LOLA AYISHA OGBARA (cultural worker/ artist) born and raised in Chicago, Illinois holds many talents under her belt, i.e. design, mixed media, sculpture, photography and installation. “My practice explores the multifaceted implications and ramifications of sexuality in regards to the Black experience. I work with clay as a material in order to emphasize a necessary fragility which symbolizes an essential contradiction implicit in empowerments”. Ogbara holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts Entertainment & Media Management from Columbia College Chicago in 2013 and a MFA in Visual Arts from Washington University Sam Fox School of Art & Design.

In 2017, Ogbara co-founded Artists in the Room, a collective of artists and scholars who host artists, emerging and well-known, in hopes of serving as a catalyst for artist development and networking. Ogbara has also received numerous fellowships and awards, including the Multicultural Fellowship sponsored by the NCECA 52nd Annual Conference and the Arts + Public Life and Center for the Study of Race, Politics & Culture Residency at the University of Chicago.

Ogbara has exhibited in galleries across the country. She is currently based in Chicago, Illinois.


As an artist whose identity is based primarily in the intersections of Blackness, queerness, and womanhood, my practice becomes a way in which I process circumstances situated within these identities whether occurring in the past, present, or future. The subjugation of identity, gender and sexuality is one entity I examine closely; alongside, tensions of hyper-visibility and invisibility associated with Black femininity. Using sculpture, installation, photography, and collage; I Explore the implications of sexuality surrounding gender and race. I use the body form, as well as, the absence of the body to contemplate complexities of pleasure and desire as an ongoing search for due process. Imagining experiences without deviant myths that perpetually places Black feminine sexuality in anguish tied to horrid racist histories, I often use and reference my own body to create possibilities of pleasure. Through material usage and composition, I emphasize on the nexus between Western colonization and contemporary Black social cultures in order further progressions of a future that isn’t reliant on history.

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