Nina Crews, Romare Bearden, Romero Britto, and Yayoi Kusama.

Read full article, as well as Methow Arts’ statement on racial equity, here: http://www.methowarts.org/arts-education-programs-spotlight-bipoc-artists/

Methow Arts is a non-profit organization based in Twisp, WA. Methow Arts education programs, which serve about 5000 students and 350 teachers in Brewster, the Methow Valley, Okanogan, Omak, Pateros, the Paschal Sherman Indian School, and soon Cascade School District in Leavenworth.  Elementary students across the region are given access to both remote and in-person arts education opportunities. Find out more at methowarts.org, info@methowartsalliance.org, or call 509-997-4004.