Social Justice Art: How Art For Your Cause Supports Activist Artists
Have you ever come across a justice-related art piece that stopped you in your tracks? Did its narrative compel you to consider different world perspectives and empathize with the artist’s beliefs? Art itself is a visual experience that aims to stir deep emotion, but social justice art points to a clearer mission: to bring attention to causes that fight for a better tomorrow.
Throughout history, artists have used their work to bring awareness to certain societal and political movements. While art definitely exists to heal and inspire, it also has the power to call its viewers to action. When injustice grows rampant, art demands change. Social justice art refuses to stay stagnant or complicit in the face of prejudice, and instead challenges the status quo.
Social justice art allows us to envision a fairer, more equitable world for everyone—and it’s everywhere, whether we see it or not. It lives in our comics, protest banners, and elaborate wall murals. It shows up plentily in our movies, books, and plays. Social justice art takes many forms and tells various stories to those who are willing to listen.
At Art for Your Cause, we believe that social justice art is a catalyst for meaningful change.
There are many reasons we need it in order to progress and improve as a society. For one, it brings people together and helps build solidarity. It also sparks uncomfortable—but necessary— conversations about injustice and opens the doors for valuable learning opportunities. That’s why we encourage our artists to actively share their justice-related art—and even donate some of their earnings to a nonprofit of their choice.
Here are just a few other reasons why we proudly support social justice art—and aim to empower artists who want to make a tangible difference with their passion, determination, and generosity.
Social justice art documents significant historical moments
Where injustice is present, social justice art is never too far behind. For as long as we can remember, people used art not only to document important historical events but also to highlight the need for societal change. Whether it was because of war, discrimination, or the actions of a corrupt government system, artists shared their original work in an effort to make these issues widely known—so that someday, they would have a community of activists and supporters large enough to turn the tide.
Each decade has its list of influential social justice artists who left their mark in history. For example, Emory Douglas is a revolutionary artist who became prominent during the civil rights movement. With a background in print production, he helped the Black Panther Party define their aesthetic identity and even became their official Minister of Culture. During that time, he created bold, two-colored graphic art that highlighted various aspects of the Black community.
His artwork was simple, yet daring, as he addressed various political tensions of the time, such as systemic oppression and increase in police brutality. His cartoons were published in multiple newspapers and even used for other relevant political campaigns. Although the BPP later dissolved, Douglas’ artwork remains an influential facet of the civil rights movement and is still widely circulated today.
Art For Your Cause actively promotes artists who want to advocate for a particular cause, whether it’s elevating LGBTQ+ pride, celebrating Black and Indigenous people of color, or bringing awareness to other social justice movements. We held these contests in the past not only to reward talented, passionate artists, but also to continually uplift art that mirrors our current events. We believe that social justice art deserves its seat at the table, as it calls for radical change by shedding light on critical social issues—and we strive for our platform to be a safe haven for those wanting to actively participate in making history.
Social justice art fights for a fairer world
Keith Haring is another artist who contributed to a movement with his original artwork. He started off as a graffiti artist before entering the mainstream for his unique artistic style. Discouraged and angered by the government’s response to the AIDS crisis, Haring became a fierce activist who shared his distinct, colorful pop art to spread awareness about the disease—and especially on how it disproportionately affected the LGBTQ+ community. Although he was later diagnosed with the disease himself, he continued to create artwork that strongly advocated for AIDS research until his passing in 1990.
His artwork continues to circulate today, with some of his paintings valued at millions of dollars. For that reason, the Keith Haring Foundation sold his art during a 2021 charity auction that was projected to raise over a million dollars—with all proceeds going to The Center, an LGBTQ+ nonprofit in New York. Despite his short-lived career as an artist and activist, his legacy was still able to make an incredible impact on the community that he loved.
Douglas and Haring are just two examples of artists who made a difference in their communities with their artistic vision and personal convictions. While they grew wildly successful and gained public recognition, they were still grounded in their mission and contributed to causes that aimed to help others.
Art For Your Cause encourages artists to do the same. While artists keep most of their earnings, they have the choice to donate to any nonprofits that closely align with their values. Essentially, this means every purchase supports both an artist and an organization that are determined to make a meaningful change in society—at the end of the day, both parties benefit. If you’re curious about how this works, you can read more from our business model here.
We support artists who want to make a difference
At Art For Your Cause, we make it our mission to help artists spread the good word. Whether they want to fight against hate, educate others on the Black Lives Matter movement, or share some LGBTQ+ love, we encourage artists to sell on our online marketplace to reach bigger crowds, pursue their artistic ambitions, and make money from their sales. When artists strive to increase awareness of a special cause, we don’t want them to worry about how or where they’ll get their recognition. They deserve financial support, especially when they’re actively creating artwork that advocates for others and calls for a more equitable society.
With each purchase, you have the power to make a real difference in our artists’ lives. Every cent helps artists and nonprofits continue their fight for justice, while you can enjoy hanging up their artwork or accessorizing with their prints on bags and throw pillows.
Ready to support our dedicated, passionate artists? Get started here.