Social media spotlight: the Art Hoe Movement, explained


Isabel Navarrete

So what is the Art Hoe Movement? Though Urban Dictionary defines the term “art hoe” as “a hoe who is mysterious and chill and like hippyish and good at art,” the real definition is infinitely more complex. In reality, the Art Hoe Movement is a platform for non-binary people of color to transcend stereotypes and express themselves on Tumblr and Instagram with photos, short writing pieces and surprisingly, selfies.

But these aren’t typical selfies. Instead, the selfies are decorated with bright colors, drawn-on squiggles, eye-catching patterns and images superimposed onto classic works of art. Founded by Mars, a 15-year-old Los Angeles resident, the movement caters to all young, queer POC aiming to transcend stereotypes in a creative manner.

MVHS is home to many politically-minded, active social media users. In other words, MVHS is chock-full of potential Art Hoes. So why hasn’t it caught on yet? The movement’s admittedly strange moniker may play a role in the surrounding confusion, but the more likely culprit is that most MVHS students just haven’t heard of the movement. Shiri Shah, a 21-year-old writer and long-time Art Hoe contributor, describes the Art Hoe Movement and its importance.

El Estoque: When were you first introduced to the Art Hoe Movement?
Shiri Shah: I was first introduced to the Art Hoe Movement about four months ago. I saw their blog on Tumblr, because I followed Mars for quite a while, and I thought I saw that they were starting up this movement. And, it seemed pretty accessible. It seemed like they welcomed all young artists of color, and I thought it’d be a really good platform for me to just sort of vent about my experiences in a creative way.

EE: Why do you contribute to the movement?
SS: I thought that the Art Hoe Movement really speaks to individuals like me. It is for marginalized groups, it is for young creatives of color, who don’t specifically fit a gender or sexual binary, who work in transgressive spaces — without any sort of judgement whatsoever. It is very politically driven, but it isn’t going to marginalize you for having a different sort of political belief.

EE: In your own words, how would you describe the collective’s goal?
SS: I would describe the Art Hoe collective as inventive, I would describe it as welcoming and warm, I would describe it as groundbreaking. In terms of how it welcomes people, and how it constantly seeks out new up and coming artists, regardless of their form. So yeah, inventive, warm and groundbreaking.

Click on the photo below to view examples of Art Hoe artwork.Art Hoe Movement Photos

Photo courtesy of @fridacashflow