Inside The Only Black-Owned Art Gallery In Phoenix, Arizona
Photo Credit: Onxy Art and Events | Facebook

Photo Credit: Onxy Art and Events | Facebook

Inside The Only Black-Owned Art Gallery In Phoenix, Arizona

black owned business , Phoenix , United States , news
Parker Diakite
Parker Diakite Mar 10, 2022

There’s only one Black-owned art gallery in Phoenix, Arizona, and it was founded by the couple who just so happens to already be making life sweet for people in the state’s capital city.

Vernon and Kathi Williams own Onyx Sweet Shoppe. It’s a bakery that’s serving items that taste just as good as they look in a warm and inviting space.

That energy is known as the “Onyx Vibe” and it can also be felt next door where they are showcasing another sweet side of Phoenix – the arts scene – through their gallery Onyx Arts.

“We just wanted to create a place that represented Black joy and beauty, whatever that looked like,” Mr. Williams told Essence in a recent interview. “We created everything, even the furniture, which was built by us.”


The Black-owned art gallery first launched in 2016 after the couple relocated to Phoenix from Chicago. Opening the space was a natural fit for the Williams who describe themselves as art enthusiasts and collectors.

Aside from the melanin magic, what makes Onyx so unique is that the space provides a new platform for Arizona’s artists – many of whom are now receiving national recognition for their work.  

And like many transplants, they may move to another city but will always take a piece of their home with them.

For the Williams, they recently created Onyx/Chi – a developing series of live music and visual art events that will serve as a pop-up of spaces representing their home back in the Windy City. 

They plan to expand this model to other cities, including Houston, Las Vegas, and San Diego, a statement reads on the website.


The couple is always hosting live music, gala, and screening events at the gallery. Learn more about the events, gallery hours, and exhibits by following Onyx Art on Instagram.

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