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

 

Art, Artists and Inspiration!

David Emmanuel Noel: Photo Credit Gary ThomasI’ve been extremely productive with Occhi Arts and Entertainment over the last few months, launching the platform’s Contemporary Art Gallery. We’ve had the privileged of showcasing the work of several talented artists, including Pantea Mahrou, Despina Symeou, and Gary Thomas.

Pantea Mahrou began her professional career ten years ago, delving into architecture and taking a leading role in her family’s construction company. She went on to teach at the acclaimed Azad University of Tehran. From a young age, she fell in love with ancient architecture, specifically the Archimedean era, which has inspired her study into its rich history. She remains committed to uncovering its mysteries and secrets. Using spiritual symbols, and architectural influences, her work provides energy that encapsulates the rich history of Middle Eastern culture with a contemporary perspective on life.  Paying careful attention to the colors used, she provides audiences with a sense of calm and peace.

Pantea Mahrou
Pantea Mahrou

Multidisciplinary Artist Gary Thomas’ creativity and thirst for knowledge has inspired many years of study, growth, and development in the creative arts industry. He also continues to highlight major players, celebrities and document the activities of individuals in the industry, particularly with photo portraits. Gary has an archive of photographs. Over the years he has photographed many household names such as Nile Rodgers, Patti Labelle, Chaka Khan, TLC, Professor Sir Magdi Habib  Yacoub, Lalah Hathaway, Dianne Reeves, Hugh Masekela, and Van Morrison. I was honoured to be included as part of this list this month, featuring the accompanying photo (Above)

Gary Thomas

Despina Symeou is a Painter-Printmaker who lives and works in London. After the study of art forms focusing on fine art, printmaking and photography, Despina specialized in Jewellery Design, gaining a B.A.Hons Degree from Middlesex University. In recent years she has returned to the two-dimensional formats that had originally fired her imagination, predominantly in etching. Her work is currently featured in Occhi Contemporary’s online exhibition ‘ Not Just For The Bedroom’ Please visit the Occhi Contemporary Website for further information on the artists, news, and forthcoming shows.

Despina Symeou