In need of art therapy, ESSENCE.com went about searching for visual artists who best represent what it means to be a Black woman today. Whether choosing to paint, collage or create multimedia installations, a fresh crop of African American artists like Shinique Smith (above) are making waves in a field where, for so long, Black women were underrepresented. Check out how these female African American artists are changing the game. The holidays may be over but you can still look for gift ideas for the art lover in your life.Check out a painting of Michael Jackson that recently sold for $175K.

Yolanda Sangweni
Jan, 26, 2010

shinique-smith-ten-artists.jpg In need of art therapy, ESSENCE.com went about searching for visual artists who best represent what it means to be a Black woman today. Whether choosing to paint, collage or create multimedia installations, a fresh crop of African American artists like Shinique Smith (above) are making waves in a field where, for so long, Black women were underrepresented. Collectively the works of these 10 artists have been exhibited at world-renowned institutions like the Whitney Museum of Art, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. and the Studio Museum in Harlem. It is the way artists like Kara Walker, Mickalene Thomas and Renee Cox stick a proverbial middle finger at perceived perceptions of Black womanhood that is most exciting. It is also the way they probe and celebrate Black women--from our beauty to our fashion--that keeps us intrigued. Check out how these female African American artists are changing the game.

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