In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • The Personal Without Mask
  • Charles Henry Rowell, Editor

Callaloo • Art is a new annual publication, whose purpose is to identify, support, and promote the art and artists of the African Diaspora. With its focus on African Diaspora visual culture, Callaloo • Art is making available to the world full-color images of new and older formal and vernacular artworks by artists of African descent from the fifteenth century to the present, from the different periods of enslavement to the present day. This annual issue will also publish critical and creative texts that help to illuminate the different artists’ works and the diverse cultural contexts from which they derive. Through Callaloo • Art we will not only share images with our readers; we will also inform them, through critical discourse and creative texts, of the diverse visual artworks that black men and women outside the African Continent have made and continue to create. We should also think of the annual Callaloo • Art as a forum in which visual arts, critics, and readers may enter into brief and sustained conversations about issues or subjects that interest them. Through this annual publication, black artists in Havana can engage their counterparts in London and Amsterdam; black artists in Colombia and Peru will be able to converse with black artists in France and Canada; and black artists in New York and Port-au-Prince may chat with their counterparts in Salvador da Bahia and Kingston. This can be done via engaging interviews, provocative essays, ekphrastic poems, critical articles, and other written and oral forms. In other words, Callaloo • Art is designed to become a safe and welcoming space where artists, general readers, students, and academic specialists may gather to speak and listen, learn and share.

To faithful readers of the quarterly literary journal Callaloo, that we would eventually publish a project devoted to visual art will not come as a surprise. Our readers are aware that the very first issue published in 1976 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, featured visual art by Washington, DC-based photographer Roy Lewis. In addition to providing the cover art of the first issue of the journal, his black and white photography illuminated Tom Dent’s creative nonfiction piece about the east bank River Road, an old seventy-mile highway that follows the winding course of the Mississippi River southeastward from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, Louisiana.

From its inaugural issue onwards to the present time, Callaloo has featured images of original art by new and emerging, as well as long established, black visual artists—e. g., paintings, drawings, photography, sculptures, and other forms. We have also occasionally published portfolios of artists’ works, along with comprehensive and in-depth interviews with them. The many artists published in Callaloo include, for example, Lois Maelou Jones, John Biggers, Alison Saar, Emanoel Araújo, Gwendolyn Knight, Romare Bearden, Frank Bowling, Kerry James Marshall, Thierry Alet, Lorna Simpson, Wifredo Lam, Chester Higgins, Jr., Hew Locke, Alma Thomas, Jack Whitten, Yeda Maria Correa de Oliveira, and Roy DeCarava. This list could go on and on. For a number of years, I have felt compelled, however, to do more for the different communities of visual artists by, for the first time, offering our artists throughout the African Diaspora a broader and fixed site to exhibit images of their creations. That fixed site, I argued with myself, would also provide art [End Page v] critics, at home and abroad, an annual international forum to discuss these artists’ creative productions and the cultural contexts from which they originate. And now there is such a forum: Callaloo • Art. In the annual Callaloo • Art, we hope we will—as we have tried, for thirty-eight years, to do quarterly for African Diaspora creative writers and for literary and cultural critics in Callaloo—engage each other through direct and indirect conversations and with images and critical discussions about African Diaspora art and culture.

In form and content, Callaloo • Art, the annual, is different from the quarterly journal Callaloo, which, while continuing to give some attention to visual art, is devoted to the creative literature and culture of the African Diaspora. Callaloo • Art, on the other hand, is devoted exclusively to the visual art of...