Art News

Meet Featured Artists from The Black Artists and Designers Guild

The Game Changers. The Rule Breakers. The Innovators. Discover some of the fantastic emerging talent showcasing their work at The Other Art Fair.

The Other Art Fair Brooklyn is so excited to be working with The Black Artist and Designers Guild, a global platform representing a curated collective of independent Black artists, makers, and designers across various art and design disciplines who are at the top of their respective fields.

As part of our Online Studios initiative, The Other Art Fair will showcase artwork from this exceptional group of artists. Read below to learn more about Malene Barnett, co-founder and artists as well as the featured artists.

Featured in the April issue of Elle Decor Magazine. Photo by Alaric Campbell


Can you tell us a little about yourself, your personal practice, and the inspiration for it?

I grew up in a small town in Norwalk, CT and I’m the daughter of Caribbean immigrants.  I have a BFA Textile Surface Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. My work examines the relationship between handmade techniques in modern art and design. My travels around the world coupled with a deep appreciation for the details and forms found in West African art have offered me a unique insight. The message I want to express in my art is determined by the materials and forms I choose. Concepts evolve through inspiration from the patterns and colors I seek out. Each piece I create attempts to evoke emotions, draws attention to the eye, and connect people to a memory from the past. 

You work in many different mediums but can you speak a little more on your transition from textiles to ceramics?

At the peak of my professional career, I hit a wall. The business of carpet design had taken me away from my passion because I had to redirect my voice to cater to clients.  My voice was lost and I was removed from the core of the work that I loved so much.  I wanted to return to making art with my own hands and experience a new medium. This is how I discovered clay.

Since its inception in 2018, how have the art/design world responded to the Black Artists and Designers Guild? What more would you like to do in the next few years?

The initial response was media focused, which helped to bring awareness to the inequality within the industry as well as highlight the talents of our members. This awareness led to opportunities to host and participate in exhibitions, talks, press features and more. As a collective we would like to continue to create opportunities for our members as well as support the next generation of young Black artists, makers and designers by providing tools for them to thrive.  In addition we want to become a resource for hiring talent, Black design aesthetic, and create a residency that connects the Black diaspora to collaborate creatively.

How are you finding inspiration these days?

I’m constantly inspired by the past and present journeys of Black people throughout the diaspora. While I’m, sheltering at home, I’ve been thinking about the journeys of my ancestors. 

I ask myself how do I create art that encourages deeper conversations around Black culture. Their strength keeps me inspired to find the answer.


Meet the Artists:

Lisa Love Whittington

Vagina Jazz


“I learned a few years ago that Art wants something from me and I am trying my absolute best to find out what that is. In March 2017, to my surprise my art and I were suddenly thrown onto the frontlines and was more ready than I thought I was.”



Jomo Tariku is an Ethiopian American industrial designer & artist specializing in African themed modern furniture.

Abstract Coils


“My work explores the spatial and meditative relationships found within repeat patterns. Inspired by Art Deco and comprised of graphic shapes, symbols and re-imagined typographic elements, they are expressed with a minimalist approach. The screen printed patterns allude to indigenous textiles and employ an aesthetic use of gold leaf as a nod to its adorning use throughout art history.”

Kaylea’s Conversation


“My paintings and hand-drawings have everything to do with how we interact daily. Conversation is something we would miss if not happening, yet we rarely stop to think how much value we should place on it. We are nothing without each other.”

Young Miss Nina


“New York City-based artist Karen J. Revis explores minimal, grid-based markmaking in silk screen monoprints,  paper lithography, etchings, papermaking, encaustics, and mixed media on cast resin.”

Adire I


Malene Barnett is an artist, activist, and authority on the cultural traditions and practices of art in the African diaspora and how it translates into her vision of the modern black experience.

Shop artwork by members of the Black Artists and Designers Guild and other trailblazing artists at The Other Art Fair’s Online Studios.

Introducing The Other Art Fair Online Studios, a new online platform offering art lovers around the world access to over 800 Fair artists. The Online Studios will keep our community feeling inspired, engaged, and continue to spread joy through art.