Obasi Art – A Celebration of Culture

  • Obasi Art is an Atlanta based company that  aims to create unique merchandise and art to enhance the beauty of ourselves and our spaces. We sat down with the owner, Omilade Adediran to learn more about her brand.
  • What inspired you to create Obasi Art and share your art with the world?

It was a calling, from the depths of my DNA, from centuries long ago, seemingly singing out to me. I heard the song, answered the call, and my art is that song and my Spirit, synergized and harmonizing beautifully. 


I have been creating since an early age but chose to move my art from pastime to profession in 2016 after my first art show. My art is an expression of our beauty, magic and power as a people and the diverse ways we show up in the world. In each piece I have hoped to convey a purposeful vision of self-achievement, enhancement and empowerment. If aspiration and inspiration are the lasting results of my work, then I will have achieved my goals and sang my Hearts’ Song. 


  • How does it feel to be a part of the artistic Renaissance in Atlanta, with the emergence of different creatives in the city?

I have resided in Atlanta for over 20 years, and the creative community has increasingly grown and evolved. It is a welcoming space and there are more opportunities for exposure with more offerings of public art in our communities to a growing number of art shows and exhibitions around the city. It is a feeling of inclusiveness and contribution; a community within a community. I am honored to be a part of such a talented group of people. 


  • You are a practitioner of the Yoruba religion, Ifa, and an active and practicing Priestess of Yemonja. How has your passion for spirituality influenced your passion for art?

The Ifa tradition colors every part of my world, so the lens from which I view things is back dropped with the knowledge our grandness and greatness; our triumphs and trials; but most importantly, our perseverance and determination. What compels me to create is to continuously give honor to the energy of Life, Truth and Light and how it manifests in the physical form. My desire is for viewers is to be enveloped by, transfixed within, connected to, and ultimately inspired by these manifestations from my journey with ancestors and Spirit. 


  • What are some of your favorite aspects of being a Yemonja priestess and helping people live their best lives through spirituality?

There are few things more rewarding than assisting someone on their path to healing, growth and evolution. We all have the capacity to be our best selves and live a life where we are at peace, fulfilled and free. The capacity to do so resides in each of us and our responsibility as priests is to provide the space and tools to tap into our innate ability to heal ourselves and access our fullest potential. 


  • What advice do you have for young Black women interested in entrepreneurship through art?

“Do what makes you heart sing” is what my mother always told me so I would pay that forward because it has benefited me greatly. There may be outside influences to what you should do, should study or should be but if you honor the things that bring you joy, you will never regret it. 

I cannot overstate the importance of getting to know yourself, inside and out. Be microscopically honest with yourself, about who you are and who you are not. Lastly, find your tribe of like minded people because we all need a community of support. 


  • Who are some of your favorite visual artists that inspire your work?

I am in awe of our creative genius almost every day. I was fortunate to grow up in a house that was solely decorated with art from Black artists of all kinds. Some of my childhood influences were painters like John Biggers and Paul Goodnight and Lladro figurines. Currently, I am hugely inspired by the works of Kwame Akoto-Bamfo, Yinka Shonibare, Dr. Fahamou Pecou and so many more. The way we view things so differently affirms to me that every perspective is valid and beautiful and deserves an outlet and opportunity of expression.


  • You have been blessed to travel the world to places like Belize and other major cities around the world. How has your passion for traveling broadened your artistic perspective?

Traveling opens us up to entire worlds where the people, customs, food and culture can be vastly different from our own. These experiences allow our own worldview to expand, allowing us to see things from a variety of perspectives. Our natural curiosities are heightened when we question, wonder and experience the world and traveling is a catalyst for those mentally expansive perspectives. Meeting and engaging with people from other places also fills us with a greater understanding and appreciation for diversity and our inherent uniqueness. 


  • What have been some of your favorite art shows to be a part of?

Art shows have been an excellent way to meet new creatives and gain exposure in spaces dedicated to the expression and appreciation of art. My very first show was a shared show with my artist sister and was a wonderful learning experience. Pancake and Booze Art Show and Chocolate and Art Show are both excellent shows I have participated in that attract many talented creatives and art lovers alike. I was invited to showcase at the Atlanta Jazz Festival which was an incredible two-day exhibition that brought people from all over the nation. I also had a solo show which was quite successful. I am grateful for each experience because each had such a different vibe and I always learn something new. 


  • What are some of your five-year goals for Obasi Art?

My focus right now is to gain exposure and build my client base. In five years, I would love to acquire international commissions in the Caribbean and on the Continent;  specifically Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya. Public art has also piqued my interest lately. I have begin to explore and create projects geared toward sustainable art, which uses recycled items, and mural designs aimed at beautifying and enhancing our community and public spaces. Obasi Art will also do more collaborations with other creatives of all kinds from art, fashion, hair and even tech. 


  • What do you think some of the positive benefits are with the emergence of art in the Atlanta area for Black people and creatives in the city?

Placing art as a necessary component of our communities, spaces and lives. I think the more the city, and its people, support the arts, the more opportunity there is for growth, both economically and culturally. Art sparks ideas, inspires conversation and can even challenge our way of thinking. It inspires creative solutions and inspirational collaborations for the greater good of our city.  We need to continue to pour into the arts for our city, for its citizens and for our children. 

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