*Artists were nominated by the community, and voted on by a panel composed of The Culture Candy Team, with UP’s Editor-in-Chief T.K. Mills serving as a guest voter*

Top Forty

The artists of now, inspiring the art world of tomorrow.

“Top 40: Artists to Watch” is a list recognizing talented up and coming artists who are making an impact in art and culture through their work.


Top 5: 2024

Vibrantly Empowering Women

Ayala explores inclusive beauty through vibrant portraits to empower women, drawing inspiration from a combination of her Native ancestry and representation.


Never Broken heARTed

“I call my paintings “Bitter Darlings ®,” because they radiate whimsical, messy versions of perfectly imperfect beauty and capture how dynamic we are in a way that oftentimes cannot be adequately described with words.”


Floral Pop

Junior Charles is an Haitian American NYC based pop artist who brings color to his hometown of Brooklyn by exploring bold colors in botanical imagery. He aims to spread beauty and color in gray areas and bring life to urban and industrial areas.


The Art Empress

Ashley Miah, known as Lee Lee La Cubana, is an NYC based pop-artist who creates nostalgic works that are reflective of her cultures, community, and upbringing in urban New York. Serving as a reminder of internal riches, Ashley’s art signature is the diamond and aims to spread reminders of internal wealth with her current collection.


The Afro-Pop Artist

Yuzly captures the often-conflicting expanse of human emotions, including shared
experiences of pain and love, through oil paintings on canvas, street art, and
film photography.


Top 40: 2024

Listed in Alphabetical Order

For more on the featured top 40 artists, check out the The Culture Candy’s rankings page!

At The Culture Candy, we are a NYC-based Art Organization founded by two women artists of color. Our mission is to provide underrepresented artists, including minorities, women, LGBTQ+, and others, with exhibition and networking opportunities. Through pop-up events, gallery exhibitions, and public curations, we empower emerging creatives to challenge boundaries and embrace their uniqueness. We offer resources like community programs, coaching, and portfolio reviews to nurture their talents. Our goal is to enrich the cultural landscape, promote diversity, equity, and representation in the arts, and spark positive change through meaningful conversations. We believe in art’s power to unite and inspire, and our vision is a future where diversity thrives, and the arts bring us all closer together.