In 2018, artist and activist Malene Barnett called out the New York Design Center on Instagram for not including any Black designers on a panel at their annual interior design event, tagging designers that could have been featured—but weren’t.
Shortly thereafter, Malene launched the Black Artists + Designers Guild to combat the lack of representation of Black talent and culture in the design industry. Today, BADG is a global platform representing a curated collective of independent Black artists, makers, and designers across various disciplines, who are at the top of their respective fields. BADG’s online directory gives brands and businesses an easy way to find Black artists and designers so, Malene says, there are “no more excuses.”
Malene herself is both a ceramicist and painter, and we’ve been honored to frame some of her expressive and textural prints. (Sidenote: you’ll probably also want to check out her unique and colorful Brooklyn Brownstone). We’re spotlighting Malene’s work along with a few of the artists we’ve discovered via BADG.
“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. Research—in mediums, processes, and techniques—is where I examine my ideas, and new concepts arise that are explored and then applied to future works.”
“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.”
GLYPHS by Cheryl Riley; Portrait by Tom Grill
“My art explores similarities between seemingly disparate cultures viewed through the lens of gender, history, rituals, implements, and symbols. Two sculpture projects have occupied me for the last three years that address societal structures, nourishment, representation, aspiration, and transcendence.”
“Our mission at Eva Sonaike is to help people create unique homes full of colour and elegance. All our products are created with unique patterns and gorgeous colours to bring our passion for the beauty of African Luxury right to your home—because life is always better with colour!”
BPPCo. focuses on creating globally-inspired, one-of-a-kind handcrafted pieces that include wearable ceramic art, home decor, paper goods, and apparel. These ancestral modern pieces are rooted in memory and cultural influences from across the African diaspora.
Karen J Revis is a New York City based artist who is driven by process and materials. She explores mark making using monotypes, lithographs, etchings, linoleum cuts, collagraphs, and papermaking.
Those are just a few of the many artists BADG represents. We hope you'll head to their online directory to discover even more talent.