World Art Day was started in 1998 as a way to encourage others to express creativity and celebrate the arts. It was founded by the group, Artists for A Better World International and coincides with the birthday of world-renowned artist Leonardo Da Vinci.
On this day, the Black Information Network is spotlighting Black artists who have captured Black life, added to our cultural storehouses, and beautified our communities, digitally and in real life.
The lasting impact of Black people on the arts is immeasurable. Blending traditions, current events, history, shared lived experience, Black artists weave together our uniqueness, uniting it on the canvas, film, clay, print, and a host of other media.
Black art forms are vast, but these 10 artists include some pioneers and contemporaries in photography, visual arts, sculpture, and more.
Gordon Parks was a legendary photographer known to capture still moments of Black life in America throughout the Civil Rights Movement.
Kehinde Wiley is the artist behind the official portrait of former President Barack Obama for the National Portrait Gallery in 2018. Wiley's art reimagines classic art styles with Black people.
Augusta Savage was a prominent Black woman sculptor, art teacher, community art program director during the Harlem Renaissance. In 1934, she made history as the first Black artist to be welcomed as a member of the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors. She made sculptures of Black leaders like W.E.B. DuBois and Marcus Garvey.
Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller
Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller was a painter, sculptor, poet, and theater designer of the Harlem Renaissance. In 1913, Fuller created a bronze statue to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. The statue was erected in Harriet Tubman Park in Boston, Massachusetts.
Known online as @uzoart, Uzo Njoku is a graduate of the University of Virginia who creates visual pieces that bring together themes of race, ethnicity, and gender.
Faith Ringgold is a political artist who uses several methods of creative expression including paint, sculpture, performance art, and quilts that tell stories of Black history. Ringgold was born in 1930 in Harlem, New York, and has also published children's books.
Kerry James Marshall
Kerry James Marshall is an artist known for paintings featuring Black figures that address Black identity. in 2019, the artist was awarded with the W.E.B. DuBois Medal at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University.
Betye Saar is a Black woman artist known for using assemblage in her work to depict visual stories. She was a part of the 1970s Black Arts Movement and has won numerous awards for her contributions to contemporary art.
Howardena Pindell is an artist that uses mixed-media to interrogate the intersection of race, gender, and history. One of Pindell's first major exhibitions was held in 1972 at Spelman College in Atlanta.
Lorna Simpson emerged as a prominent photographer and multimedia artist during the 1980s and 1990s. She is considered a pioneer in the field of conceptual photography.
Other Artists To Learn About
If you're looking for more artists to learn about here are a few names to start your search.
Carrie Mae Weems
Photos: Getty Images