A major player in the visual Black Arts movement, The “African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists,”or Africobra made its Northern California debut at Rainbow Sign Gallery in June and July of 1972. A Chicago-based group of highly technically trained Black artists, specializing in silk-screen poster-prints, painting, textile-design, as well as sculpture and ceramics, Africobra had recently exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the National Center for Afro-American Artists in Boston, and Howard University Art Gallery in Washington, D. C.
Despite their acclaim, Africobra says they keep their prices low because “they want everybody to have some.” They are a fitting match for Rainbow Sign in this way, whose vision also included “a place for everyone at the table.” Unfortunately, the financial realities of the 1970s made it impossible to continue to sustain a project as ambitious as Rainbow Sign without continuous and generous support from the community.
Artists working with Africobra at the time included Sherman Becks, Jeff Donaldson, Napoleon Henderson, Joe Jarrell, Wadsworth Jarrell, Barbara J. Jones, Omar Lama. Carolyn Lawrence, Heward Mallory, Jr. Nelson Stevens and Gerald Williams.