In Conversation with Visual Artist Eugene Ankomah

Eugene Ankomah is an internationally respected visual artist, mentor, and personality who is both known for his many innovative but unpredictable styles of art, as much as for his ever-changing self-created “Art Persona” and evolving fashion sense. Having shown his work in many countries in Europe, Africa, and the US, he is an artist with an uncommon natural ability that has seen him successfully enjoy an art career for over 25 years.

 

I had the pleasure to catch up with Eugene to discuss his projects. Please visit the following link

Supporting Artists and Celebrating the Arts


I have now set up a go fundme account to secure funds to develop my practice and platforms to support and promote the arts. For new readers, unfamiliar with me, my practice combines my visual art portfolio with curating impactful initiatives that champion art, support education, encourage dialogue, and provide an understanding of human behavior. Part of my practice, themed ‘Eyes on the Arts’, feeds my passion for curating platforms for fellow artists and collaborating on innovative projects.

Further to my blog, this led me to create the free-to-access arts platform Occhi Arts and Entertainment , which I have used to bridge relationships with national and international stakeholders that are keen to collaborate and promote visual arts, performance, dance, independent film, literature, and music. I’ve started using this platform as a conduit to collaborate with others on projects supporting public access to the arts, preserving cultural activities in economically deprived areas, and to address global issues such as climate change and global warming. In light of the current economic challenges, and the lack of funding opportunities, particularly for artists and smaller regional arts projects, your support will aid my practice and efforts to promote independent, underrepresented, and unsigned creatives, enabling them to engage the art-loving public. To date, despite several attempts, I have received no formal arts funding or financial support but garnered the attention of fellow artists and the art-loving public. Your support will contribute to the Occhi/Eyes on the Arts initiative’s growth and the ability for the public to access emerging talent online, and at planned live events up and down the country. Making a living as an artist or supporting other artists’ careers isn’t easy. At times, it can look and feel like a challenging task but, particularly in recent years, we all understand the social, therapeutic, and economic importance this sector has.

Funding will support written and recorded online features, interviews, and reviews of creatives working in visual arts, film, music, literature, and dance on Occhi Arts and Entertainment platforms, including our Youtube and Podcast. It will also help me, with the support of others, facilitate career advice, mental health/ wellbeing support for creatives, and manage live national and international projects that everyone can enjoy!

I welcome your support and any contribution will be appreciated!

Individual donors providing £50 or more will receive a ‘Friends of Occhi’ listing on the official Occhi Arts & Entertainment website.

Individual donors providing £100 or more will also receive Occhi Arts and Entertainment merchandise (T-shirt and Cup)

Individual donors providing £250 or more will also receive Occhi Arts and Entertainment merchandise and a David Emmanuel Noel limited print of artwork of their choice from my website. *approx 80 x 80′ inches, depending on the image.

Corporate sponsorship and collaborations with companies championing the arts are welcomed. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me, if this is of interest.

Thank you!

In Conversation with Emmy Award Winning Composer David Nichtern

David Nichtern is a songwriter, record producer, guitarist, and composer for film and television. A four-time Emmy award-winner and two-time Grammy-nominated composer, he is widely known for his classic song, “Midnight at the Oasis”.

David began playing guitar when he was eight, composing in his teens, and working as a professional musician while still in college at Columbia University, where he had a rock band called Voltaire’s Nose with lifetime friend Christopher Guest.

Throughout a diverse and colorful career, he has collaborated with a wide range of artists including Jerry Garcia, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Christopher Guest, Lana Del Rey, Brand New Heavies, Maria Muldaur, The McGarrigles, Patti LuPone, David Bromberg, Dr. John, Sultan Khan and Krishna Das.

We caught up to discuss his successful career and his latest recording “Pandemoonia”  You can read the full interview on Occhi Magazine.

 

Image, courtesy of David Nichtern

Participating in A Global Art Community

The challenges of the last few years are combined with the necessary focus on my practice and wider professional commitments. Despite the pandemic and its challenges, I have endured, moved forward, bridged significant relationships, and created opportunities with hope for a positive and prosperous future. Whilst have been shamefully neglectful of my personal blog site, I have documented many of my activities via my company websites; Occhi & Entertainment, Occhi Contemporary, and Occhi Magazine. You’ll find several projects I have curated and interviews with several amazing artists who have inspired me beyond measure!

In recent months, I have been privileged to once again participate in the 2022 Caribbean Fine Art Fair, and co-host a number of webinars and talks with prominent artists and academics from the African and Caribbean diaspora. Art fans from across the world were able to join CaFA 2022 at the Norman Centre, Broad Street in Bridgetown, Barbados, but also through caribbean.global .

One of the artists I was honoured to meet was Cheryl D. Miller. Cheryl D Miller is a designer, author, and theologian who is best known for her diversity, equity, and inclusion advocacy for black graphic designers in the industry and marketplace. Miller holds a Master of Science degree in visual communications from Pratt Institute and received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, with Foundation Studies completed at the Rhode Island School of Design. She also holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Union Theological Seminary in New York City. An accomplished, award-winning designer and businesswoman, Miller established one of the first black women-owned design firms in New York City in 1984.

The event included a segment on NFTs by Zoe Osborne of Mahogany Culture, one of the early adopters of NFTs in Barbados and the Caribbean. She dedicated a portion of her panel discussion to exploring and clarifying facts about the new digital option for artists. For further information on the artist and the online exhibition of works, visit the caribbean.global website.

Together for Our Planet Exhibition

Further to the Occhi Arts and Entertainment/Phoenix call for artists to participate in the collaboration, we have produced a short publication featuring artists across the globe. I have also interviewed several artists and discussed their careers and exhibition entries. Further information is available on the Occhi Arts &Entertainment websites.  For further information visit the following link

 

Call For Artists: COP26 & Climate Change Initiative

This project is a collaboration between Occhi Arts and Entertainment and Phoenix FTA Limited, a UK-based sustainability strategy consultancy. Inspired by the UK Creative Earth Competition, Occhi Arts and Entertainment and Phoenix FTA Limited are inviting young artists from around the world to creatively engage with key topics of concern at the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow. This initiative provides a wider audience of young artists with a renewed opportunity to visually express their views to world leaders and community stakeholders by producing 2D artwork (drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, and photography) that supports at least one of the following themes:

1. Protect What You Love

Climate Change is giving rise to more frequent wildfires, longer periods of drought in some regions, and an increase in the number, duration, and intensity of tropical storms. Glaciers are shrinking, plant and animal ranges are shifting or go extinct. Humans could save thousands of species from extinction if they act. ‘Protect What You Love’ encourages participants to express their concerns, highlighting what their hold dearly and want to protect from the effects of climate change.

2. A future beyond neoliberal capitalism?

With our societies forced into a truly deranged economic paradigm, one that landed us amid a terrifying climate emergency, it’s hard to imagine that the future of our human species lies beyond the patent immorality of neoliberal capitalism. A completely new system that puts equity and justice at its core is required. Young artists are invited to creatively express their interpretation of a “post-ecopathic” economic system via the mediums of drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, and photography.

The Objective

The objective is to foster and establish an inclusive young artists’ community that feels empowered to engage with global climate change politics by using their creativity, expressing their democratic voice, and participating in this vitally important discourse. We believe the project will help build a noteworthy platform to establish intergenerational collaboration with key stakeholders by raising awareness of COP26 and serve a cross-sectional analysis that will allow deeper insights into how Generations Z and Alpha perceive the severity of climate change. It fosters political engagement, participation in the democratic process, and voices intergenerational concerns.

Submission Process

Participants will be required to submit one image (max file size: 500KB/300 dpi), a short bio (max 150 words), and a written summary of the artwork via email to submissions@occhimagazine.com

Please title your email subject ‘COP26 Art Submission’.

Each featured work remains the copyright of the participating artist who consents to work being exhibited as part of this initiative.

Early submissions (artwork submitted before 28th October 2021) will be featured on the Occhi Contemporary Art website, from 31st October 2021, to coincide with the launch of COP26.

The call for submissions will be open for the duration of COP26, which ends on Friday 12th November. A final selection of works will be featured online and in a publication, to be produced after and in response to COP26 key outcomes. The featured artists and artworks will be announced approximately two weeks after the official deadline to ensure that our guest curators and editorial team give their full attention to each applicant’s work. Further updates and additional information will be posted on occhicontemporary.art and occhimagazine.com.