Inside the only black-owned art gallery in Phoenix, Arizona


There is only one black-owned art gallery in Phoenix, Arizona, and it was founded by the couple who already happen to make life sweet for people in the state capital.

Vernon and Kathi Williams own Onyx Sweet Shoppe. This is a bakery that serves food as good as it looks in a warm and inviting space.

This energy is known as the “Onyx Vibe” and it can also be felt alongside where they showcase another soft side of Phoenix – the art scene – through their Onyx Arts gallery.

“We just wanted to create a place that represented the joy and beauty of black people, no matter what that looked like,” Mr. Williams said. Gasoline 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 moved to Phoenix from Chicago. Opening up the space was a natural fit for the Williams who describe themselves as art lovers and collectors.

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

And like many transplant recipients, they can move to another city but will still take a piece of their home with them.

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

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


The couple still organizes live music, galas and screenings at the gallery. Find out more about events, gallery hours and exhibitions by following Onyx Art on Instagram.

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