Still on the lookout for unusual backgrounds, hobbies or jobs of artists, this week we meet Heights artist Abiola Wabara.
Before arriving in the Heights, Wabara lived in Italy, Spain, Israel, England, played professional basketball and currently works as a business consultant for a multinational consulting firm.
Wabara paints on canvas and like many artists, can’t remember when art wasn’t important in her life. Probably more so now than ever.
“Art has been in my life ever since I can remember. Painting is my way to vent and free myself from any disappointments, broken heart or bad feelings I may have,” Wabara says in her bio. “My art represents what I see as beautiful or subjects in which eyes I see a different story.”
As I said, there’s more to Wabara than she lets on in her expressive paintings of women and sometimes iconic figures of the past.
Wabara is Italian by birth to Nigerian parents, attended Baylor University on a full basketball scholarship then played professionally in Israel for three seasons before moving to Spain, back to Italy and finally settled in England to pursue a master degree in International Business Management.
Wabara likes to focus her work on the diverse aspects of Black culture and tries to capture the beauty of her people and her culture in the works of art she creates. Her artwork is exciting, bold and expressive. Not only is she fascinated by the human form, but emotions, body language and especially eye expressions. Her style, sense of color is eye-catching.
Wabara is quoted as saying, “I am vulnerable… I hide behind my canvas… I escape without ever having to leave…each paint stroke strips off a part of me…I show you all of me without showing any of me…”
Meet Wabara and view her art in person at First Saturday Arts Market this Saturday. The show is open 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., at 530 W. 19th Street, right between Penzeys Spices and YogaOne Studios. 1stSatArtMarket.com. Wabara can be found online at artbyabiola.com.
Cohen is an artist and founder of First Saturday Arts Market and the new Market at Sawyer Yards, find him at ArtValet.com.