Omar Shaheed


After very humble beginnings, Omar used his artwork as a means to leave his early struggles and poverty behind. He was repeatedly told that being an artist was not only not a viable career path, but an embarrassment. He first studied art by filling out a workbook of sorts offered by an art instruction school he found advertising in the back of a magazine in the early 1960's, deliberately against his mother's wishes. 

Following a stint in the Navy, Omar began sculpting.  He would go on to study art more formally on the GI Bill, studying both at the San Francisco Art Academy and Memphis Art College.  His artistic pursuits have taken him across the country, one opportunity to show his work leading to the next. 

Omar has placed public works in the Columbus area, including outside of Grant Hospital, the Linden Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, and Zanzibar Cafe. He has also placed work in the Laongo Sculpture Park in Burkina Faso, and in the Bronx, NYC. 

While not yet widely known to the central Ohio region, Omar's thought-provoking and culturally significant work has become the embodiment of his life experiences... ones both challenging and triumphal.

 

 

Exhibitions:

2016: Beyond the Roots of the Ghetto, National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center, Dayton, Ohio
2005: Franklin Park Conservatory, Columbus, Ohio
2003: Sculpture in the Park Invitational, Loveland, Colorado
2002: New Harlem Renaissance Exhibition Invitational, Indianapolis, Indiana
2002: Art Fresco, Elmhurst, Illinois
2002: African American Art Exhibition, Chicago, Illinois