In honor of Black History Month, many shops are highlighting Black excellence by featuring the work of artists, designers, and more—and the online custom framing shop, Framebridge, is no exception.
Framebridge launched their Black Artists Print Shop last September, with a curated collection of exclusive framed prints from four female artists. This year, they are expanding the shop further to feature 10 different Black artists with a diverse array of disciplines and inspirations.
According to the shop’s mission statement, it is a part of Framebridge's ongoing work to help advance racial equity. “The shop is creating a space for Black artists to discover their work, hear their stories, support their businesses, and empower creativity," the site reads. The diverse array of artists and perspectives means the shop is filled with inclusion and inspiration.
The shop is creating a space for Black artists to discover their work, hear their stories, support their businesses, and empower creativity.
These prints will only be available for the month of February, so you'll want to act fast to bring this beautiful artwork home. Read on to learn more about each of the featured artists and their work.
Gregory Prescott is a self-taught photographer whose work focuses on the intricacies of human form in all its grace and beauty. “I believe an artistic eye is something that is within you and technique is learned,” he states on Framebridge.
Focusing on diversity in photography, Prescott has two pieces featured in the Print Shop titled Magnolia and White Feather. Both were spontaneous creates that yielded amazing support from Prescott’s community, strikingly contrasting and beautiful.
Born in Nigeria and currently living in New York City, Uzo Njoku is an artist who focuses on oil, paint, and acrylic mediums. Her work on canvas is bold and colorful, and she wants her art to be a retreat from the chaos of the surrounding world.
“There are some people who have focused on the whole idea of COVID and the political things happening, but I want to be creating something that is a nice distraction from all the mayhem,” she tells Framebridge. “Continually trying to create something that’s beautiful, something that’s eye-pleasing. Colors that contrast and capture you with gazes.”
Her featured pieces, Ghana Must Go and Under the Udala Tree, pull much inspiration from Njoku’s home in Nigeria, recalling both classic and progressive themes.
Ashley Johnson is a multi-disciplinary artist located in North Carolina, and her work encompasses Black and Southern femininity and identity with mixed media. Her work begins with asking questions of the world around her, and she hones in on her experiences as a Black woman. She is not limited to solely 2D mediums but rather finds art to be performative as well, hosting talks and live performances to further engage with audiences.
“Most people just want to be able to relate and understand how they are like others so they don't feel so alone," she tells Framebridge. "I find that home in Black women and Black women find that home in my work.”
Her featured pieces, Southern Woman in White Dogwoods and Father and Son, are homey pieces integral to who Johnson is as a woman and artist.
Adrian Brandon is a Brooklyn-based artist whose art focuses on the injustices facing the Black community and representing the many captivating Black experiences.
“A lot of people of color have a moment they can recall when they were younger and they saw someone older, or read a book or heard a song or a movie and they saw themselves,” he tells Framebridge. “They felt seen in that moment. Creating more representation and imagery of all the moments of the Black community and Black culture is really important.”
Brandon always turned to art to tangibly share perspective and experience among communities. His pieces for Framebridge, titled Brooklyn Window #015 and #033, are portraits inspired by Brandon’s own apartment and his view of his community.
A public health researcher turned artist and painter, Christa David is telling Black and Brown stories visually through glue and paper. Quitting her day job wasn’t an easy decision, but it was one made to further her goals of bettering her community, as she wanted to engage social justice and equity work through her art.
As canonized historical art pieces typically feature those who are white, David emphasizes the importance of reflection and representation in art for the Black community.
“Especially for Black folks, 1) acknowledging Black folks have been making art since the beginning of time, even though we may not be represented in the canon in the ways that we ought to be and 2) doing my part to make sure that for future generations, I’m adding to the work where other people who look like me can have an entry into being an art observer or collecting art,” she tells Framebridge. “I want people to know this is for them, too.”
Her two pieces in the Print Shop, This Joy That I Have The World Didn’t Give It and Note to Self: Play is Primary? follow the six-word story format she uses to title her pieces, and both tell stories of joy, peace, and resilience.
Jamie Bonfiglio is a painter and muralist based in Birmingham, Alabama who specializes in bright and abstract portraits. She is fascinated by her subjects—who are mostly women—and capturing their unexplainable beauty and essences through art.
“I like to keep in mind what kind of energy I'm trying to bring, what kind of vibe I'm trying to create for either my own space or someone else's space,” she tells Framebridge. “It’s not specifically the identity of the person that I'm after, it's more of the kind of experience I want to create.”
Her featured pieces, Untitled’ and Freedom, both have moods that utterly inspired Bonfiglio. Untitled’ captured the youthful and joyous mayor of Birmingham, and Freedom highlights a woman who feels strong yet entirely relaxed.
Bernard Essiful is a photographer who relocated from Ghana to the U.S., establishing a diverse group of creatives, known as The Zenith Class, in Los Angeles. With his company, Essiful developed bonds with artists who otherwise would not have shared their talents and encouraged and connected people of color.
“You don’t always have to identify them as 'a Black man doing this'," he tells Framebridge. "You have to identify them as a human being doing this and know that you’re capable of it. That builds courage and drive for what you want to attain in the world.”
His featured pieces are titled Great Falls and Venice Canal, and both capture the beauty and power of nature. “I want whoever shows my work to be able to create their own fantasies,” he says. “Although my photograph might be hanging in your room, look at it like it’s hanging in a museum.”
Born in Guyana and now based in Washington D.C., Kirth Bobb photographs what others might deem as mundane, but what he sees as curiously inspiring. The first thing he notices when taking photographs is color.
“Color was such a prominent aspect of life that it makes sense that it permeates so much of my work today,” he tells Framebridge. “So much so, a lot of my work in the Caribbean examines the relationship between people, color, and place. Whenever I see rich and harmonious color, it reminds me of home.”
For the print shop, Bobb features Man on Phone and Haijiann, which tell the story of a Cuban man exuding incredible harmony and a motorcycle in Haiti that reconnected a memory.
Dominique Brown is a California-based contemporary pop artist who utilizes markers, acrylics, and graphic design in her creations. She approaches her art with the goal to educate people, often featuring prominent Black historical figures to create dialogues and highlight those who are often forgotten—or excluded—from contemporary history.
“As time goes, a lot of historical figures like Martin Luther King are kind of being forgotten or being pushed aside,” she notes to Framebridge. “Recently for my job, we did a mural of Martin Luther King—and someone thought it was Will Smith. Really weird. I know who they are because it's my culture, but I don't know if people outside of it know these people.”
Her two pieces in the Paint Shop are Old Classic and Soul Sisters. Old Classic has a vintage feel that showcases Black women in a new light, while Soul Sisters is dedicated to all women—to anyone who sees themselves represented within the art.
Tom Harris is a fine art photographer based in Washington D.C. His photos are inspired by his travels, which embody a feeling of freedom and perspective.
“I think traveling has been a big thing, being able to see more and experience more,” he tells Framebridge. “I'd like to be able to share that perspective I have, as a young Black man traveling, with the world.”
His featured prints are Cuba 1/1 and Cuba 2/2, which both speak to the spirit of Cuba in Harris’ eyes: strength and persistence. The shots capture the heart and soul of the country with energy, sunlight, and perspective.