By Ricky Richardson, Contributing Writer

(Los Angeles, Ca)- The show must go on is a popular saying in the entertainment industry. This is good news for film and art patrons in the Greater Los Angeles area and Globally.

For nearly three decades, the Pan African Film and Arts Festival welcomed thousands of visitors to browse their wonderful showcase of artistic aesthetic that is rooted in Africa and its diaspora.

Locals as well as a contingent of international tourist strolled and perused over 100 international and emerging fine artists and quality crafts peoples from all over the world taking part in The PAFF ArtFest.

The featured artists presented their creative works using oil on canvas, watercolor and pastels, acrylic paper, glass, ceramics, metal, cloth, plastic, wax, wire, leather, and stone.

The ArtFest is an experience in and of itself that guarantees something for every taste and every budget, whether it is fashions, jewelry, home décor, fashion accessories and so much more!

I am pleased to share with you that the 2021 ArtFest has found a new home in Leimert Park Village, the heart of the African American community.

The new location is inside Aziz Gallery, owned and operated by internationally acclaimed artist Aziz Diagne. The gallery is located at 3343 West 43rd Street, Los Angeles, CA., 90008 (323)815-1843. The location is between the Fernando Pullum Community Arts Center and Regency West. The ArtFest went on display February 1st and be available for viewing until March 14, 2021, 11:00am-7:00pm.

Visitors to the ArtFest can expect to view a great selection of high-quality crafts on display, in a nice, intimate environment. There is limited occupancy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

I was greeted by Khalifa Bey, Assistant Manager of Aziz Gallery. Ms. Bey pointed out the various artists and designers who were featured at Aziz Gallery.


Smiles From Africa (Photo By Ricky Richardson)

An incredible display of Art, Fashion and Jewelry can be seen throughout the gallery. Aziz Diagne featured paintings, African attire, T-shirts. Jeffrey Stephenson also has an amazing display of artwork at the gallery and Smiles from Africa-African Artifacts.

The Baltimore Bag Company included men’s and women’s sandals, purses. The booth Afro Centric, by Brenda Snowden, consist of masks, headwraps, calendars, journals, and stylist bonnets.

Diane Harris Banks (Photo By Ricky Richardson)

Diane Harris Banks is the owner of Designs by DHB, One of a Kind Jewelry Creations reasonably priced for both men and women. As you spent more time at home during the pandemic, you have probably come across some memorable family photos. Designs by Ardena, Photo Restoration Art can restore damage photos and create acrylic, Collage art, Photographic Fine Art, and Graphic Designs.

Yendi Collections featured a wonderful display of functional and sculpture art. The Body Butter Lady featured several products- oils, soaps, Shea butter, Body scrubs, and shampoo to name a few.

Wilbourn Sisters Designs- Designs to Soothe the Soul for all occasions, fabulous fashions when you are ready step out in style. The booth consists of jewelry, matching headwraps and masks, dresses, purses etc.

A friendly reminder, the 29th Annual Pan African Film Festival Evolution! will screen movies virtually. The film festival is scheduled from February 28-March 14, 2021. 

The 29th Annual Pan African Film Festival Evolution! got underway, Sunday, February 28th, with the Opening Night Gala screening of ‘The Water Man’ directed by David Oyelowo. ‘The Water Man’ is a fantasy adventure film about a young boy named Gunner who sets out to save his ill mother by searching for a mystic figure who knows the secret to immortality. The screenings were followed by a Q&A session with the filmmaker and actors. The film’s stellar ensemble cast includes David Oyelowo, Rosario Dawson, Lonnie Chavis, Amiah Miller, Alfred Molina and Maria Bello.

Tickets and more information (film guide and schedule) are available at www.paff.org or by calling (310)337-4737.

I am sure that you have a variety of options when it comes to lunch or dinner. You can enhance and enjoy your movie going experience in the comfort of your home by ordering takeout from the many wonderful restaurants in your neighborhood. You cannot go wrong with the pairing of a good movie(s), with a serving of mouthwatering foods. These restaurants served up delicious cuisines from the African diaspora.

This is a few suggestions that are located within walking distance from Aziz Gallery. Ackee Bamboo Jamaican Cuisine serves up Caribbean dishes such as jerk chicken, oxtail, curry shrimp, and Jamaican patties. 4305 Degnan Blvd. Los Angeles, CA. 90008 (323)295-7275

Azla is a popular Ethiopian eatery in Leimert Park Village. 4309 Leimert Blvd. Los Angeles, CA. 90009 (323)596-3028

Hot and Cool Café proudly serves innovative and healthy vegan food, such as chicken curry bowl, vegan mac and cheese. Their coffee blends come from Ethiopia. 4331 Degnan Blvd. Los Angeles, CA. 90008 (323)903-6449

Harun Coffee serves great coffee and a variety of healthy food. 4336 Degnan Blvd. Los Angeles, CA. 90008 (323)815-9944