Photo of Selma Burke (1900-1995), an African American sculptor posing in her studio
"Contemporary African Art Since 1980," by Okwui Enwezor and Chika Okeke-Agulu (2009) and "African-American Art (Oxford History of Art)," by Sharon F. Patton (1998) are great book resources for learning more about the diversity of African and African-American artists. Additionally, in 2008, Tumelo Mosaka co-wrote the book "Infinite Island: Contemporary Caribbean Art," which highlights 45 artists of Caribbean descent.
Supporting Local Fine Artists
There are a number of ways to learn about the local fine artists in your community. Local arts and crafts shows are a wonderful way to discover new works. Check with the art department from a local university or community college to find out about upcoming student shows.
Museums such as the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago have staff fine art curators who may be available to give advice on collecting from African American fine art. This may also lead to an opportunity to visit an artist studio. For instance, artist Luther Hampton works out of Memphis, Tennessee and frequently opens his studio to those interested in learning how he makes the various marble and wood sculptors for which he is acclaimed.
Another way to learn about local artists is to visit fine art galleries in your community. Many gallery owners, such as Contemporary African Art Gallery in New York, have specialized collections of artists of African, African-American and Caribbean descent. Do not be afraid to ask a gallery owner if she offers home consultations to assist in selecting and integrating fine art works into an interior design.