Mon | Sep 23, 2019

BE! The Akoben Aesthetic... - Omari Ra and K. Khalifani Ra exhibition opens August 29 at Olympia Gallery

Published:Sunday | August 25, 2019 | 12:21 AM

BE! The Akoben Aesthetic, Against the Odds, an exhibition of works by multimedia artists Omari Ra (aka Afrikan) and K. Khalifani Ra opens Thursday, August 29 at 6p.m. at the Olympia Gallery.

Omari Ra is the current head of painting at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA) holder of a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. Omari Ra is a 2011 Institute of Jamaica Musgrave silver medallist and a contributor to the National Gallery’s annual and biennial exhibitions.

He has had a solo exhibition in Berne, Switzerland and has participated in the 1994 Havana Biennial and the 1995 Johannesburg Biennial.

Ra is a political artist – his images and iconography often challenge historical and contemporary issues associated with the raising of African black identity and consciousness.

K. Khalifani Ra, a graduate of and former part-time lecturer at EMCVPA, has headed the Visual Arts Department at Excelsior High School. He has exhibited many times in Jamaica at the National Gallery of Jamaica’s biennials (2008-2017) and also in local galleries. In 2018, his work was featured in the United States print publication Scene & Heard - A Journal of Artistic Reflections. He has also shown in New York at the Brooklyn Museum – Infinite Island (2007) and the Queens Museum Caribbean: Crossroads of the World (2012-13); the Yale Centre for British Art, Hartford, Connecticut, and the Museum of Modern Art of Latin America (Washington, DC). He has also participated in the Third Caribbean and Central American Biennial, Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic.

As a part of the exhibition, an open ‘Artist Talk’ at ‘the Olympia’, will be organised on Saturday, September 14, at 10 a.m. with Omari Ra and K. Khalifani Ra.

BE! The Akoben Aesethic, Against the Odds runs from August 29 to September 21, Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., or by special appointment. Admission is free.