ARTIST LIFE Editors choice 5 min read

The 2023 Artists Network Top 20

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The art community is as deep and varied as color itself, yet throughout the industry there are bold individuals whose visibility enhance the creative world we work in. This summer the editors of Artists Magazine, Watercolor Artist, Pastel Journal and Southwest Art took a moment to honor our 20 artists shining brightly in the categories of Innovator, Community Leader, Trendsetter and Breakout Artist. Dive deep into this list to see artists you already know and love, as well as new art-makers you’ll be glad to meet. 

Innovators 

From inventing new tools to embracing ways to make a living from their hard work and imagination, these 5 innovative artists inspire us to create something new. 

Detour (Thomas Evans) 

Thomas Evans (Detour) is a Denver CO, USA-based artist working in a multi-disciplinary art world. 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/detour303/
Website: https://www.iamdetour.com/collections/frontpage 


Virgil Ortiz 

Ortiz is one of the most innovative potters of his time, with his exquisite works having been exhibited in museum collections around the world. He expands beyond pottery to‚ÄĮcombine art, d√©cor, fashion, video and film. He is always pushing the boundaries in his artwork, and his vision and drive is unparalleled.   #madeinnativeamerica 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/virgilortiz/ 
Website: https://www.virgilortiz.com 


Tiffanie Mang 

An art instructor, digital illustrator, and landscape painter, Mang works in gouache and oils. She graduated with a BA in Animation and Digital Arts from the University of Southern California and currently works in visual development artist at Marvel Studios. 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tiffaniemangart/ 
Website: https://tiffaniemang.com 


Cesar Santos 

A contemporary Cuban-American artist and portrait painter, Santos is best known for his body of work “Syncretism,” a term he uses to describe paintings where he presents two or more art tendencies in aesthetic balance. Santos‚Äô YouTube series goes inside the process of his artwork, sharing with other artists techniques and inspirations. 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/santocesart/ 
Represented by: https://www.robilantvoena.com 
Represented by: www.maxwellalexandergallery.com  


Guno Park 

This Brooklyn-based artist and professor captures the people, places, and things he encounters in his daily life through drawing. His work has been featured in numerous publications and collections. 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gunopark/ 

Community Leaders 

Artists in this group embrace collaboration and believe that elevating others is key to success. Supporting the efforts of creatives is not only their passion, but their cause. 

Antonio Masi 

This renowned artist serves as president of the American Watercolor Society, an organization that seeks to ‚Äúfoster the appreciation of watermedia.‚ÄĚ It‚Äôs a mission that Masi enthusiastically supports, praising the special qualities of watercolor as a medium that ‚Äúorganically allows expression of the most delicate subjects, yet can also be used in a thick manner to express the heaviest subjects imaginable.‚ÄĚ  

Website: https://www.antoniomasi.com/ 


Richard McKinley 

As president of the International Association of Pastel Societies, McKinley has helped to support the flourishing of pastel as a medium, as well as the artists who love it. The celebrated landscape painter is also a beloved teacher, who has inspired countless artists with his thoughtful reflections and insightful lessons shared in classes and workshops, as well as in instructional videos, books and magazine articles.  

Website: https://mckinleystudio.com/ 


Kurt Anderson 

Anderson is a highly honored representational oil painter with a long history of involvement in the national arts community. On the board of directors of the Oil Painters of America since 2010, he is also the author or co-author of eight books on painting, including his most recent book ‚ÄúExpression by Design ‚Äď The Art of Kurt Anderson.‚ÄĚ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kurtastudio/ 
Website: https://www.kurtanderson.net 


Lea Colie Wight 

Born in Philadelphia, Pa in 1951 Colie Wight has been teaching since the early 2000s. She has twice been awarded an Honor Award at the Portrait Society of America‚Äôs national competition, as well as a Certificate of Excellence in 2011, and she continues teaches workshops throughout the country. 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lea_colie_wight/ 
Website: https://leawight.com/ 


Mary Whyte 

Mary Whyte is a figurative artist known internationally for her watercolors of people in contemporary America. She‚Äôs the recipient of numerous awards including the Portrait Society of America‚Äôs Gold Medal, the Carolinas Freedom Foundation‚Äôs Freedom Award, and the South Carolina Governor‚Äôs Award for the Arts. Whyte is the author of seven books, including We the People: Portraits of Veterans in America, the outcome of a museum exhibition of the same name, which presented 50 large-scale watercolors‚ÄĒportraits of a veteran from each U.S. state‚ÄĒwhich opened in 2019 and continues to travel to various museums around the country.  In 2019, the artist founded the Patriot Art Foundation, which supports programming to honor and inspire veterans through the arts. 

Website: https://www.marywhyte.com/about-mary-whyte.php 

Trendsetters 

These influential members of our community are showing us all how to stand out from the crowd via their creative use of social media and digital platforms. 

Jane Hunt 

After working as an illustrator for several years, Hunt eventually returned to her true love: landscape oil painting.  The Colorado artist’s works have won over 200 awards, and she frequently paints plein air‚ÄĒcontinually awed by the beauty surrounding her. Hunt has grown her Instagram following to more than 106,000 through her savvy use of reels, stories and more. 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/janehuntart/ 
Website: https://www.janehuntart.com/about 


Dina Brodsky 

This New York-based contemporary realist painter and curator teaches privately and in several institutions, including the Castle Hill Center for the Arts, the Long Island Academy of Fine Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Brodsky‚Äôs series of miniature artworks have captured the admiration of artists and collectors alike, and her innovative sketchbook and art-making practices have captivated and inspired a growing Instagram following. 

https://www.instagram.com/dinabrodsky/


Kelli Folsom 

Oil painter and self-proclaimed ‚Äústill life queen extraordinaire,‚ÄĚ this artist, teacher, mentor, and forever student helps women artists build purpose, confidence, and success in their art life and business through her Art Life School. Folsom, who has a following of over 104,000 on Instagram, also hosts free Zoom workshops on the business side of art.  

https://www.instagram.com/kellifolsomart/


Brent Eviston 

This award-winning artist and instructor from Bend, OR has taught drawing for more than 20 years through art studios, schools and museums. In 2015 Brent created The Art & Science of Drawing, a series of online drawing courses. Brent is also an exhibiting artist who uses drawing as a primary medium for creative experimentation.  

Website: https://www.evolveyourart.com/ 


Alphonso Dunn 

A Jamaican-born artist, educator and author, Dunn is best known for his work in pen and ink, and he has authored two popular books on the subject. His many instructional lessons on YouTube, which cover a variety of topics from pen-and-ink techniques to sketching practices to anatomy‚ÄĒhave generated an impressive fan base (more than 800,000 YouTube followers). Dunn currently lives and works in New Jersey. 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alphonsodunnart/ 
Website: https://alphonsodunn.com/ 

Breakout Artists 

These are artists making waves in the industry while creating innovative, quality work. 

Kyle Ma 

Ma holds a BS in Geology from the University of Texas at Austin but chose to pursue art as a career. He enjoys painting in plein air, immersing himself in the landscape during the progress of creating. His work has been in numerous solo and group exhibitions and is a Signature Member of Oil Painters of America, Plein Air Painters of America and the Salmagundi Club. Only 23 years old, he received the OPA National Exhibition‚Äôs Gold Medal in 2022; earned 1st Place in the animal category of Art Renewal Center‚Äôs 15th exhibition; and many has been awarded countless prizes in art competitions.  

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kylekcma/ 
Website: https://www.kylemafineart.com/ 


Megan J. Seiter 

This American artist specializes in colored pencil still-life realism. Primarily working with colored pencils, Seiter supplements her drawings with pastel and watercolor to enhance the depth and luminosity of her drawings. 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ms_fineart/ 
Website: https://www.meganseiter.com 


Brandon Bailey 

Growing up in Wyoming, Bailey‚Äôs fascination with rodeo and the Old West began during his childhood and has continued throughout his life. A member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, he was invited to join the prestigious Cowboy Artists of America in 2021.  

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brandon_bailey_art/ 
Website: https://bbaileyart.com/ 


Aaron Hazel 

An award-winning artist, Hazel says his recent work focuses on minorities of the West who he considers vastly underrepresented in general academia. His main focus is to highlight the lesser-known stories and figures of the old west, with an emphasis on Native American and African American history as it pertains to civil and human rights. 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ahaze2/ 
Website: http://www.aaronhazel.com 


Junyi Liu 

Junyi Liu was born in China in 1995. Her paintings are characterized by rich colors, unusual compositions, and emotionally charged scenes. She received an art education in the U.S. and graduated with a BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art. She now lives and works in New York/ New Jersey. 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/junyi_liu_art/ 
Website: https://www.junyiliuart.com/ 


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