Industry – Art and Design



“I founded the Black Artists + Designers Guild to establish a global online platform to share the underrepresented accomplishments of Black creatives. It initially took the form of a directory of Black artists, designers, and makers. As a Black woman, advocate, and human being, this organization is extremely important to me. As we evolved, our community discussed legacy and what mark we truly wanted to leave. Our mission is to create an equitable and inclusive creative culture. As a non-profit, we’re taking action through design projects, educational endeavors, events, and programming. We are committed to global impact, opening doors for the next generation of Black artists, expanding the conversation around marginalization in the arts, and creating substantial inclusion opportunities."

- Malene Barnett


Malene Barnett is an artist, entrepreneur, and authority on the cultural traditions and practices of art in the African diaspora and how it translates into her vision of the modern black experience. From her sculptural ceramic tiles and vessels to mixed media paintings to handwoven rugs, Barnett continues to evolve her craft and share her African heritage with a global audience. Using natural materials like the finest wools, silks, pastels, and clay, she uncovers a deeper language of her legacy and an authentic understanding of her cultural identity. A passionate connector and expert ambassador, her mission is to use art as a tool to create community impact and open doors for the next generation of black artists and expand the conversation around marginalization in the arts and create greater opportunities for inclusion. 


As the Black Artists + Designers Guild founder, she is always seeking new ways to define the black narrative and experience for a new generation bringing awareness to inequality. Malene is also on the board for Cerf+, an organization that provides emergency loans to artisans and craftspeople during natural disasters.



The Black Artists + Designers Guild (BADG) is a global platform representing a curated collective of independent Black artists, makers, and designers across various art and design disciplines at the top of their respective fields. They are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2018 by Brooklyn, NY artist Malene Barnett to combat the lack of representation of Black talent and culture in the design industry. BADG strive towards creating an inclusive art and design environment, through equity and inclusivity, by providing visibility and opportunities for our members. Through projects and events, BADG creates dialogue, takes action towards rewriting the narrative behind the misrepresentation of their ancestral legacy in design, and brings awareness to the inequitable design culture.