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12 Black Creatives from Columbus, GA You Should Be Following Online

Updated: Jun 30, 2020

At The Columbusite, our team is committed to sharing a diverse collection of stories and information on arts and culture in our region. This commitment is not a new one. When The Columbusite was founded in 2018, we began with the same philosophy and mission statement we have today:

We believe that positive and diverse information on local arts and culture should be accessible and encouraged throughout a community. 

Nothing has changed. And yet? Everything has changed. Like you, this year our eyes have been further opened to the stark reality that social injustice is still rampant in the world we live in. And, like you, we're determined to be better and to do better every single day.

This article entitled 12 Black Creatives You Should Be Following Online was originally slated for the summer edition of The Current, but we simply couldn't wait to share it here. Why? When you find yourself actively seeking ways to advocate for what's right, and you discover the first foothold forward, you don't wait for the right moment to take a step. You move ahead, immediately, in the right direction. Even if it's on a continued path you've already been trying to navigate, when you find a better way forward, you continue onward without hesitation.

The artists in this article are some of the finest in our community. They are movers and shakers - not only here, but regionally and nationally, and yes - even worldwide. They do not require an introduction, but thankfully we have the honor of introducing some of them to you.

If you're like us and you've found yourself searching for a better way forward in all areas of your life, we'd encourage you to use this article as a starting point. Learn everything you can about the twelve artists below. They're all either from Columbus, Georgia or live and work here currently, so they are your neighbors.

Read about them. Follow them. Listen to their voices in our community. Visit their paintings. View their work. Hear their students speak. Engage with them. Root them on.

And then? Start the process all over again.


Natalia Temesgen

Photo by Carrie Beth Wallace.

Natalia Naman Temesgen is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. She is currently a staff writer on the Netflix original series, Dear White People. Her plays have been produced in New York, Princeton, Philadelphia, Boston, Atlanta, and Columbus, GA. Her short films have screened internationally at festivals and her original TV pilot BEA ROSE was a 2019 Launch Pad Top 100 Finalist.

Temesgen holds a BA in English from Princeton University, and a MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU Tisch. Her play LAWNPEOPLE received the American Playwriting Foundation's 2019 "Relentless Award" Honorable Mention. Her play ACE: THE EUGENE BULLARD STORY, an epic bio-play about the first African-American fighter pilot, was produced by the Springer Opera House in 2017.

In addition to writing for television and the stage, Temesgen is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Columbus State University and a columnist for both The Columbusite and American Theatre Magazine.

Connect with Temesgen online:

Instagram: @nataliatemesgen Twitter: @cafeaulazy


Read our previous cover story on Natalia in the inaugural issue of The Current - our quarterly arts & culture magazine.


Davian Chester

Self portrait by Davian Chester.

Artist and illustrator Davian Chester became an overnight sensation when he was recognized across the world for his Juneteenth Google Doodle. Since then, his work has been shared on social media by D. L. Hughley, Romany Malco, Jeff Horste, Anthony Anderson, Yara Shahidi, Tony Baker Comedy, Snoop Dog, Erykah Badu, and Lil Duval. He also received national media attention for his Google Doodle from U.S. News and The Washington Post. Chester lives and works in Columbus, Georgia where he creates black art that continues to be shared around the world.

Connect with Chester online:

Instagram: @real_toons

Twitter: @real_toons



Najee Dorsey

Photo by Diamond Gass.

Visual artist and entrepreneur Najee Dorsey is known for embracing his Southern roots in his work by relaying scenes of African American life in the South on canvas. His art has been featured in more than nine museum shows around the nation including the Charles Wright Museum in Detroit, the African American Museum in Dallas, and The Columbus Museum in his hometown of Columbus, Georgia.

As a black artist, Dorsey experienced the challenges most African American artists face: closed doors in the arts community, a lack of representation in art institutions, and the undervaluation of African American art and its creators by dominant society. So in 2010, Dorsey founded Black Art In America™ (BAIA) as a free online media platform for African American artists, collectors, art enthusiasts, and arts professionals.

Ten years later, BAIA has transformed into a behemoth resource of some of the top black art in the world. In addition to sharing news about the industry, BAIA now offers a wide array of services including curatorial work, art consulting, marketing, social media management, content development, appraisals, promotional materials, and remote broadcasting.

Connect with Najee Dorsey:

Instagram @najee.dorsey Twitter: @artbynajee


Follow Black Art in America:

Instagram: @blackartinamerica_




Beth Reeves