You are here: Home Publications Artists Olugebefola, Ademola

Olugebefola, Ademola

Up one level


Ademola began his professional career as a bassist, playing with several small ensembles throughout the metropolitan area during the late '50s and early 1960s. He later studied big band bass with Atilla Zollar.  "Sometimes while playing certain notes and passages I would see specific colors while grooving with my eyes closed". This experience fascinated him and he would then have the good fortune of meeting trumpeter, composer and bandleader Calvin Strickland, who founded POMUSICART. While serving as art director of POMUSICART (poetry, music, art) in the mid sixties, Ademola experimented with ways to capture the sensory effect of sound in painting which culminated with the "Blues for Nat Turner Jazz Suite". This avant guard production, performed in series of concerts at the Skyline Ballroom at the former Theresa Hotel in Harlem, was reminiscent of traditional African Ceremonial Theatre within the dynamics of a contemporary sensibility.  He retired from playing music in the late sixties to devote full time to the visual arts. However, Ademola has continually incorporated musical ideas and theories in his extensive body of work over the last four decades in hundreds of exhibitions at major American museums, universities and cultural institutions, and has exhibited internationally also. His graphics, marketing, production and stage design experience has served The NY Public Theatre, The New Lafayette Theatre, American Place Theatre, New Heritage Theatre Group, AUDELCO, Frank Silvera Writers Workshop, Community Works and the NY International Fringe Festival among others. He served on the steering committee for National Dance Week/New York 2005- 2006, and was recently appointed NGO representative to the United Nations "International Artists for World Harmony" initiative, representing the New York Metro Martin Luther  King Center for Non-violence.  As an organizer and educator he represents the artistic community as a member of the Community Advisory Board of Columbia University=B9s Harlem Health Promotion Center, on the Board of Governors of the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, a member of the Adam Clayton Powell Memorial Committee and serves as Arts Advisor to the Presidents of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce and the New York Chapter of the National Conference of Artists. He is also an associate art director for the 400 plus member Harlem Arts Alliance. He is a highly respected cultural activist and renowned Harlem artist whose art and career papers are in the permanent collection of the NY 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. His painting and current projects include working with the Society of Caribbean Artists (SOCA), NY MLK Center's United Nations World Harmony Awards international expansion to Japan. He is Executive Producer of the forthcoming documentary film, Drama Mamas!: Black Female Theatre Directors in the Spotlight and Remembered. 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 exploration of pure color and form in painting.


Document Actions