58 Outstanding Artists With Summer Birthdays to Inspire You Over Break


Nothing says Happy Birthday quite like rainbow swirl cupcakes! And nothing says art teacher on summer break like a list of famous artists to inspire personal artmaking. Once you explore the work of the artists below, whipping up a batch of colorful treats to celebrate them will only be the start of your creativity.


Follow these steps to frost your own rainbow cupcakes before you explore the artists below:

  1. Combine 4 cups of powdered sugar, 2 sticks of unsalted butter, ¼ cup of heavy whipping cream, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  2. Separate into bowls and use food coloring to create as many colors of the rainbow as you’d like.
  3. Scoop the colored frosting into separate piping or resealable plastic bags.
  4. Pipe colored lines of frosting on plastic wrap, making sure all the lines are touching.
  5. Roll the plastic wrap into a cylinder and twist the ends together tightly.
  6. Cut off one of the ends of the cylinder close to the frosting and place it in a piping bag.
  7. Frost cupcakes and marvel at the exciting combination of colors coming out of your bag!

Decorate some rainbow cupcakes to celebrate these artists’ summer birthdays, then get ready to bring inspiration from their work to yours.

Note: Preview all artists before determining if they are appropriate to share with your students.

All of the information about these artists comes from FLEX Curriculum’s Artist Bios. The Artist Bios are student-facing resources that include a brief history, career overview, famous works, and at-a-glance facts. Why spend time creating your own artist bios when we’ve done all the work for you? Fill out a quick contact form to learn how to get these artist bios for your students!

artist bios

Artists With June Birthdays


1. Jesús Rafael Soto (June 5, 1923)

Jesus Rafael Soto was a Venezuelan sculptor and painter famous for his contributions to the kinetic art movement. His kinetic sculptures use industrial and synthetic materials like nylon, PVC, and metal. Soto’s works incorporate elements such as movement, fluidity, optical vibration, geometric forms, and color repetition.

2. Frank Lloyd Wright (June 8, 1867)

Frank Lloyd write was an American architect and designer famous for blending architecture with nature. He developed the Prairie style, noted for its strong horizontal lines, open floor plans, low-pitch roofs, and ribbons of windows. Wright is also known for creating organic architecture.

Download the Investigations: Ways of Seeing Collection in FLEX Curriculum for lessons inspired by Soto and Wright.

3. Jerry Uelsmann (June 11, 1934)

Jerry Uelsmann is an American photographer famous for creating surreal, thought-provoking photomontages. He uses collage, multiple negatives, several enlargers, and extensive darkroom work to achieve fascinating compositions. Uelsmann creates worlds that force the viewer to form their own interpretation of the image.

4. Nanibah Chacon (June 26, 1980)

Nanibah Chacon is a Diné (Navajo) and Chicana artist famous for her public murals celebrating Diné culture. Her murals include stories of the everyday average people she encounters, especially Indigenous people and women. Chacon believes art should be for everyone and can be a meaningful way to change how people see each other.


More Artists with June Birthdays:

  • Rachel Ruysch (June 3, 1664) – Dutch painter
  • Donald Judd (June 3, 1928) – American object maker and critic
  • Diego Velázquez (June 6, 1599) – Spanish painter
  • Paul Gauguin (June 7, 1848) – French Post-Impressionist painter, sculptor, and printmaker
  • Damien Hirst (June 7, 1965) – British sculptor and painter
  • Gustave Courbet (June 10, 1819) – French painter
  • Egon Schiele (June 12, 1890) – Australian Expressionist painter
  • Christo and Jeanne-Claude (June 13, 1935) – Bulgarian and Moroccan Environmental Artists
  • James “Jim” Dine (June 16, 1935)- American painter and sculptor
  • M.C. Escher (June 17, 1898) – Dutch graphic artist
  • Chris Van Allsburg (June 18, 1949) – American illustrator and writer of children’s books
  • Magdalena Abakanowicz (June 20, 1930) – Polish fiber artist
  • Sarah Morris (June 20, 1967) – British-born American painter and filmmaker
  • Wangechi Mutu (June 22, 1972) – Kenyan American painter and sculptor
  • Robert Henri (June 24, 1865) – American painter
  • Milton Glaser (June 26, 1929) – American graphic designer
  • Kent Bellows (June 26, 1949) – American drawer and painter
  • Peter Paul Rubens (June 28, 1577) – Flemish Baroque painter
  • Hervé Tullet (June 28, 1958) – French illustrator


Artists With July Birthdays

5. Ekua Holmes (July 6, 1955)

Ekua Holmes is an American mixed-media illustrator famous for her representations of Black lives and culture in children’s storybooks. Thin layers of rice paper layered over bold magazine prints and richly colored acrylic reveal dimensional depth. Her bright images examine family, community, memory, self-determination, and resilience.

6. Nam June Paik (July 20, 1932)

Nam June Paik was a Korean installation artist famous for making television a fine arts medium. He combined music, performance, and visual images. Paik made large-scale sculptures and installations from retro televisions playing video loops and videos from direct-feed cameras.

Download The Art of Stop-Motion Animation Collection in FLEX Curriculum for a lesson inspired by Paik.

7. Sheila Hicks (July 24, 1934)

Sheila Hicks is an American fiber artist famous for wrapping, piling, and weaving brightly colored textiles. Her work plays with space, light, and gravity—you never quite know what form it will take! Hicks likes to defy the expectations of the materials in a playful way, often reworking her pieces until she is happy with them.

8. Betye Saar (July 30, 1926)

Betye Saar is an African American collage artist known for addressing racism and stereotypes through assemblage. Challenging stereotypical perceptions, she recontextualizes caricatures of African Americans, such as Aunt Jemima, Uncle Tom, and Little Black Sambo. Saar’s works have expanded from feminism and racism to include African spiritual rituals.

Download the What Do I Prefer and Value? Collection in FLEX Curriculum for a lesson inspired by Saar.


More Artists With July Birthdays:

  • José María Velasco (July 6, 1840) – Mexican painter
  • Frida Kahlo (July 6, 1907) – Mexican painter
  • Marc Chagall (July 7, 1887) – Russian-French painter
  • Andrew Wyeth (July 12, 1917) – American painter
  • Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862) – Austrian painter
  • Rembrandt van Rijn (July 15, 1606) – Dutch painter
  • John Lopez (July 16, 1971) – American sculptor
  • Judy Chicago (July 20, 1939) – American Feminist artist
  • Edward Hopper (July 22, 1882) – American painter
  • Alexander Calder (July 22, 1898) – American sculptor
  • Andy Goldsworthy (July 26, 1956) – British sculptor and photographer
  • Marcel Duchamp (July 28, 1887) – French painter and sculptor
  • Banksy (July 28, 1974) – Anonymous British graffiti artist
  • Jean Dubuffet (July 31, 1901)- French painter and sculptor
  • Nate Powell (July 31, 1978)- American graphic artist, Illustrator, and cartoonist


Artists With August Birthdays

9. Jeff Garner (August 18, 1978)

Jeff Garner is an American fashion designer with a sustainable, ethical, and high-end clothing line called Prophetik™. His inspiration comes from clothing made during and before the American Civil War. Garner uses sustainable fabrics in his designs, including silk, flax, hemp, cotton, seaweed, and plant-based dyes made from bark, leaves, and roots.

10. Tyree Guyton (August 24, 1955)

Tyree Guyton is an American graffiti and urban environmental artist famous for establishing the nonprofit The Heidelberg Project. He adorned abandoned houses two blocks from his childhood street with stuffed animals, toys, and clothing and decorated them with bright polka dots. Each home is a sculpture that tells a different story.

Download the Artists as Curators Collection in FLEX Curriculum for a lesson inspired by Guyton.

11. Ai Weiwei (August 28, 1957)

Ai Weiwei is a Chinese contemporary artist and activist famous for using art as a political statement. He uses sculptural installations, architectural woodworking, video, and photography to criticize the Chinese government publicly. Weiwei was one of the first artists to use social media to spread his art.

Download the Transformation and Reflection Collection in FLEX Curriculum for a lesson inspired by Weiwei.

12. Amy Sherald (August 30, 1973) 

Amy Sherald is an American painter famous for her unique narrative portraits, like the renowned official portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama, pictured below. Sherald blurs the line between realism and fantasy, telling a story through the characters she depicts. Sherald often paints her subjects realistically but with grey skin against brightly colored backgrounds.


More Artists With August Birthdays:

  • Tod Papageorge (August 1, 1940) – American photographer
  • Christian Robinson (August 2, 1986) – American illustrator
  • Irene Rice Pereira (August 5, 1902) – American abstract artist
  • Andy Warhol (August 6, 1928) – American painter, filmmaker, and printmaker
  • Hieronymus Bosch (August 9, 1516) – Dutch/Netherlandish painter
  • Yinka Shonibare (August 9, 1962) – British-Nigerian contemporary mixed-media artist
  • Lorna Simpson (August 13, 1960) – American photographer
  • Felipe Archuleta (August 23, 1910) – American folk artist
  • Titian (Died August 27, 1576, birthdate unknown) – Italian painter
  • Man Ray (August 27, 1890) – American painter and photographer
  • Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (August 29, 1780) – French painter
  • Jacques-Louis David (August 30, 1748) – French painter

No matter what kind of art you want to try this summer, There’s sure to be an artist on this list that will excite you. Manipulate photos like Jerry Uelsmann to create surreal, otherworldly landscapes. Take a page from Ekua Holmes’s book and layer materials to create artwork with depth and interest. Play with a new medium and let it surprise and delight you as much as Sheila Hicks’s work does. Now that you have some inspiration, use the sugar rush from those rainbow cupcakes to get your creativity flowing!

Which artists piqued your interest the most?

How will you celebrate these artists’ summer birthdays?

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Mariana VanDerMolen

Mariana VanDerMolen, an elementary art educator, is a former AOEU Writer. She enjoys teaching for creativity, with a focus on ELL and therapy in a process-based art room.

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