„I live on Bryden Road in the African Village, Columbus, Ohio. It is a very special place: spiritually, artistically and culturally. I am at home here“
Chief Shongo Obadina, Curator.
In 1976, trying to fulfill the needs of indigenous artists to have a place to show their art and to discuss it, Chief Shongo Obadina bought 1270 Bryden Road and started a gallery.
Incorporated in 1978, the
Urban Cultural Arts Foundation
was established to administer the
William H. Thomas Art Gallery
as a place for artists to showcase and appreciate cultural expression without being limited by “mainstream” galleries.
The Urban Cultural Arts Foundation was created and sustained by the people of the community to inspire, educate, and entertain audiences by providing venues for the visual and performing arts and also a wide range of professionally excellent and artistically significant presentations. We also serve as a resource and gathering place for the community-at-large. Our main mission is to be a resource for the entire community. Accordingly, we have presented a wide mix of high-quality events, including community art shows, dance performances, plays, children’s workshops, tours, and outreach activities. We have richly varied programming that attracts diversified audiences. Our programs attract many patrons from all over including adults, children, educators, and school children. Educators and parents take part in our outreach activities and symposia on such topics as racism and intolerance. We also strive to develop a growing appreciation of the artist, works of art, and development of the arts in the community. We believe the arts to be of primary importance to the survival of the community and to the health of its society. Our purpose is to get people to realize that art is not just entertainment; not just a luxury; not just a pleasant pastime; and not just a gratification or activity for the elite. We believe experience of art allows us to participate in the universal creative process, open hearts and minds, awaken feelings, and bring delight and joy.
LONG STREET BRIDGE MURAL
in Columbus, Ohio, USA – Chief Baba Shongo Obadina, Owner and Curator of the W.H.T. Art Gallery as well as his gallery in the hood is part of this great mural