Start At Home: Influence, Commitment, Integrity
Featuring work by three emeritus faculty members from The Ohio State University, this exhibition celebrates the legacies of H. Ike Okafor-Newsum, Robert J. Stull, and Pheoris West as artists, mentors and teachers.
H. Ike Okafor-Newsum (Horace Newsum)
Emeritus Professor H. Ike Okafor-Newsum was born in Memphis, TN in 1951. He is a member of the Neo-Ancestralist Artist Collective based in Cincinnati, OH. Professor Newsum joined the faculty of The Ohio State University in 1988 and taught Black Cultural Studies in the Department of African-American and African Studies, where he served as department Chair from 2010 to 2016. He received a Doctor of Arts Degree in 1977 from the University of Michigan in Rhetoric and Sociolinguistics, a Master of Arts from the Division of Cultural Studies at Governors State University (University Park, Illinois) in 1974 and a Bachelor of Arts from Chicago State University in Literature and Drama in 1973. After completing his studies at University of Michigan, he moved to Ile-Ife, Oyo State, Nigeria where he taught at the University of Ife until 1981. A mixed-media artist, Professor Newsum’s work is heavily influenced by the present and past predicament of Black people and the art and cultures of Africa and its diaspora. Dr. Newsum’s work is widely published, with his most recent work being SoulStirrers: Black Art and the Neo-Ancestral Impulse, published in 2016.
Robert J. Stull
Robert J. Stull (1935-1994) was born in Springfield, OH. Dr. Stull was a graduate of The Ohio State University receiving both his B.A and M.A. degree. Following graduation, he received a Fulbright scholarship and studied in Kyoto, Japan, for two years. After returning to the U.S., he taught at the University of Michigan prior to joining the faculty at The Ohio State University in the Department of Black Studies. Dr. Stull chaired the Department of Art from 1975-79 when he assumed the position of Associate Dean in the College of the Arts. During his teaching career, he continued his own work as a ceramicist, painter and photographer. Over 1200 of his works are in private and public collections throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, Canada, and the United States, including The Ohio State University, Central State University, the Fulbright Commission, Greenwich House Pottery, Eastside YMCA, Johnson Publishing Company, Kuumba Theatre, and the city of Atlanta. Dr. Stull’s writings and works appear in 24 journals; he holds an honorary doctorate from Wilberforce University.
Pheoris West studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and earned a Masters in Fine Arts degree from Yale University. He served as Associate Professor and taught in The Ohio State University Department of Art’s Painting and Drawing program from 1976-2016. His work has been widely revered, and he has exhibited nationally and internationally. West considers himself an Afrocentric artist, and does not align with modern or post-modern artists. He prefers to integrate the importance of a strong moral society with cultural traditions. Africa is the source for classical art traditions, and African and American cultures inspire his imagery. He symbolizes a universal message through the use of traditional tales, mythologies and religion.