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Esteemed Native Son Artist Returns to St. Thomas


Nov. 7, 2005 – Ademola Olugebefola was born to the Thomas family in Charlotte Amalie. His family moved to New York City when he was four years old. His New York education in the arts includes studies at Fashion Institute of Technology, the Yoruba academy of West African Culture and Weuisi Academy of African Arts and Studies, as well as courses at the Printmaking Workshop.
In the early 1970's, he and his brothers, Verl and Harold, formed a fashion boutique, gift shop, and fine arts gallery in St. Thomas. Their venture, called Origem, featured men's and women's fashions, crafts made by Caribbean artists, and art exhibitions by native artists and other Caribbean artists.
Gallery owner Jane Coombes calls Ademola "a quintessential artist." His early work in fashion was the precursor of Afrocentric clothing and accessories. In music he was a jazz bassist, which led to his involvement with Pomusicart, a pioneering cultural workshop dedicated to the fusion of poetry, music and art. He has worked as a graphic designer and illustrator for several prominent Afirican American authors, as well as cultural and business organizations. His design talents led him to the performing arts where he has been a stage manager, production director, and set and costume designer for a variety of theatrical and film productions, including his work as resident designer and associate art director for the New Lafayette Theatre.
As a visual artist he has created several thousand etchings, woodcuts, serigraphs, lithographs, oils, ink, pencil, and charcoal drawings, as well as wall and free-standing sculptures and murals.
Ademola's life and accomplishments have been chronicled in the prestigious Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. On a subsequent trip he will be giving copies of the Schomburg Center's files on his life to St. Croix and St. Thomas libraries.
Ademola says he has always considered art as "a conduit for upliftment." Coombes adds the objective of the gallery "is to make the world a better place one piece of art at a time." This show will showcase many works that have traversed the nation in museum shows, as well as works created in the last decade. It will give viewers a chance to own art by a living legacy.
The show continues until Dec. 2, 2005. For more information call 777-3060.

More on Ademola Olugebefola

Brooklyn Museum The Corcoran Gallery, Washington D.C.
The Studio Museum in Harlem
The School of the Art Institute of ChicagoThe American Museum of Natural History
2nd World Festival of Art & Culture, Lagos, Nigeria
Work in the collections of:
The Studio Museum in Harlem
New York Health and Hospitals Corporation
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Johnson Publishing Company, Chicago
Filmore & Fell Corporation, San Francisco
Northern Illinois University
Virgin Islands Council on the Arts, U.S. Virgin Islands
Click here to learn more about the Gallery.


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