Dr. Yaoundé Olu is a native Chicagoan, an award-winning editorial cartoonist, illustrator, cable television producer, educator, mathematics researcher, musician, founder and artistic director of the Drum Divas and indie comic and graphic novel publisher. She has used numerous media during over 50 years of creating visual and auditory art. In addition to serving as editorial cartoonist for the Chicago and Gary Crusader newspapers since 1980, her paintings and drawings have been exhibited throughout the United States, and illustrations have been published in numerous publications. She has won four Wilbur L. Holloway Best Editorial Cartoon Awards given by the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA). Dr. Olu was a visual arts delegate to FESTAC, the Festival of Black and African Arts in Lagos, Nigeria, in 1977, and was the founder of Osun Center for the Arts in South Shore from 1968 to 1982. She is the former principal of Joshua Johnston Fine Arts & Design Charter High School and currently exhibits her works in her showroom in the Bridgeport Art Center (#4F4019. During black fine art month, October 2019, she was featured on a panel hosted by Pigment International and the DuSable Museum of African American History on the topic of “The Future of the Black Fine Art Aesthetic.” Dr. Olu, who is considered to be one of the pioneers of Afrofuturist visual art, has participated in numerous individual or group exhibitions.
Dr. Olu holds a BS in Education from Chicago State University; an MA in Fine and Performing Arts from Governors State University, and a PhD in Health Sciences/Holistic Medicine from the Union Institute. She also holds certificates in Manuscript Editing, Book Publishing, and Publication Design from the University of Chicago. Dr. Olu resides in Chicago, Illinois. She currently exhibits her works in her showroom in the Bridgeport Art Center (#4F4019), in Chicago, IL. Email: email@example.com; website: www.yaoundeolu.com
Jeffrey Hirst has exhibited his work throughout the United States since the early 1990’s. His work has been showcased at national and international venues including the Minneapolis Institute of Art; The Holter Museum, Helena, Montana; McLean Project for the Art, McLean, VA; ARC Gallery, Chicago, IL; McKinney Contemporary, Dallas, TX and Palazzo Del Annunziata, Matera, Italy. He has been a visiting artist at universities around the United States conducting encaustic and printmaking workshops and has taught encaustic classes at Grand Marais Art Colony in MN, The Encaustic Center in TX, LaGrange Art League in IL, and the 6th International Encaustic Conference in Provincetown, MA. Hirst also is the owner of Hirst Printmaking, a Printmaking shop specializing in Intaglio, Screen printing, and Experimental Approaches towards combining printmaking and encaustic.
Hirst received his MFA from Louisiana State University and BFA from the University of Minnesota. He is a recipient of a 2009 Minnesota State Arts Board grant and his work is in numerous public and private collections including Arcstone Technologies, Grant Thornton International, Great River Energy, Southern Graphics Council, and SAP America.
“I create shaped abstract paintings that function as fragments and are often exhibited as installations where the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. My current work investigates relations between man-made architectural structure and the natural landscape; questions arise at how these two forces coexist in an urban environment. While both phenomena occur in all environments, I am most interested in the dynamic in a high contrast urban context. The correlation between urban decay and natural beauty (both at the micro and macro level) influences the work. How we interpret beauty and questions about values are addressed.”