At Art Basel 2021, Prizm Art Fair Set the Tone of Prioritizing Black Art and Existence

Enveloped by the Sun #4(Moise), 2021, Mark Fleuridor. Image: courtesy of Prizm.

Art Basel 2021 had one of the most inclusive and diverse collections in the program’s history. Even so, Prizm Art Fair—a cutting-edge art expo, founded by Mikhaile Solomon, committed to expanding the spectrum of exhibiting international artists from the global African diaspora—was the only art show at the Miami-Beach international art fair that was dedicated to overtly uplifting Black artists. It incorporated Black consciousness and contemporary artistic concepts to curate a one-of-a-kind display.

Since 2013, Prizm has grown from showcasing 25 contemporary artists to developing a hybrid fair program with 40-60 individual artists annually, and a burgeoning gallery program.

From Left to Right: Noel W. Anderson, Amber Robles Gordon, Mikhaile Solomon Image: Courtesy of Prizm

In the spirit of encouraging dialogue amongst Black creatives, this year, Prizm hosted a variety of panels that addressed the importance of the inclusion of Black artists in artistic spaces and institutions. One panel, in particular, titled Weaving Identity: A Conversation on Textile Practice in the 21st Century, highlighted the power of contemporary visual art through the practices of the diaspora’s most preeminent artists who innovate through the use of textiles.  Another important segment of the program had artists discuss how their practice and respective works are impacted by the concept of Black existential thought. Additional events tackled crucial aspects of the art space such as collaboration with nonprofits in order to re-imagine Black artists’ involvement in the art world, exploring the presence of Black artists in the Upper South, contributions of the South African arts ecosystem, and redefining the Museum Model for African art.

Some of the artists included in Prizm’s program this year were:

Leila Rose Fanner

Breathe Again I, 2021, Leila Rose Fanner. Image: courtesy of Prizm

Mark Fleuridor

Enveloped by the Sun #4(Moise), 2021, Mark Fleuridor. Image: courtesy of Prizm

Megan Lewis

I’m Marvelous, 2021, Megan Lewis. Image: courtesy of Galerie Myrtis

Ada Pinkston

Dances inside the refrain, 2021, Ada Pinkston. Image: courtesy of Prizm

Tatos

I am Beautiful, 2021, Tatos. Image: courtesy of Prizm

Lehlogonolo Mashaba

Blossom II, 2021, Lehlogonolo Mashaba. Image: courtesy of Prizm
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