Ademola Olugebefola is one of the original founders of the WEUSI Artist Collective in 1965 and the first Educational Director of the WEUSI Academy of African Arts and Studies in 1969.
Ademola began his professional career as a bassist. He played with several small ensembles throughout the New York metropolitan area during the late ’50s and early 1960s. He later studied big band bass with the great Attila Zoller. “Sometimes while playing certain notes and passages I would see specific colors while grooving with my eyes closed…,” he noted. This experience, a phenomenon, fascinated him, and he would then have the good fortune of meeting trumpeter, composer and bandleader Calvin Strickland, who founded POMUSICART, Inc. While serving as art director of POMUSICART (poetry, music and art) in the mid-’60s, Ademola experimented with attempts to capture the sensory effect of sound in painting that culminated with the “Blues for Nat Turner Jazz Suite.” In spontaneously combining poetry, music and visual art in series of concerts at the Skyline Ballroom at the former Hotel Theresa in Harlem, this avant-garde production was reminiscent of traditional African Ceremonial Theatre with the dynamics of a contemporary sensibility.
He retired from playing music in the late ’60s to devote full time to the “visual sciences.”
He is a highly respected cultural activist and renowned Harlem artist, whose art and career papers are in the permanent collection of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Hatch-Billops Archives, Howard University, and scores of other American institutions. He is one of the Executive Producers of the forthcoming landmark film, “Drama Mamas: Black Female Theatre Directors in the Spotlight and Remembered.”
For over the past four decades, Ademola has lived and worked in Harlem. His current residency at the Chashama Harlem Studios, in the artist’s words: “…has been a great creative experience and provides me with critical work space and prolific incentive to expand my longstanding interest in the exploration of pure color and form in painting.”
His work is in numerous collections of prominent Harlemites, and individual collectors and institutions internationally.
Website: Legacy of a Living Artist
P.O. Box 3104