Painting a picture of inclusion: Meet the artists and creators behind The ArtHub NYC

BROOKLYN (WABC) -- When black artists weren't being represented in the New York art scene Danny Dakari was inspired to create a space that was all about the artists.

"Where are the artists that look like me? Where are they hiding? That's where ArtHub NYC was officially born," said Dakari.

What makes The ArtHub NYC different than any other art gallery in NYC is that they specifically help emerging artists of color have a platform to show their art. This concept soon brought along co-founder, AJ Kellie.

"The galleries I was going to were predominantly white and weren't doing any POC's (people of color). I wanted to make my own way with people that look like me," said Kellie.

Dakari got to work. Using the internet and social media he was able to find a lot of unknown artists that had never done a show before.

"AJ and I were able to give them that platform to showcase their art. I wanted to breakdown that barrier," said Dakari.

With artists lined up, The ArtHub NYC was putting on massive art shows drawing huge crowds. So when COVID hit New York it changed everything, but Dakari and his team found inspiration through the hardships.

"COVID 19 hit us really hard because we weren't able to do in-person events, which made us pivot to virtual," said Dakari.

The ArtHub NYC team created a free virtual art gallery, a place for people to escape, enjoy beautiful pictures, and even support struggling artists.

"One wall is literally dedicated to COVID 19, specific art. People with masks on, there were a lot of things that were featured on that wall," said Dakari.

The ArtHub NYC also saw all the hurt the black community was going through and made sure they left a positive mark for the Black Lives Matter movement.

"We decided to have arts in park pandemic style. We had about 18 artists and we gave them a portion of a larger image and at the end, we collectively put them together. Our first one was in memory of Breonna Taylor and John Lewis," said Kellie.

With all the innovative ways The ArtHub NYC was painting a picture of inclusion, it wasn't just NYC that was noticing so was Beyoncé and her team.

"We had a chance to fill out this really cool grant called 'BEYGOOD'. They are doing something incredible with NAACP, they are giving out grants to black companies and we were selected out of 17,000 applications," said Dakari.

The ArtHub NYC continues to fight for artists of color and has no intention of putting down their paintbrushes anytime soon.

"I'm continuing the art my ancestors have created for me to push the next generation moving forward," said Dakari.

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