Black Artists Matter: New York’s Art Scene

The Black Arts Movement (BAM) was an African American-led art movement, and they were active in the 60s and 70s. BAM focused on representing black pride and applying it to art and literature. At the same time, they resisted traditional Western influences and found alternative ways to express the black experience.

Billie Holliday, Ben Webster, and Johnny Russell in Harlem 1935

We can see its roots in the Harlem Renaissance of the 20s and 30s. Today, both in Harlem and in other parts of New York, there are many things to see when it comes to Black art. They give another opportunity to see New York as one of the places where Black art and culture blossomed. 

Calabar Gallery in Harlem is one of those places where you can sense that. It showcases contemporary African Artists and African Diaspora artists globally. Selected artworks mainly focus on African. Also, exhibited artworks consist of paintings, sculptures, watercolors, drawings, pastels, prints, photographs, mixed-media works, and installations. They also organize online auctions on their website. 

The Wall of Respect, painted in Chicago during the Blacks Art Movement, inspired murals in cities across the United States.

If you are interested in Black culture and art, you can consider supporting Black artists and Black-owned art galleries.

The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) is also an important cultural aspect of New York City. According to their website, they aim to explore new artistic productions that benefit from different disciplines focusing on the African Diaspora’s political issues and creating a continuous evolution of culture. If you have a plan to support some Black-owned art galleries, MoCADA is a good choice, and you can access the donation link here:

The Studio Museum in Harlem is also exhibiting artworks of African descent both locally and globally. It is a collective and creative place where artists and their works interact with each other. They have a “permanent collection representing more than 600 artists, spams 200 years of history and includes over 2,500 works of art” from variable disciplines. You can also support the Studio Museum Harlem by becoming a member or joining their Patreon groups. For further information, the link is here:

Opening Night:
(L-R) Eleanor Holmes Norton, Carter Burden, Charles E. Inniss, Campbell Wylly, Betty Blayton-Taylor, and Frank Donnelly at The Studio Museum in Harlem on opening night. From:

The Brooklyn Museum also has a rich collection where experimental installations represent African art, and the history of the artworks stretches over 2,500 years, mixing with the 21st century. Their collections also include Egyptian art and sub-Saharan African art. They believe in free expression, and their work celebrates the cultural encounters and passages a way between different communities. 


Interested in Harlem Renaissance?

Harlem Renaissance

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