I've only taken one Art History course and it was at my leisure. As I assumed, the class lacked diversity in its teachings. Only, the most common names were mentioned, such as Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin. I dropped the course since it romanticized well-known white artists. If an Art History class does not mention or at least acknowledge the contributions of BIPOC artists, then it's not for me.
I've discovered that when it comes to defining what fine art is, the lines are biased. Fine Art is defined as:
- Creative art, especially visual art whose products are to be appreciated primarily or solely for their imaginative, aesthetic, or intellectual content." The convergence of popular culture and fine art."
- An activity requiring great skill or accomplishment.
With this definition in mind, it should be clear that artists of color need to be included in spaces that mention or display fine art. Sadly, this is not the case, majority of the time. But the BIPOC community are creating spaces for those who are often kept from the narrative. Here's a great article that talks about the BIPOC community taking control and developing spaces to create, mentor and share their stories.
I ventured to an Art Gallery that is not only Black-owned but also female-owned. That combination of ownership is rare in the art world. Overdue Recognition Art Gallery, located in Bowie, Maryland, is a must-see when in the Bowie area.
"Establish 1999, Overdue Recognition Art Gallery proudly represents over 40 renowned and emerging African American Artist. The gallery provides a venue for African American Artists to showcase their excellence."
The gallery is extremely aesthetically pleasing. It has a spacious layout that displays a variety of mediums and techniques. I was literally in love. The owner was on the floor handling a sale, but she was very attentive and willing to help and answer questions.
The bookshelf is also worth checking out. Of course, I wanted to buy everything on the shelf, but I settled for a book on marketing and investing. Make sure to sign up to receive their newsletter for free resources, events, and tips on buying art.
The visit to Overdue Recognition inspired me to explore other Black-owned galleries. Check out this list of over 50 black-owned galleries across the States. This Instagram post list a few international galleries as well.
White and male are not the epitomes of fine art.