Art has the power to move us, spark our imagination and make us see the world in new ways. As Spring blooms, art enthusiasts have the opportunity to explore the work of talented Black artists showcased in various exhibits across the country. From the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C. to the Art Institute of Chicago, these installations offer a chance to engage with the beauty and power of Black art. They are inspiring, and offer people a chance to engage with a community that has historically been underrepresented in the art world.

Whether visitors are artists themselves or simply art enthusiasts, these exhibits provide an opportunity to engage with the beauty and power of Black art and gain a deeper appreciation for the talent and contributions of Black artists in the realm of visual art.

Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York

Brooklyn-born/based photographer Jamel Shabazz activates the Brooklyn Museum’s outdoor plaza from June 2 through September 6, 2023. Featuring hundreds of portraits from the past four decades, the presentation celebrates Shabazz’s significant contributions to Brooklyn, as well as to the 50th anniversary of hip hop. 

Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan

Opening on May 28, 2023, James Barnor: Accra/London—A Retrospective features more than 170 photos from Barnor’s archive of over 32,000 images, many dating from the 1950s through the 1980s. Barnor established his famous Ever Young Studio in Accra, Ghana, in the 1950s and took portraits of political, cultural and other local figures, ultimately becoming one of the country’s first photojournalists.

Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado

The Denver Art Museum unveiled its newly reinstalled Arts of Africa collection on May 14, 2023, to the public for the first time since 2016. The reimagined Arts of Africa collection gallery will showcase collection highlights alongside major new contemporary acquisitions, organized around three anchoring themes of the self: power, transformation and manifestation.

The ICA San Francisco, San Francisco

Focusing on the liberation and celebration of Black womxn through the lens of leisure and physical adornment, Resting Our Eyes, curated by Tahirah Rasheed and Autumn Breon, features new and existing works from 20 multi-generational Black artists working across sculpture, photography, video, mixed media, painting and textile. Through embodied experiences of space and temporality, spectrums of abstraction and representation, these artists contend with the limitations and failures of the colonial gaze by casting Black womxn at the center of their visions through leisure and adornment. Through June 25.

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Fresh Up, an exhibition that explores the intersections of Blackness and womanhood from the textile-based, multidisciplinary artist Gio Swaby, is on view at the Art Institute of Chicago from April 8, 2023, through July 3, 2023. This is Swaby’s first solo museum show and brings together 7 of her series from 2017 through 2021, along with approximately 15 new works.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, New York

Juan de Pareja, Afro-Hispanic Painter offers an unprecedented look at the life and artistic achievements of the artist (ca. 1608–1670). Largely known today as the subject of The Met’s iconic portrait by Diego Velázquez, Pareja was enslaved in Velázquez’s studio for more than two decades before becoming an artist in his own right. The exhibition will be on view through July 16, 2023.

North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, North Carolina

Previously on display in three other cities, Ruth E. Carter’s Afrofuturism in Costume Design is currently on display at the North Carolina Museum of Art through August 6, 2023. Carter has won two Academy Awards for costume design for her work in the Black Panther franchise and has worked with major industry names like Spike Lee.

National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C.

The first museum solely dedicated to showcasing women’s history and contributions to fine arts, the National Museum of Women in the Arts opened its inaugural in-person exhibit at the MLK Library on March 21, 2023, focusing on Black feminists from the D.C. area who coined the term “Jane Crow.”