Parallel Perspectives video series
The first segment of Parallel Perspective focused on contemporary practice with conversations with artists from diverse backgrounds. The discussions focused on a wide array of topics ranging from artistic and creative motivation, support bases for artists, the role of ideologies and contexts within artists creative environments, the role of materiality in the creative process, the availability of learning and marker spaces in Africa (specifically in Nigeria), mentorships, and funding sources. In this segment, we invite renowned Nigerian artists Abraham Oghobase (photographer), Bayo Omoboriowo (photographer), and Joseph Obanubi (visual artist/Artists' mentor) to our PAS Parallel Perspective studio and over Zoom for intimate and thought-provoking conversations. Abraham Oghobase took us on a journey through his process and the influence of family on his artistic practice. Bayo Omoboriowo discusses his early days as a young photographer in Lagos and his work as the official photographer for the former Nigerian photographer, Mohamadu Buhari. The conversation with Joseph Obanubi was very engaging, with discussions on various topics in contemporary practice as an artist in Nigeria and the United States. Ayo Joy Okpa-Iroha (Convener of the Falcons Lounge and Fashion Style Consultant) proved a slight detour and took us into the world of fashion in Nigeria and West Africa. All in all, the guests maintained that art is critical in our communities and should be used as a tool to enhance existing social contracts between community leaders and civil society. They also confirmed that art is a critical solution to the many shortcomings and ills of the contemporary world through its engagement with issues like migration, gender, religion and culture, industry, and notions of identity and representation.
The second segment focused on curation, and in the same mode, we had four amazing personalities from different creative backgrounds. We invited Oyindamola Fakeye (Artist Director, CCA Lagos), Jodi Minnis (Bahamian Artist and Curator at TERN Gallery, Nassau), Alexandria Eregbu (Convener/Curator of Finding IJEOMA: How to Build a Queendom), and Queendom exhibiting artists Lola Ayisha Ogbara and Briana Clearly (Director, screenwriter, author). All five women presented to Parallel Perspectives a dynamic and immense knowledge of their practices and fields of engagement. Oyinda Fakeye led us into the activities of the CCA Lagos and its role in the development of art in Nigeria and Africa through their workshops, exhibitions, and the traveling art education program, the ASIKO Art School. Jodi Minnis gave an overview of art and artists in the Bahamas and how they have been able to respond to the ideas of memory and history of slavery, the environmental uniqueness of the archipelago, Bahamian social and cultural engagements, and contemporary national challenges in the country. Alexandria Eregbu presents to us her exciting female-focused project and how she has been able to galvanize her colleagues in conversations and the production of works that speak to her gender and to the larger Chicago/United States black community in the era of the Black Lives movement All five guests in the second segment provided us with different perspectives on the world of female changemakers and content producers in a society often titled to male dominance.
Abraham Onoriode Oghobase (b. 1979 in Lagos, Nigeria) is a visual artist living and working in Toronto, Canada. In his photography-based practice, he engages with issues around knowledge production, land, colonial history and representation by deconstructing traditional modes of making, and by experimenting with the narrative and material potential of images and objects. Oghobase’s work has been exhibited widely, including at The Polygon Gallery, Vancouver; Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg; Pace Gallery, London, KADIST, Paris; and Art Twenty One, Lagos. Additionally, Oghobase is one of seven artists featured in this year’s New Photography exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. His work is held in the permanent collections of institutions including MoMA; Art Institute of Chicago; Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Kiasma, Helsinki. Oghobase holds an MFA in Visual Arts from York University, Toronto.
Joseph Obanubi (b 1994) is a visual artist born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria and resides in Illinois, USA. His multifaceted practice encompasses a vast array of disciplines, including graphic and visual design, art direction, and art education. Obanubi's practice is characterized by an interplay between digital and tactile experimentation, as he continually seeks to harmonize visual and spatial design.Obanubi’s practice has been recognized through grants and prizes from the British council, Mellon Foundation, CAP Prize, amongst others. He has a Bachelor and Master’s of Art in Graphic design and Master’s of Fine Art in New media from the University of Lagos, Nigeria and University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign respectively. https://www.josephobanubi.com/home
Oyindamola Fakeye is an Experiential Art Curator and Learning & Participation Producer working to facilitate contemporary art workshops, events and exhibitions. She is the current Executive & Artistic Director of the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos (CCA, Lagos), where she previously co-founded the Video Art Network Lagos, alongside artist Jude Anogwih and Emeka Ogboh (2009). Oyindamola is a Company Director for Res Artis the worldwide professional body for artists residencies, she sits on the board of Arts in Medicine Projects and is the Director of Special Projects for the Arts in Medicine Fellowship training Art and healthcare practitioners on best practices within the field.
Oyindamola has worked on various exhibitions and projects including; Identity: An Imagined State (2009) alongside Jude Anogwih, the first video art exhibition in Nigeria, featuring the work of 12 local and international lens-based media artists and the second Lagos Biennial (2019) ‘How to Build a Lagoon With Just a Bottle of Wine' alongside Tosin Oshinowo and Antawan Byrd. Oyindamola consults within the art and tech space and as an Associate Arts Consultant with the British Council supported digital collaboration, creative entrepreneurship, grant giving and the promotion of new narratives of young people in Africa and the UK.
Alexandria Eregbu is a creative anthropologist. Her dynamic practice spans across art,
music, education, justice, and the humanities in order to consider objects, stories, and
experiences that dignify the creative process. As the founder of FINDING IJEOMA, Alexandria
uses her curatorial platform to realize meaningful experiences that yield fruit for those who
engage it. Amongst her interests, Alexandria references Afro-surrealist discourse, archives,
origin stories, and craft-based traditions to both interpret and call into question omissions of
femme, Afro, and indigenous histories in pedagogy in the United States. Alexandria’s work has
appeared on screen in Candyman (2021) directed by Nia DaCosta and ABC News, in print and
on the internet. Her writing has been published by the University of Chicago Press, Sixty Inches
from Center, Terremoto Magazine, Candor Arts, and Green Lantern Press. She has presented
work in partnership with MacArthur Foundation, Independent Curators International, the
Center for Afrofuturist Studies, Poets House, the Camargo Foundation, the College Art
Association of America, EXPO Chicago, Soho House, Stony Island Arts Bank, Cultural Services
of the French Embassy in the United States, the University of Oregon’s Art + Design, and Yale
Union. She is a 3Arts recipient (2016) Newcity Breakout Artist (2015) and current faculty at the
School of the Arts Institute of Chicago.
Jodi Minnis (b. 1995, Nassau, The Bahamas) is a visual artist, writer and curator. Minnis’ visual arts practice is an interdisciplinary practice that investigates the intersection of black womanhood and cultural expectations. Her writing centers contemporary Bahamian art in relation to culture and the Bahamian art historical canon. Minnis’ curatorial work promotes contemporary Bahamian and Caribbean art practices that explore industry, class and culture. Minnis holds an Associates of Arts: Fine Arts from the College of The Bahamas and worked towards a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts at the University of Tampa. She was awarded the Popop Junior Residency Prize (2014) and participated in the Caribbean Linked III residency programme (2015). Her work has been showcased at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas and Tampa Museum of Art. Minnis currently works as the Exhibitions and Programming Director of TERN.
Ayo Joy Okpa-Iroha is a Nigerian fashion merchandiser, designer, and style consultant. She has experience in fashion and marketing, having won the first runner-up in the "Face of Abuja" fashion show in 2004 and participating in the Africa Day fashion show in 2012 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Okpa-Iroha founded Fashion Brokers Consult Ltd., a kids essentials production factory, and is an alumna of the TEEP Foundation, HUBLead, EMPRETEC Nigeria, the AWE (Academy of Women Entrepreneurs) program of the US Mission in Nigeria in 2021; an alumna of Fashionomics Africa 2022 (a program of AFDB); an alumna and participant mentee of Florish Africa; and a of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Entrepreneurs. She also founded The Entrepreneurs' Cooperative (TEC) and has trained with the Cherry Blair Foundation. Okpa-Iroha mentors, trains, and employs physically challenged individuals in Nigerian society. She is the PAC Chairperson at Eugene Field Elementary School in Chicago and co-founded 26/2Miles STUDIOplace USA. She divides her time between Chicago and Lagos, Nigeria.
Briana Clearly is a Chicago based filmmaker and community curator, originally from the DMV.
She moved to Chicago to pursue a film degree at DePaul University where she received a BA in
Cinema Production. Clearly's works have been screened at the Museum of Contemporary Art in
Chicago, Black Harvest Film Festival, Gentleman Jack's Real to Reel Chicago 2018 & 2019, and
Big Shoulders International Student Film Festival 2019. Her short experimental documentary,
The Sum of Her Parts, won Best Chicago Short at the Windy City Film Festival (2019), as well as
the The Dear White People Film Competition (2019). In 2020, Clearly released one short film
per month for the entire year for her self imposed #BC12FOR12 Film Challenge. Since then,
Clearly has been part of Full Spectrum’s cohort for Chicagoland Shorts, Vol. 7 (2021) and has
been an ambassador for Open Television (OTV), where a collection of her short films are
As a community curator, Clearly finds ways to gather people organically, yet with specific
intention. Through events like The Spades Social and The Rough Cut, Clearly creates spaces
that are connective, comforting, and safe. The main goal of Clearly’s work is to foster
constructive conversation, connection and compassion amongst Black people.
Lola Ayisha Ogbara is a cultural worker and artist from Chicago, Illinois. Her practice
explores the multifaceted implications and ramifications of being in regards to the Black
experience. Ogbara works with clay as a material in order to emphasize a necessary fragility
which symbolizes an essential contradiction implicit in empowerment. Sculpture, sound,
design, and installation art also finds its way into Ogbara’s interdisciplinary practice. She holds
a BA from Columbia College Chicago and an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis.
Ogbara has exhibited in art spaces across the country including The Luminary, Hyde Park Art
Center, Mindy Solomon Gallery, and Chicago Artists Coalition. She also received numerous
fellowships and awards, including the Multicultural Fellowship sponsored by the NCECA 52nd
Annual Conference, the Arts + Public Life and Center for the Study of Race, Politics & Culture
Residency at the University of Chicago, the Coney Family Fund Award from the Chicago Artists
Coalition, and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events Esteemed Artist