Installation series from ONLI STUDIOS presented at the DuSable Museum in Chicago.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

 "Team BLANGA" is a Black & White Rhythmistic, graphic novel,  90 plus page anthology that takes the reader to places with styles, concepts and themes beyond the formulas of Manga and the Maintstream.  ONLI STUDIOS
 "EAST / WEST Zodiac Journal compares & contrasts the Chinese and Western zodiacs plus has research, tables, charts along with spaces for your personal journal or create notes. ONLI STUDIOS
This amazing book is illustrated by talented female illustrators and artists who wanted to express their interest in healthy practices while promoting open diverse images of how the female may look in this context.  This is a wellness / fitness resource book.  It has spaces for note taking, goal setting plus a Ten Week Work Out Plan.  ONLI STUDIOS

Monday, November 20, 2017

CHICAGO- "This week we lost a fantastic person, scholar, art educator and visual art deity with the passing of Ms Barbara Jones Hogu. I had an amazing and positive connection with her since 1971 that included collegial exchanges of political insights and shared mutual creative practices along with appreciations. We met at a Black Arts Guild exhibition where she was pleased to learn that at age 18 I had organized young talented visual artist into a dynamic guild.  We called ourselves B.A.G. Decades later she even directed and produced a video document on the Black Age of Comics, called "Telling Our Stories. ( On Youtube ) . Unlike many other other Black Nationalistic or "fine" artists, she attended the first and many more annual Black Age of Comics convention in Chicago. She saw the whole value of the Chicago-centric Black Arts Movement as it expanded the entire world of the visual arts and related creativity. I, we, her family, the art world will miss her. But we are all so much better for her presence in our lives. " Prof. Onli

Above: "Unite" by Barbara Jones-Hogu, 1968, screenprint  Below: "Relate, Not Self Hate"

Barbara Jones-Hogu was born on April 17, 1938 in Chicago. She received bachelor's degrees from Howard University and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MFA from the Institute of Design in Chicago. She was a member of the Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC), the group that executed the famous "Wall of Respect" urban mural in Chicago, in 1967.  An event and influential art form that outlives the recent self-hate induced nonsense of being "Post-Black". In 1968, she was a co-founder of the artist collective AfriCOBRA.  Named long before the limited trendy term of "Afrofuturism.  She taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Malcolm X College.
Her work is in several public museum collections including the Brooklyn Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Museum of African American Culture and History, the National Civil Rights Museum, and others. Jones-Hogu will be the subject of a solo museum exhibition at the DePaul Art Museum in Chicago, opening on January 11, 2018. She leaves behind her only son Kuumba Hogu. Barbara passed peacefully in her sleep on November 14, 2017.

Friday, October 6, 2017

October Exhibit
"La Nouvelle Femme" 
Opening Reception, October 6, 2017 5:00-8:00pm 
Exhibit runs through October 29.

Opening with a reception to meet the artists in Michigan City's historic Uptown Arts District. Open Gallery hours are Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons from noon to 5pm (cdt)

The fifth annual art exhibition celebrating the female, "La Nouvelle Femme", with the female as subject will be expressed in every way, shape and form and is open to members and guests alike.  Be it abstract, traditional, sculpted or any other method of painting, photography, drawing or artistic rendering,.

"La Nouvelle Femme" will take center stage and open at the Southern Shore Art Gallery, 724 Franklin St. in Michigan City's Uptown Arts District on festive First Friday, October 6 from 5-8pm.

The exhibition is in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM), an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause and prevention.  The exhibit will run through Sunday, October 29th. 

The Gallery is located at 724 Franklin Street, Michigan City, IN.
For further information, visit the SSAA website at or visit the SSAA Facebook page
image by Turtel Onli  from his "No Evils" collection of Rhythmistic art. 

Onli with the "Rhythmistic Baule" quilt that is featured in the "Inside Out" Group exhibition.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017

Ms M-Brown, a spoken wordsmith reading a Rhythmistic graphic novel about the origin of "Susthah-Girl, Queen of the Black Age" from ONLI STUDIOS.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

"NOG: Nubian of Greatness",  is the character & hero that opened the door to the growing Black Age of Comics movement & genre when it was published by ONLI STUDIOS in 1981. NOG was created in 1978 and ran as a strip in the Chicago Defender daily newspaper.

Now it comes in a Rhythmisticly colored Graphic Novel from ONLI STUDIOS, Colored by the ever talented Ashley A. Woods.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

" Rhythmism lives!!!!!"
Studio lockdown time for Prof. Onli....... Here are a couple of samples of the current practices.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

ONLI STUDIOS produced this video during its 2011 Annual Black Age Convention.  This event is the longest running and original event of its type. It was first given in 1993.  Prof. Onli often asks how creative will folks be in their mature years.  Is their interest in Afrofuturism a fad? Is it a passing party? Or will it open a mind set to discover and create over the course of a life time?

He notes the undercurrent of agism that seems to be present along with the issues of not recognizing the presence over decades of this genre, beyond the few musicians that based on a mainstream record deal gets more credit than actually earned.  Is the bar as low as a few cosmic themed party songs followed by a drug induced ruined career with no real professional legacy to hire and invest?

Sort of asking......when the patty is over and the school loans are due....what then? That is when Afrofuture meets your future!

Prof. Onli recently retired from teaching and coaching at the Chicago Public Schools but still teaches at the Harold Washington  College in Chicago.

Prof. Onli with one of his Studio Drawing Classes.
Prof. Onli out in Chicago.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Prof. Onli receiving a Life Time Achievement Award from ECBACC's Founder & Director, Bro. Yum Odom, at Temple University in 2006. 
2015: Prof. Onli leaving a POSSE Scholars celebration in Chicago.
 He was there as a guest of his intern Tamir.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

BAG: Kenneth Hunter, Roy Lewis, Espi Frazier, and Turtel Onli. Photo by BAG member Jim Smoote. At the 1972 National Conference of Artists Convention banquet at Howard University. We were BAG: The Black Arts Guild. We shocked the elders and the more orthodox folk there. We were bad and bold! BAG expanded the reach and practice of the then so called Black Art Movement. Our self sustaining guild bonded to insure we would make the transition from gifted students to successful professional visual artists while bringing the power and potential of our artists' culture and innovations to the mainstream. We took that battle to the giant and won many victories. The ever-cool photographer Roy Lewis bombed in on the pix with us. Agism as being too young was a block, then the idea that taking the creative fight to the mainstream was selling out...etc...etc.... The watermelon was our logo. The brilliant designer Robert Esshu Paige supported us with studio space and a sense of cosmopolitanism, Onli is wearing a buba top made from Paige's Dakkabar Collection of textiles. We did win with work with the likes of Essence Magazine, Playboy, Johnson Publishing Company, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Denmark Records, Younger Gallery and our touring watermelon themed art exhibitions. Circa 1970 - 1978.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

This is a personal journal reference art book that compares & contrasts the Chinese and Western Zodiac.  Multicultural and personal all at one.  The pages have open-area spaces and borders to accept your unique notes, entries, doodles and other visual expressions.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Celebrating 50 Years: Wall of Respect, The Chicago Picasso & All Power to the People since 1967!

Clearly collectors are a factor. Private, personal, institutional, and organizational ones. They often perform the function of "king" or "queen" maker by using their resources and connections to focus attention on the artists they tend to empower while marginalizing the ones they are indiferrent to. As customers of fine art collectors do a tremdous service. But real history is the factual story of what really happended. Not the story of what one wishes to promote or likes. That would be advertisement or branding. Which is cool....but not the whole story.

Art and "new" styles based out of Chicago are often overlooked in this shuffle. The '70s saw Jim Smoote, Dalton, Brown, Obie Creed, Kenneth Hunter Espi Frazier, and Turtel Onli form BAG. This union gave rise to the Afro-Deco style which Hunter innovated for clients like Essence Magazine and Muntu. Or the Rhtyhmistic movement which Brown and Onli often advocate. Smoote's masterful innovations in textiles and quilting are a must for many collectors yet undervalued for his creative design insights and technical power. Then there was the overwhelming power of the Chicago Mural Movment with Bill Walker, John Pitman-Weber, Calvin Jones, Eugene Eda, and Mitchell Caton.

Too often the conversation is subtractive in tone. As if these and a great many other things did not happen. Or the starting point is 1990 or 2000. It is sort of like how Black History was once taught that Negroes began in Americna slavery and omitted the obvious greatness of all that was African. A little more appreciation of the overall art history and production in Chicago during the '70s and '80s would reveal a great deal while raising questions about censorship, branding, and denial. 

Even the mighty and inspirational muralist Bill Walker still lives among us......but rarely is referred to by many collectors, teachers, or artists. Funny that "Chicago" thing of not addressing its greats. Talk about a stale joke. was a site that explored some of this. It is a work in progress and welcomes positive suggestions. This former online Rhythmistic Museum asks the question  for over ten years, in the construct of its "Omission Mission Decision" Just navigate the links. ME? I collect Black Age prints and posters. "The truth is out there.....if we just look!"

A portion of this collection is on display at the African American Cultural Center at UIC for the month of Oct. 2008 as part of "BLACK AGE XI". for details.

Monday, February 27, 2017

"Afro Future started when and by whom?  Think about it!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Self Portrait: Created in Paris , 1978.  "Before pushing pause to wait for creative and artistic company to arrive." 

Rhythmism decided to be patient until Afrofuturism arrived.  Now we rocking the visual!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Mint said it is issuing the coins to "reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of the United States."

WASHINGTON (AFP).- The United States is set to issue a commemorative $100 gold coin that depicts Lady Liberty -- a national symbol generally portrayed as a white woman -- as an African American for the first time. The 24-karat gold piece will be released in honor of the United States Mint's 225th anniversary, one of a series of coins that will feature a racially diverse array of Lady Liberties. The coins will "depict an allegorical Liberty in a variety of contemporary forms -- including designs representing Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Indian-Americans among others," the Mint said in a statement released Thursday. The Mint said it is issuing the coins to "reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of the United States." The new coin will be released on April 6 featuring the bust of a distinctly African-American Liberty, with a crown of gold stars. Underneath appear the words "In God we trust" and the dates 2017 and 1792, the year Congress created the Mint.