Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” With growing social, political, economical, and racial tensions in the U.S., the world needs more individuals who will speak out on the important issues affecting society while also setting a positive example in the world. According to Trevor Noah, comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actor, and television host, Hasan Minhaj is one of those individuals.

It’s not often that I hear new artists that put me in the mindset of that old south, soulful hip-hop. I’m talking about the way you feel when someone like Big K.R.I.T spits on a track, and you can almost smell granny’s collard greens and candied yams on the stove, and hear the grease popping from the fried chicken or catfish in that cast iron skillet. Music artists that would bring you back to a time when you had to drink the water out the hose because you knew if you went back inside, you’d have to stay. You know, before central air was a regular household appliance.

When only granny’s room and the kitchen had A/C, and you weren’t allowed to go in either room and chill. So you’re stuck in the family room with the oscillating fan, trying to sit as close as possible for that 1.75 seconds of cool air. It’s a nostalgic feeling taking me back to some of the best times of my childhood that only certain artists can tap into.  

For years, unconsciously she created a “runway” filled with visual art displays, of what seemed to be small projects⸺with a significant impact⸺ultimately feeding into the sum of a much larger equation. In 2015 an international art and fashion exhibition called Art Meso was birthed by Curator and Founder, Jennifer Sutton.

Chef. Restaurateur. TV Contestant. And now, author. 
Kwame Onwuachi’s has a long list of titles, one he’s only adding further to with the publication of his first book, “Notes From A Young Black Chef.” One may wonder if someone has enough life experience before the age of 30 to write a memoir? Just leave it to Chef. 

Most people have probably heard of “Humans of New York,” the popular photo-blog that features portraits and interviews with everyday people. What makes those portraits so compelling are not the photos themselves, but the stories of the people in each shot. It’s the narrative that draws people in. Everything must tell a story, and everyone has a story to be told. Similarly, the bi-weekly video podcast and micro-documentary web-series Our Voices. Our Lives. seeks to bring to the forefront the stories of Atlanta-based artists and entrepreneurs. 

The Caribbean, a place that is highly diverse, colorful and full of a wide variety of people from the African diaspora and other cultures around the world. In his exhibit “Rice & Beans,” Charlton Palmer, commonly known as CP the Artist, seeks to represent this diversity through a variety of paintings. From Barbados to Jamaica, and even Puerto Rico, CP depicts an array of beautiful people of African and indigenous descent in an attempt to give visibility to cultural similarities across the diaspora. 

“I’m really a forever-kind-of-gal. If everybody’s going this way, I’m going to figure out how to go that way.” Isabel Toledo, a Cuban-American fashion designer and artist, told Vogue Magazine. Todelo’s work will be held in the utmost regard as a beacon of fine craftsmanship and inspiration. Toledo lives up to this title, having created beautiful fashion that will live on as her legacy. 

Imagine that it is the early 2000s and there is a video playing on a television screen called “Supa Dupa Fly,” produced by the hottest musical genius of the time, Timbaland, is bumping in the background. There is a woman dressed in a black, inflated, trash-bag like garment, doing eccentric dance moves. There are background dancers moving to the entrancing hip-hop beat, with flashing lights that one could not miss. The chorus: “Me, I’m supa dupa fly,” is repeated by the rapper, who at the time way ahead of her time. Her larger than life clothing, lyrics, and attitude proved to be a true revelation of who the artist would become.

I just want to leave a legacy for little girls who look like me to know that loving yourself gives you the ability to truly love others. With that power, and what you are passionate about, [you] can change the world. My art activism is to encourage creativity.”

-Courtney Brooks

At one point, the ArtsXchange’s Jack Sinclair Gallery Curator, Visual Artist and Art Instructor Courtney Brooks resembled the same little girls she hopes to one day inspire.

Ever since French street artist, illustrator, and graphic designer Zabou was a child she has loved to draw and paint. So much so, that it’s not hard to imagine Zabou coming out of the womb wielding a can of spray paint. A far-fetched notion, of course, but not too far from the truth. According to Zabou, the first thing she ever held was a pencil.