We had the good fortune of connecting with Abiola Wabara and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Abiola, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I was born and raise in Parma, Italy by Nigerian parents, which meant growing up with not a lot of people that looked liked me. That was a big inspiration behind my art as I started painting what I felt and saw beautiful in being black, which wasn’t exactly celebrated through out my childhood and teen years.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art work, as briefly mentioned earlier, is my representation of what I see beautiful in being black. In my past life I was a professional basketball player, which led me to working in a different country pretty much every year.

The only constant was being able to paint wherever I was, that is how Art by Abiola got started. I did not always think my artwork was sharing worthy, and frankly suspected that people that did like it did so because of them also being basketball fans.

Once I got the courage to start my online gallery and truly share my work and process, things started to look up. I was able to share my vision in Italy, Spain and Israel and to bring it back to my now home, Houston. My main want is for anyone that sees my work to feel, feel the peace, the anguish or happiness my paintings carry with them and know they are a reflection of me.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am a bit of a home buddy, but I never pass up a good hookah spot to go and chill in the evening, so I would suggest Cafe Layal in Mid Town. During the day I would definitely recommend museum hopping, walking around McGowen park and Herman Park, and if scheduled catching a performance at the outdoor miller theater.

I enjoy watching movies, so I have to suggest  the roof top outdoor movie theater for some oldies but goodies. For the evening go walk around Montrose to thrift and find some good ole tacos and bar hop, and maybe catch a speak easy session at Avant Gard, who knows maybe an impromptu tattoo on the way!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I don’t have a specific person I would recognize, but I would definitely like to thanks and truly show appreciation to all that have seen value in my art work, by either buying it, sharing with friends or simply complimenting it and encouraging me to keep going. It has meant the world and kept me going over the years.

Website: www.artbyabiola.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artbyabiola/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/art-by-abiola/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/artbyabiola

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/artbyabiola

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