For those of you filling up some of your stay-at-home time with social media, you’ve probably figured out that there’s something for every life-during-COVID mood, craving, or fear. Stress-baking food porn. WFH beauty tips and parodies. Heartbreaking and hopeful stories of heroic healthcare professionals. And, of course, every celebrity and service trying to pivot their brand towards all things cozy and homey, as if we were all just on some extended hygge holiday.
With much of our lives (work, family, friends, and the arts) now experienced virtually, screentime is increasing and ROI, at least in terms of emotional satisfaction, may not be keeping pace. Now more than ever, we need to be mindful of what we consume. While guilty pleasures and escapism have their place, we need some balance.
As I put together this list, its purpose and shape kept changing. What was it exactly that I was recommending and why? In prequarantine times you’d find an artist’s social media handle tucked into the narrative of a review, or listed at the end among the “contact” and “get more information” content. But without an IRL show or studio visit, the social has become the message.
The ten local artists listed here make wonderful art. But you’ll find more than that when you connect with them on Instagram. Each brings a unique, yet artful blend of words and images, instruction and interaction, person and persona. You’ll meet the artists, understand their process, see what inspires and frustrates them. There’ll be works-in-progress, calls for feedback, shout-outs to fellow artists, behind-the-scenes looks at home studios, and, of course, pet pics. Simply put, you’ll be spending time with talented, thoughtful people, who thrive on engagement and beauty. And that’s time well spent.
Artngarden/Robert Chapman: @artngarden
Robert Chapman is a local treasure and so is his Instagram. Smart, funny, and reflective of the artist’s broad range of work, from wood type and block printmaking to mixed media mosaics.
Kim Caisse: @kimcaisseart
Kim Caisse’s winsome mini-oil paintings and sculptures invite you a world of pure imagination. And time spent with the artist on IG is just as delightful. You’ll see pics of works-in-progress as well as videos from the artist.
Carol Farnum: @carolfarnumart
Carol Farnum invites you into her work and her workspace with gorgeous photos and thoughtful words. She’s also honest about the challenges of being a full-time artist, especially these days.
Hooey Batiks: @hooeybatiks
Jill Miller of Hooey Batiks is rocking IG with some cool new video clips of her process. Plus her kitty (and chicken) pics are pure joy.
Jason Lindsey: @jasonlindseyphoto
Jason Lindsey serves up some thoughtful words on his work and his inspiration. The image shown above is from his “Climate Kids’ series. Plus, he’s started a gofundme to help support the photo assistants who have made his work possible.
Marc-Anthony Macon: @marcanthonymacon
You may know Macon from his unique style of bright pop-punk collage. Following him on Instagram offers a deeper dive into his inspiration. For example, the description for the work above reads “I started this Soba series in 2015 with the goal of doing 1,001 variations on one lovely bowl of soba made for me by a dear friend. [Five] years later, I’m finally almost done. Just 20 more to complete the series. Once that’s done, the work begins on figuring out how to affordably exhibit 1,001 pieces in one space.”
Sampson and Delilah/Cindy Sampson: @sampsonndelilah
Watch Sampson’s unique mixed media/collage collections emerge step-by-step and enjoy the artist’s warmth and humor along the way.
Gregory Stallmeyer: @vonstall
Having had the pleasure of hanging out with Gregory Stallmeyer at this studio, I can say for certain that his Insta is the next best thing. His photos tend to highlight unique details, challenging you to see the word in new ways. The vibrant colors and dynamic compositions are just the pick-me-up we all need right now.
Steampunk Grub/EKAH: @steampunkgrub
There are few among us who do social like EKAH. And if you’ve attended any of her talks or shows you know how well she tells stories and shares what’s she learned. Now imagine all of this, plus community engagement, love for her fellow artists, and gorgeous photos of her felines and you’ve got EKAH’s Insta.
XXMedium/Maxx Gogski: @xxmedium
Whether she’s creating adorable parasite pins, designing beer cans for Matsuri, or getting her beagle to pitch in on the mask-making effort, Maxx Goski’s Instagram is as vibrant as the artist herself. Plus, she’s started livestreaming classes for makers and illustrators.