Lola Ayisha Ogbara


Lola Ayisha Ogbara is a multimedia artist whose work expresses the essence of being from the perspective of the Black experience. Ogbara’s concepts take shape in a liminal zone where the consequences of history forever seem to influence what is becoming. Whether it manifests as music, film, photography, painting, sculpture or performance, everything Ogbara creates is interconnected by a shared sense of that complex and deeply rooted narrative. Her clay sculptures—amoebic-looking forms seemingly animated by a spectral presence—illustrate the mysteries of that enchanted heritage in a particularly vivid way. Both supported by, and imprisoned upon, their stage-like plinths, these fragile forms read simultaneously like objects of philosophical contemplation and expressions of human agonies and passions. Ogbara hand-makes these forms out of clay, precisely because of the medium’s inherently fragile character, which she says, “symbolizes an essential contradiction implicit in empowerments.” Ogbara holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts Entertainment & Media Management from Columbia College Chicago, and an MFA in Visual Arts from Washington University Sam Fox School of Art & Design. She has 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, and the Coney Family Fund Award hosted by the Chicago Artists Coalition.