Wikipedia defines the art world as “everyone involved in producing, commissioning, presenting, preserving, promoting, chronicling, criticizing, and selling fine art.”
However, what this definition lacks is the fact that so often the art world tends to be very exclusionary. Often there is the artists within the more mainstream “art world” and then the artists that are more underground.
This does not necessarily mean that the artists are comfortable in an underground arts scene or that they don’t work hard enough to get to a higher place in the art world hierarchy. Often reasons behind this is discrimination.
According to The Washington Post’s article If You’re Lucky Enough to Earn a Living From Your Art, You’re Probably White, people who tend to make money from their work or solely have income from their artwork are often white.
“Nearly four out of every five people who make a living in the arts in this country are white, according to an analysis of 2012 Census Bureau data by BFAMFAPhD, a collective of artists dedicated to understanding the rising cost of artistry.”
“The lack of diversity is, for instance, even more pronounced for those with art school degrees — more than 80 percent of people with undergraduate art school degrees are white, according to the analysis.”
It is a known fact that there are systems in place to keep people of color, LGBTQ+, and disabled people etc. in the dark. Often, people are not given the opportunities they deserve. This including getting their work shown, bought and showcased.
“As a trans, person of color,” said Star Porras, “I have to work twice as hard to get my work shown in larger spaces. However, when you’re a person from a marginalized community you realize that you have to make your own space. You have to take up space.”
There are various spaces that exist that marginalized people have created and use to their advantage. Some spaces include Yisrael Urban Farm, Sol Collective, Skyland Youth Media Collective, and Occupy Space Movement.
The art world has been consistently run by older white artists when there are many artists of color that also create.
Many discriminated artists take up their space and others search for those. There are many resources out there for people to take advantage of.