Time and time again, the power of social media as a tool for social good becomes evident. Petitions spread like wildfire. Hashtags go viral. Millions filter their Facebook profile pictures with the same overlay within mere hours.


All of this goes to show that how you use social media matters. With this weekly installment of #InstagramThis, use your social media powers for good by celebrating the works of these artists and sharing their messages with your friends, family, and followers! After all, with great power comes great responsibility.


1. 99 Cents or Less

photo // via @mocadetroit

Where: Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (4454 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI)

When: On view through August 6, 2017

This monumental exhibition features a total of 99 American artists, all of whom use items from 99 cent stores to create art that sheds light on the 2013 bankruptcy of Detroit, once a thriving and diverse city, and critiques the current economic state.


2. The Times

photo // via @sedelsonphotos

Where: The FLAG Art Foundation (545 West 25th Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY)

When: On view through August 11, 2017

During a time when the media is doubted and called “fake,” this exhibition explores the way we interact with The New York Times, one of the most widely read papers in the world. Each of the 80+ artworks involves the paper in some form or another, resulting in interesting interpretations.


3. Richard Misrach: Writing on the Wall

photo // via @ccerruti

Where: Fraenkel Gallery (49 Geary Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA)

When: On view through August 16, 2017

For decades, LA-born photographer Richard Misrach has been working on a massive, multifaceted project called Desert CantosWriting on the Wall is a new chapter of this project, in which he directly responds to the hostility felt across the country after the 2016 US presidential election. Half of all proceeds from this exhibition will go towards Human Rights Watch.



4. Beyond the Ban: Contemporary Iranian Art

Nahid Hagigat’s “Three Women in Floral Pattern” // courtesy of Susan Eley Fine Art

Where: Susan Eley Fine Art (46 W 90th Street, New York, NY)

When: On view through August 30, 2017

In response to President Trump’s travel ban, Susan Eley Fine Art is celebrating the contributions of immigrants by presenting a group exhibition featuring Iranian artists who are based in the U.S. Proceeds will go towards the Center for Human Rights in Iran!


5. Dissent

Kathrine Lamke Waste’s “Museum of Pre-existing Conditions” // via @thewillseymour

Where: Sparrow Gallery (1021 R Street, Sacramento, CA)

When: On view through September 1, 2017

In this group exhibition, female artists shed light on the issues that women face in today’s political environment, from the protests at Standing Rock to healthcare. Some artists are even donating their profits to charities, like Kathrine Lamke Waste, who will give all proceeds to Planned Parenthood.


6. Paul Ramírez Jonas: Half-Truths

photo // via @paulramirezjonas

Where: New Museum (235 Bowery, New York, NY)

When: On view through September 17, 2017

This exhibition includes two participatory works, Fake ID, in which the artist deconstructs participants’ identification cards to create a new one, and Alternative Facts, in which he notarizes false documents containing lies and wild stories into “truthful” public documents. Catch him at the New Museum on Thursdays from 7 to 9 pm!


7. Mi Tierra: Contemporary Artists Explore Place

Gabriel Dawe’s “Plexus no. 36” // via @gorociao

Where: Denver Art Museum (100 W 14th Avenue Pkwy, Denver, CO)

When: On view through October 22, 2017

13 Latino artists created site-specific works of art that address themes of borders, migration, and the relationship between identity and geographic location. Gabriel Dawe’s rainbow installation uses 65 miles of thread, while Justin Favela’s “Fridalandia” emerges you in a world where everything is a piñata. Collectively, these artworks form an exhibition that feels especially relevant and poignant considering the current political climate.


8. Ai Weiwei: Trace

photo // via @zoecrooks

Where: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC)

When: On view through January 1, 2018

Ai Weiwei is famous in the art world, and infamous in other circles. After being detained by the Chinese government for 81 days, he used more than 1.2 million LEGO blocks to create portraits of 176 other human rights activists who have faced trouble with their governments and have been detained, exiled, or have sought political asylum. The wallpaper installation that spans 700 feet also depicts symbols of surveillance and control upon close inspection.


9. Alejandro G. Iñárritu: CARNE y ARENA (Virtually present, Physically invisible)

photo // via @industrypdx

Where: LACMA (5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA)

When: Ongoing

A virtual reality installation inspired by the stories of Mexican and Central American refugees, it’s an immersive experience you can’t miss out on. We know this one’s kind of difficult to Instagram since it’s a virtual reality installation, but this is where you let your creativity really shine!


10. Ai Weiwei: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

photo // via @publicartfund

Where: Multi-site (New York City)

When: October 12, 2017 – February 18, 2018

Public Art Fund is bringing Ai Weiwei to New York City for an exhibition addressing immigration, migration, and boundaries. He will install fences around the city in ways that serve as welcoming gateways rather than as divisive barriers.


top photo // via @ccerruti