The (In)Visibility of Four Black Women Artists: Establishing a Support Network, Defining Obstacles, and Locating Self through Art

  • Indira Bailey The Pennsylvania State University


In the early 1970s, the Feminist Art Movement in the United States began to promote primarily White women’s art; and the 1970s Black Arts Movement promoted Black male artists. However, neither movement catered to the needs of Black women artists. As a Black feminist artist born in the United States and feeling isolated from Black women artist support networks, in this essay, I bring visibility to the Black Feminist Art Movement in the 1970s; and explore how to rebuild a supportive community for Black female artists in current times. I interviewed four Black women artists who ranged in age from 40 to 67 years. Their narratives convey their experiences and feelings of abandonment by mainstream galleries and museums and isolation as artists due to their race and gender. I argue that there is a need for greater visibility of contemporary Black women artist, which requires a support network to achieve exhibition in mainstream galleries and museums.

Author Biography

Indira Bailey, The Pennsylvania State University

Indira Bailey is a dual-degree title Ph.D. candidate in the Art Education and Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies at The Pennsylvania State University, and holds a M.A. in Educational Leadership and Supervision from Kean University, and a B.F.A. in Illustration from Pratt Institute. Bailey is a professional artist exhibiting her artwork throughout the New York tri-state area. She has taught visual and digital art to at-risk students in a low socio-economic urban vocational high school in New Jersey. Bailey’s research interest is on Black feminism in the study of contemporary Black women artists who have been marginalized from the mainstream art world and omitted from art educational textbooks and art resources. Correspondence regarding this article should be addressed to the author at

How to Cite
BAILEY, Indira. The (In)Visibility of Four Black Women Artists: Establishing a Support Network, Defining Obstacles, and Locating Self through Art. Visual Culture & Gender, [S.l.], v. 12, p. 58-67, sep. 2017. ISSN 1936-1912. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 23 feb. 2018.