Art Exhibition and Artist Talk

“My Favorite Things”

Curated by Chief Shongo Obadina and Columbus Art Collector Keith J. Neal

Opening Reception

Sunday, November 21st 2021

4pm to 7pm

at the William H. Thomas Art Gallery

1270 Bryden Rd., Columbus Ohio 43205

The Urban Cultural Arts Foundation presents this ten-week exhibition at the end of a very good year. Brilliant exhibitions with fabulous entertainment at the opening receptions, excellent workshops, virtual shows, lively artist talks and gallery tours as well as an great African Village Arts Festival in summer are behind us and with our “Favorite Things” we will say good bye until next year.

Keith Neill will ad some favorite pieces of his wonderful art collection and Chief Shongo will highlight some of his favorite art pieces from artists like Aminah B. L. Robinson, Sabine Lampe, Edward J. Colston, Roman Johnson, Barbara Chavous … just to mention a few. Together they will present an art exhibition with a great variety of paintings, sculptures, collages, graphic-, surface- and, furniture design, as well as an inspiring entertainment.

Curator Chief Shongo Obadina is inviting you to enjoy the art show and is ready to make appointments for your further visits at the following ten-week exhibition.

Gallery hours are Saturdays, 2:00 – 4:00 pm and by appointment.

Every precaution will be taken to ensure the safety of our guests and staff. A mask and social distancing will be required of anyone entering the gallery. If you prefer to schedule an appointment, please contact the gallery at [email protected]  or (614) 745-1753. We will gladly accommodate your schedule outside gallery hours or we will block a time to close the gallery for a private consultation.

The Urban Cultural Arts Foundation (UCAF) presents this ten-week exhibition and invited Benjamin Crumpler, native of Columbus and nationally as well as internationally well-known multiple-mixed media artist who persuades with his the great variety of paintings, sculptures, collages, graphic-, surface- and, furniture design, murals, plaster, and bas reliefs. Benjamin Crumpler’s diverse work can be found on social media, the Benajmin-Marcus collection, a fine art selection of multi-media works from United States and Eastern Europe is for sale.

“The Door that tells a Story” is a special show: Over the last weeks Benjamin Crumpler and Woodcarver Chief Shongo Obadina are designing a unique wooden door for the William H. Thomas Art Gallery, unfolded in the presence of interested members of the public at the gallery opening hours. Creating the door with their profound knowledge of history, stories, symbols, and signs, and applying established and innovative methods, Benjamin drew and Shongo carved their and our stories into the door. The door will be installed to become a piece of art that keeps sharing “our stories” to pass down generations.

The Art Show Opening will celebrate the creating of this art project and also will present a profound insight of the diverse art of Benjamin Crumpler and Shongo Obadina. The following ten-week exhibition will be accompanied by gallery tours with presentations, lectures, and artist talks. Curator Chief Shongo Obadina is inviting you to enjoy the art show and is ready to make appointments for further visits. The project and the art show are sponsored in parts by  THE GREATER COLUMBUS ARTS COUNCIL     

Face Series – Benjamin Crumpler
Pataki – Chief Shongo Obadina

Virtual Showcase – Black History Month Exhibition

Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 4 pm

Please join us:

“4est” Beatty

Chantal Stone

Chantal Stone is a self-taught abstract painter creating work in the field of abstract expressionism, lyrical expressionism, and occasionally impressionism.  Her influences come largely from music (particularly Jazz) and current events & social justice issues. She began painting at age 13, worked for many years as a professional photographer, then later put the camera away and came back to painting in search of more creative freedom and self-expression. She lives in Columbus, Ohio.

Nora Musu

Gregory Pridgen

Born on August 1st 1949 in Columbus, Ohio Gregory did grew up in Poindexter Village. He always liked to listen to music and loves to paint pictures. In 71/72 he was a cook in Vietnam [ Pleiku ] The Helicopter Pilots did go out and fight . When they returned he did feed them and sometimes they asked, while in the lunch line, if they could have more than two pieces of Chicken and Gregory said: ” you can even have 4 pieces of chicken” (smile). Gregory´s father was a house painter so : “I guest its in my DNA to paint! I met “Shongo and everything else is history.”   

This Februar exhibition is sponsored in parts by

August 2020 Art Show

Donas Paralelas

Featuring Alanna G. Rex and Felicia Dunson

The art exhibition “Donas Paralelas” opens with an exciting reception on

Sunday, August 16th 2020 from 4pm to 7pm

at the William H. Thomas Art Gallery

1270 Bryden Rd., Columbus Ohio 4320

Urban Cultural Arts Foundation (UCAF) presents this twelve-week exhibition and invited Alanná G. Rex and Felicia Dunson, both Columbus born emerging artists. Every precaution will be taken to ensure the safety of our guests and staff. A mask will be required of anyone entering the gallery.

Alanna G. Rex is a scholar, lover of life, performer and honoree of the Social Change and Community Philanthropists Award. She is dedicated to the rights of women and girls and to raising awareness and creating solutions to address social injustice. This multi-talented former model and artist of color in white-dominated space explores the literary Dark Lady and the visibility of the marginal in cultural storytelling.

Felicia Dunson also a brilliant artist on the rise, is a member of the “Creative Women of Color” and has been working with GCAC on current events and art exhibitions in the central Ohio area. She is an art instructor and a formally trained fine artist with a passion for fashion and an urban arts background. She also goes by the name FDZgraffiti ( 

Curator of this exhibition is Chief Baba Shongo Obadina who is excited about this special show featuring two native Columbus` artitst both emerging and with their special own style. “The Gallery in the hood has an over 40 years history and so many of our very good artists left their foot prints here… it is important always to give also the emerging artists their room and their audience… here we are: two wonderful ladies, artists on a strong and creative way. I am happy to have them here. Come and check it out.”

Here are some pics of the very good Opening Reception and a big thank you to our great photographer Jamia Shepherd – Contact: [email protected].

Examples of former exhibitions at the William H. Thomas Art Gallery

More about Chief Shongo´s Patakis you may check out at “The Art of Chief Shongo Obadina”

and also a big THANK YOU to GCAC: Baba Shongo got an artist grant for the PATAKIS!

water postcard invitation front

“WATER – Element of Life”

Artist Group Exhibition and an exciting Opening Reception

The art exhibition “WATER – Element of Life” opens with an exciting reception on


May 20, 2018, 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm

David Merwin will add his atmospheric compositions to the opening to enhance our gallery experience. David is a guitarist who served as the former Secretary and now as President of The Guitar Club at The Ohio State University.  KEN OBASI LESLIE will play the trumpet… Ken is a wonderful artist who had his last show at the WHT Art Gallery in February 2018. He also is a famous musician and part of the legendary group The Last Boppers. Baba Jubal Harris will present and play a water drum, Joann Nagel will bring her singing balls out of Christa and metall as well as a gong… they will accompany us to be in, with, around, through and by water… our element of life

water postcard invitation back

Urban Cultural Arts Foundation (UCAF), and Chief Shongo Obadina present this ten-week exhibition and invited well known as well as emerging artists to showcase their art of “WATER”, exploring their own media to interpret H2O. Media will be Sculpture, Paper Installations, Nuno Felting, Painting, Poetry, Cooking, Music and Photography.

The goal of Sabine Lampe, Artist and Guest – Curator of this show is, to bring together this multidisciplinary artistic mixture… WATER with all senses … visual expression, spoken words, sound, music, food – same topic: WATER is Life.

Let us present some of the artists

Benjamin Crumpler at the Water Show
Baba Jubal for WATER SHOW babaa ritah water 5.18 Yasue Sakaoka for WATER SHOW water show - my partRoger Williams at the Water Show Omas Shaheed for WATER SHOW Margrit Jahns for program Judith Spater for program
Susann Moeller at the Water Show
please check out more former exhibitions
invitation 1
February 2018 Show
Ken Leslie Obasi
Angels and Ascended Beings
august show-3
Check out a few more examples of our former exhibitions and shows
pwThis Art Show will honor our beloved brother Pheoris West who is in the need of our love and support. The proceeds from the sale of the art work will go to him and his family. So come and support our brother. The event will include live jazz and light refreshments.
Come and enjoy the festivities and take home a great work of art. The event will include live jazz and light refreshments.3febShowBintu is hereexhibit BintuGoing Home

mayshow postcardFrom May 17 to July 31, 2015

the Urban Cultural Arts Foundation

was proud to present

Soul Survival:

The Art of Forrest “4est” A. Beatty

Eglé Gatins and Shelbi Harris-Roseboro, were the curators of “Soul Survival”.

The show was a unique series of mixed media work created on prison bedsheets presenting both figurative and abstract graphic storytelling. “4est” (1946- 2005) is from Worthington, Ohio and graduated from Linden McKinley High school and also studied at the Columbus Collage of Art and Design.


February/ March/ April 2015

Urban Cultural Arts Foundation (UCAF) presented “The Art of the Cultural Wall” in conjunction with Black History Month. The opening reception and artist talk occured on

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Chief Shongo Obadina, curator of the art show „Art of the Cultural Wall“ was glad to announce this exhibition featuring internationally known artists Larry Winston Collins and Kojo Kamau. Collins and Kamau   presented selected pieces from the “Cultural Wall” Project located on the Long Street Bridge in Columbus Ohio. Collins and Kamau designed the mural after the two artists were selected to collaborate on the project in 2012. The bridge over interstate 71 links the downtown Discovery District with the Near East Side of Columbus known as the King- Lincoln District.

Larry Winston Collins – multi media artist from Cincinnati, Ohio and a graduate of CCAD, lived and worked in the Columbus Near East Side for many years. Kojo Kamau – photographer and a native of Columbus, was born and raised on the Near East Side. Kojo has documented the people and places in Columbus for most of his life. Both Larry and Kojo have had a long time relationship with the William H. Thomas Art Gallery.     

October/ November/ December 2014                                                      

invitation When my Soul Speaks

Columbus’ Artist ANTOINETTE SAVAGE, guest curator at the WHT Art Gallery presented



Yolandé Berger and Wendolyn Bonaparte

The fourteen-week exhibition debuted two outstanding emerging artists: Wendolyn Bonaparte, former art teacher, sculputure/painter and photographer/wellness coach Yolandé Berger. Both shared their chosen medium through visual and spoken word expression.

Antoinette Savage said the title “When My Soul Speaks” was chosen because ”it is my When my Soul Speaksbelief that when artists communicate through their art with whatever mediums they may use they are speaking from their souls. One of the most challenging concepts an emerging artist faces is accepting their own unique voice. Another difficulty is to refrain from comparing their work to others and the self assurance to create their own ‘soul song’. I challenged each presenting artists to, through their own expression, show how ‘soul communication’ works for them. The results are truly amazing.”

August/ September/ October 2014 

AVAF 2014 posterThe show, curated by Chief Baba Shongo Obadina, featured the artists Stephen Canneto, Pepper Johnson, Bruce Robinson, Andrew Scott, and Omar Shaheed as a part of the 8th Annual African Village Arts Festival

Entertainment was provided by


May/ June/ July 2014

May 2014 Show WHT Art Gallery

May 2014 Show invitation

AS I SEE IT Columbus’ Black Achievers Plus..

From May to July Urban Cultural Arts Foundation presented this show featuring native Columbus DE Constructivist Artists Roger Williams.

The opening reception and artist talk occured on Sunday, May 18, 2014, at William H. Thomas Art Gallery (1270 Bryden Rd, Columbus, OH, 43205) from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Curator Chief Baba Shongo Obadina is prepared a great show. He stated: ” I am happy to welcome and feature Roger Williams at our gallery in the African Village of Columbus Ohio. This area of the city is also Roger’s home where he lives and works.”

Roger Williams showed his collection of portraits  “AS I SEE IT – Columbus’ Black Achievers Plus..and stated about this show:  “I have done poraits over the years and have worked for Andy Warhol. I lived in the back of his studio in New York in the 80th.  I became interested in Andy’s portraits. I call it court painting of famous people in a pop art style. I returned to Columbus in 1990 and wanted to do portraits again, but not in a pop art style. I decided to do a series of portraits called “The Deconstructed Image”: Pop Art under the umbrella of postmodern art was deconstructed. DE constructivist art is irreverent. It overlaps layering and transparencies in an articulated style of drawing with 360 degree directions and energy. In Columbus I picked famous artists and politicians to paint i.e. Elijah Pierce, Mike Coleman, Aminah Robinson, Emerson Burkhart plus Barack Obama selfies and others on a larger scale in an architectural tool-style drawing plus color.  I think DE constructivist, Hip Hop, new pop, pop surreal, gothic, mundane fairyland, and conceptual are art systems that more define this decade.”

invitation Blended Universe

February/ March/ April 2014 

Cincinnati Artists Group

The art exhibition “Blended Universe” kicked off the 2014 exhibition season at William H. Thomas Art Gallery. The exciting ten-week exhibition featured seven artists from Cincinnati, Ohio: Ken Obasi Leslie, Cynthia Lockhart, Carmen Bush, Lyric Jones, Anthony Stollings, Jack Walker and Kor Kor January.

Art Show at William H. Thomas Art GalleryUrban Cultural Arts Foundation (UCAF) presented “Blended Universe” in conjunction with Black History Month. The opening reception and artist talk occured on Sunday, February 16, 2014, at William H. Thomas Art Gallery (1270 Bryden Rd, Columbus, OH, 43205) from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Guest curator was well known artist Ken Obasi Leslie. He is native of Cincinnati, attended the Philander Smith College in Little Rock as an Art History Major and exhibited in various venues around the country. Leslie is one of the founding members of the “Neoancestralist Movement” and he states about the upcoming mix media show: “Blended Universe” is a group exhibition focusing on the cosmos and how we are related. We are the way that the universe sees itself. The art deals with a unified existence of which I have coined “Astromythological Cosmology”, the study of our ancestral past and cosmic future through the present expression of spirit”.

Chief Baba Shongo’s Art Show in Fall 2013 at the Martin de Porres Center in Columbus, Ohio 

house of oba fall 2013


Art from the William H. Thomas Art Gallery shown at the Martin de Porres Center

Click here to watch Shongo’s message for the ‘Images of the House of Oba’ Show:

      Images from the House of OBA

from October 28 to December 20, 2013
at the Martin de Porres Center
2330 Airport Drive, Columbus, OH 43219
Work in various media by Columbus artists
Aminah Lynn Robinson, Ed Colston,
Pheoris West, Antoinette Savage,
Roman Johnson, and Sabine Lampe,

curated by Chief Shongo Obadina

of the
William H. Thomas Art Gallery

1270 Bryden Road,
African Village, Columbus Ohio 43205

This show attests to the enduring strength and depth of the African-American artist community in Columbus. These works have the power to challenge us and to move us. 

The profoundly disturbing paintings by Roman Johnson on hunger still haunt us today as issues of hunger persist, calling for a response.

The whimsical sculptural figures of Antoinette Savage and the graphic elegance of Aminah Robinson’s prints and drawings examine themes of memory and spirit.

The mixed media paintings of Ed Colston and the Afrocentric imagery of Pheoris West celebrate painting and the right to state universal messages. Sabine Lampe’s felt hangings call us to think about our environment and appreciate our natural world.

This work is diverse and bold. The collection grows out of my 30-year involvement in Columbus’ African-American community, through personal friendships with artists and through the programming of the William H. Thomas Gallery located in the African Village of Columbus, Ohio.   Curator: Chief Shongo Obadina

Exhibition at the WHT Art Gallery in August, September and October 2013

letter size flyer AVAfestival 2013“Images From The Homeland”

Art Show Opening Reception- Sunday, August 18th 4 to 7 p.m.

An exhibition was on display of African artifacts belonging to Columbus native and resident, Keith Neal. Neal has been a long time collector and presented his impressive collection of African traditional arts that reveal the outstanding achievements of black multimedia artists from different communities and ethnicities.

On display were objects and materials that are hundreds of years old. “In age, variety and beauty, out of Africa is second to none,” said Neal. “Sometimes before we can experience the impact and beauty of African art we have to understand how our minds have been conditioned by Western cultural values. In a way we have to undergo an aesthetic brainwash. In other words, we have to step back and be able to appreciate this art on its own terms.”

This collection, a true labor of love that grew from a hobby, was selected over an eighteen year period. Compared to traditional art from other parts of the world, the prices for African art are still very reasonable and is often seen by collectors as a very good investment.

Exhibition in May, June and July 2013

Heaven on Earth invitation

hoe program 2hoe program 1

February/ March/ April 2013 Exhibition at WHT Art Gallery:

A. Savage -Speakin' Truth Thru the Ancestors

In February 2013 we welcomed Antoinette Savage as the featured artist and Queen Brooks as our guest curator “Speakin’ Truth Thru the Ancestors”.

This art exhibition kicked off the 2013 exhibition season at William H. Thomas Art Gallery.

The ten-week exhibition featured native Columbus artist Antoinette Savage. Urban Cultural Arts Foundation (UCAF) presented Savage’s artwork in conjunction with Black History Month. The opening reception and artist talk occured on Sunday, February 17, 2013, at our gallery: What a great event!!!!

click on the following link and check out the COLUMBUS DISPATCH article from March 3, 2013

October/November and December 2012 Show:


from the Benjamin – Marcus Permanent Edition by 


The Opening Reception of SMALL WORKS was an exclusive opportunity to meet BENJAMIN CRUMPLER, to enjoy his work and to purchase a signed and colored print of his FACES SERIES in a limited edition. The sales revenue supported the running of the William H. Thomas Art Gallery and helped with financing the upkeep costs of our non-profit organization.

SMALL WORKS - info about the exhibition

Benjamin Crumpler –

multi media artist is a native of Columbus, born and raised on the near East Side. Curator Chief Shongo Obadina was glad to present this show: it was a homecoming.

Ben exhibited his work in the first big show the William H. Thomas Art Gallery held in 1994, “the Ohio Connection”.

Show in summer 2012:


Barbara Chavous featured in May, June and July 2012

postcard Chavous - 1

postcard B. Chavous - Invitation Show

 February/ March/ April 2011ed colston show

Click on the following link to watch the program of our show in 02.11, the Ed Colston Show: Program Ed Colston Show February 2011

May/ June/ July 2011

Click on the next link to watch the program of our show in 05.11, the Grandpa Smoky Brown Show: The Program – Smoky Brown Show – May 2011

Invitation Grandpa Smoky Brown Show postcard back



May/ June/ July





February/ March/ April 2010

February/March/ April 2007


September/ October November 2006

… you would like to see and know more?

Wonderful! Please send us an email to [email protected]