Chicago Ghanaian's mission to bring art to a village in Ghana

I was born and raised in Ghana, West Africa in a small rural village called Odumasi. Before we had lights in my village, I use to watch a small black and white TV set powered by my uncle's car battery while trying to draw cartoon characters. I loved art because it was a wonderful way for me to express my inner joy and happiness.

I am a self- taught artist. Art has always fascinated me since childhood. I was always trying my amateur skills and learning various styles of paintings. My discipline of art is portrait based with very vibrant colors. I love using color to capture expressions and emotions of my subject. More importantly, my work celebrates culture and tradition through the unique lives of the individuals I use as subjects.

Now being in the US, I’ve been privilege to have the best resources and opportunities with art. In my heart, I always knew there was a possible way to give back using my talent. I also plan on bringing art supplies to the village for the children. I most likely will either have to buy the supplies while in Ghana, or ship them.

More often, Africa is portrayed negatively through mass media. Africa is usually referred as disease infested, rampant wars or poverty. Celebrating the culture and tradition of my subjects is my way of sharing their wonderful stories with the world. I believe that my subjects have a story that the worlds need to hear and my paintings are expressions of my interactions with them.

Teaching art in Ghana will not only help provide supplies but will also provide kids ways to channel their inner joy and happiness as it did for me. I will be documenting this next trip with Emmy Award Winning filmmaker Carlos Cortes.

Solomon Adufah