10 Black Owned Art Galleries Across the US
One of my favorite things to do while traveling is exploring the local art scene in that city. Art galleries are a great way to check out local talent as well as artists' work from all over the globe.
While visiting New Orleans, I checked out Studio Be and was amazed at not only the size of the space but also the size, scale and messages behind the installations. I could have spent hours there taking in the exhibits because they spoke to me on a deeper level than work at most large museums I’ve visited.
I was so inspired I decided to curate a list of 10 black owned art galleries across the US. There’s something special about stepping into an art gallery with photographs, paintings, sculptures or fiber art that reflects who you are and your experiences.
Equally special is knowing these galleries are black owned with a unique eye, perspective and intention when it comes to cultivating their exhibits.
Many of us don’t think about the art galleries in our own backyard much less in other cities/countries but I invite you to check out the list below and add black owned art galleries to your list of places to visit while traveling near or far.
Our patronage is an important part of their survival so if we don’t support our artists who will.
1. Skoto Gallery - New York, NY
Skoto Gallery is run by a husband (of Nigerian origin) and wife (of French origin) team.
Skoto Gallery was established in 1992 as a space where some of the best works by African artists can be exhibited within the context of a diverse audience. Its inaugural exhibition was curated by African-American jazz luminary Ornette Coleman. As one of the first galleries specializing in contemporary African Art in New York City, it has been instrumental in the progression of this rapidly growing field.
Address: 529 West 20th Street, 5th Fl., New York, NY 10011
2. Mariane Ibrahim Gallery – Chicago, IL and Paris, France
Mariane Ibrahim, of French-Somali origin, opened her first gallery in Seattle in 2012. In 2019, she moved it to Chicago, and in September 2021, the gallery’s inaugural European space was opened in Paris, France.
The gallery’s founding focus has been the African diaspora, from leading and emerging artists including Amoako Boafo, Peter Uka, and Zohra Opoku. The gallery has worked with global renowned institutions and has had an international presence at art fairs.
The founder, Mariane Ibrahim, lived in Paris before moving to the U.S. Her goal, with the new Paris space, is to better connect the American and European art scenes. Even though artists of African origin have been steadily gaining ground in the United States, there has been a dearth of galleries showing Black artists in Paris, despite France’s colonial history in Africa, and its connections to the Caribbean.
Address: Chicago: 437 N Paulina St, Chicago, IL 60622 + Paris: 18 Av. Matignon, 75008 Paris, France
3. Thelma Harris Art Gallery – Oakland, CA
The Thelma Harris Gallery specializes in works by contemporary African American artists. It was founded in 2005 by Thelma Harris, a former private art dealer. She supports and presents artists that she believes in, and caters to both experienced and new art collectors.
The Thelma Harris Art Gallery has been presenting museum-quality exhibitions and helping its clients to build impressive art collections for over two decades. Specializing in works by contemporary African American artists, the gallery in 2005, marked its fifteenth year as a venue for emerging, mid-career and established painters, sculptors and mixed media artists.
Each year, the gallery assembles about ten special exhibitions that explore contemporary themes, or examine the work of individual artists. Its well edited inventory – with figurative, abstract, landscape, still life, portraiture and mixed media works—offers clients a continual source of high-quality art on view
Address: 5940 College Avenue, Oakland, CA 94618
4. Calabar Gallery – New York, NY
Calabar Gallery showcases contemporary African Artists and African Diaspora artists globally. Curated by Atim Annette Oton, each artist selected has work that deals with the complexities of the African experience.
Based in Harlem, work featured is inspired and influenced by black African culture globally with a focus on dynamic ideas about art and society. Work will include: paintings, sculptures, watercolors, drawings, pastels, prints, photographs, mixed-media works and installations.
Address: 2504 Frederick Douglass Boulevard (corner 134th Street), New York, NY 10030
5. Band of Vices – Los Angeles, CA
Founded in 2015, Band of Vices is an art and culture company committed to providing a platform to often overlooked creative communities and a narrative through ever-evolving initiatives, including a highly curated exhibition program, culturally relevant strategic partnerships, mission-driven community programming, and more.
Headquartered in the burgeoning West Adams Arts District of Los Angeles, Band of Vices believes in disrupting the limited business model for artists and creatives.
Address: SACRED HOUSE, 5351 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90016
6. Studio Be - New Orleans, LA
Since 2016, Studio BE has developed itself as a landmark and cultural destination in New Orleans. A product of alchemy, a space for artists and the things they create.
A space for the local community and the culture that comes from it , and a welcomed space for visitors across the globe - a place all those voices go to sharpen their critical voice and imagine a future that benefits us all.
Address: 2941 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA, 70117
7. ZuCot Gallery - Atlanta, GA
ZuCot Gallery was founded in 2009 by Troy Taylor, a Fortune 500 corporate executive who developed a passion for collecting art during his global travels. With encouragement from some of the artists whose work he collected, he purchased a dirt floor commercial space in the eclectic Castleberry Hill section of Atlanta and transformed it into the brightly lit, chic, and contemporary space that it is today.
Address: 100 Centennial Olympic Park Drive SW Atlanta, GA 30313
8. Ubuntu Fine Art Gallery - Philadelphia, PA
The Ubuntu Fine Art Gallery, located in the Historic Germantown section of Philadelphia, aims to bring people together and allow the community to travel the world through fine art.
Owned and curated by Steven CW Taylor, the Ubuntu Fine Art Gallery is the first Black Owned, Single Artist Fine Art Photography Gallery in the USA. The Gallery showcases large-format color photographs, available in limited editions and made during Taylor’s travels to spectacular places in Africa, the American West and more.
The gallery offers a pristine space for public appreciation of photography, coupled with education about the art process and thought-provoking conversations about artistic expression, community activism, and social empowerment.
Address: 5423 Germantown Ave. Philadelphia PA 19144
9. E&S Gallery - Louisville, KY
E&S was established in Louisville, KY in 1989 by Walter Shannon. Over the course of 30 years, Shannon and his wife Cathy grew E&S from a 2,500 square foot strip mall location to its current location - an 11,000+ square foot gallery, custom framing, and art publishing company.
Since 2015, E&S has been named “Best Gallery in Kentucky” and one of the “Top 25 Galleries in The U.S.” by American Art Awards.
E&S offers original and limited edition African-American fine art works for sale, including fine art originals, graphics, and sculpture by renowned artists including Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence, Richard Mayhew, and Ed Dwight as well as popular contemporaries like Dean Mitchell, Twin, Alice Gatewood Waddell, Leroy Campbell, Sherry Shine, Kevin Williams, and many others.
10. Triangle Cultural Art Gallery - Raleigh, NC
The Triangle Cultural Art Guild is a member-driven visual arts collective established in 2018 by Jason Franklin, a local artist and educator, and Katrina Franklin, a business entrepreneur.
The Triangle Cultural Art Gallery features original fine and cultural art, prints, sculptures, collages and from near and far. Additionally, they offer workshops that focus on the fundamentals of Art and Design for the more serious artists.
Address: 8320 Litchford Rd. Suite 138 Raleigh, NC 27615
Our list of 10 black owned art galleries across the US is a starting point. A guide to inspire you to explore the African and African American art galleries and museums in your area as well as share these galleries with friends and family.
The more patronage and support black owned art galleries receive the more they can thrive while showcasing black artists' work.
Have you visited the art galleries in our list or know other black owned art galleries we should include next? Let’s keep the conversation going, share in the comments.
Explore our collection of African art and home decor at Reflektion Design.
Research contributor, Diane Chehab Co Author: The African Dwelling from Traditional to Western Style Homes (McFarland, 2019, by Épée Ellong with Diane Chehab)