"I was in love with Harlem before I got there" - Langston Hughes


The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned between the 1920s and 1930s. During this time, an outburst of creativity among African Americans occurred in every aspect of art. This movement became known as the “The New Negro Movement” and later coined “The Harlem Renaissance” named after a 1920 anthology by Alain Locke.

Notable visual artists during the Harlem Renaissance included Jacob Lawrence, Lois Mailou Jones, Aaron Douglas, Romare Bearden and Augusta Savage. Harlem, New York attracted a prosperous and stylish middle class which sprouted an artist center. African Americans were encouraged to celebrate their heritage. Many great musicians, writers, artist and great thinkers emerged during this time.

In honor of Black History Month, the Washington Wizards hosted a Harlem Renaissance Art Challenge which offered local middle and high school students the opportunity to showcase their creativity.


All entries included an original piece of work focused on one of the following themes...

  • An original piece of work (a drawing, painting or mixed media piece) depicting life for African-Americans during the Harlem Renaissance.
  • Putting a spin on a piece of artwork from the Harlem Renaissance.
  • An original work that reflects the history and creativity of the Harlem Renaissance.

2017 Winners

From L ro R: Kayla Belle, Jamey Staley, Bradley Beal, Makayla Boyd, Dyamond Johnson

Art Challenge Video Recap


Kayla Belle, 12th Grader - North Point High School | "Our Breakthrough"


Jamey Staley, 12th Grader - Southern High School | "What Black History Means to Me"


Makayla Boyd, 12th Grader - Thomas Stone High School | "A Prayer For Hope"


Dyamond Johnson, 9th Grader - Westlake High School | "Birthers of Proliferation"