Fine Art Friday: The Art H*e Collective

The term “Art H*e” has been a popular hashtag on various social media platforms; the trend started over three years ago. The phrase is associated with an artsy lifestyle and aesthetic, and “[it] has catalyzed a subculture of white girls and boys interested in kånken backpacks, art socks, and journaling”, according to Urban Dictionary. But...there is more to #ArtH*e than meets the eye.

Art H*e is actually an art collective founded by three young black artists; Mars, Jam and Sage Adams. Together, they created an art movement by the same name. Their aim is to broadcast and bring attention to artists who are people of color (POC), genderfluid, genderqueer, people with disabilities and/or people from the LGBTQ+ community. The Art H*e Collective uses Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook as their digital platforms to showcase artworks by these underrepresented groups. Here is a list of policies and guidelines for submissions.

Notable celebrities such as Amandla Stenberg and Willow Smith are part of the #ArtH*e movement

The collective explores issues like race, racism, culture, gender roles, identity and sexuality through their art. “We realize that the work of people of color has been institutionally excluded, so we wanted to have a space where kids felt comfortable sharing their artwork. It has become this movement about self acceptance and self love...”, said actress Amandla Stenberg about #ArtH*e.

The empowering movement was devised by QPOC for QPOC initially, but it is currently inclusive for everyone that is part of a marginalized group. Unfortunately, the phrase has been reduced to a hipster aesthetic by some people; therefore making it exclusive. “To belong in their group you had to have a $100 backpack, a $20 Japanese sketchbook – sh*t like that”, co-founder Mars explains in an interview with The Guardian.

Memes...

Having a creative outlet is important for everyone, but #ArtH*e just so happens to be the one for the ostracized.