Nikkolas Smith

I stumbled across the illustrations created by Black artist and activist Nikkolas Smith this weekend when news broke of Chadwick Boseman’s death. His illustration of the actor (dressed as Black Panther) and a tiny cancer patient struck me to the core. This is the power of art. Art has the ability to grab our attention in a way that words never can. More about Smith is shared below.

King Chad

Quarantine Sunrise

July 6th 1676

My Neighbor

American Holiday – Juneteenth

Baby Jesus

All photos courtesy of Nikkolas Smith’s website

“As an illustrator of color and an Artivist, Nikkolas is focused on creating captivating art that can spark important conversations in today’s world and inspire meaningful change.”

Smith is prolific, his illustrations having been published in numerous magazines and movie posters. Most importantly is his commitment to lasting social change. A native of Houston, Texas, Smith now resides in Los Angeles and travels around the country leading workshops and speaking at schools. More of his work can be found on his website.

Discussion for Kids

  • For each of the images above, ask what might be going on in the image. What story could the artist be telling?

  • How might art impact an activist movement?

  • What is the most captivating quality of Smith’s work?





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