Community Workshop

On June 4, 2021, Mikael Owunna led a youth community STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) workshop for 12 middle school students from Homewood at Maker's Clubhouse in which he taught African cosmologies, shared inspirations for his Infinite Essence series, and guided the students through an exercise in which they produced their own Infinite Essence inspired artworks.

"Art as Liberation: Celebrating Black Art in Pittsburgh"

"Art as Liberation: Celebrating Black Art in Pittsburgh" on June 18, 2021, an event presented by Mikael Owunna and 1Hood Media featured 15 Black visual artists at City of Asylum

Infinite Essence: Celestial Liberation

Client: Orange Barrel Media, Curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah

Format: Digital Billboards, Digital Kiosks

Dimensions: 60' x 20', 20' x 30', 65"

Opening Reception: Friday, June 18, 2021 (4-8pm)

Exhibition: June 18, 2021 - June 30, 2021

In collaboration with Orange Barrel Media and curator Larry Ossei-Mensah, artist Mikael Owunna crafted Infinite Essence: Celestial Liberation, a public art project presenting African cosmologies to an estimated 668,924 viewers across the Pittsburgh region on 60 ft x 20 ft digital billboards and 65” kiosks in 11 locations in the city from June 18 - 30, 2021. The exhibition was timed to occur in tandem with the first officially recognized celebrations of Juneteenth in Pittsburgh, an annual holiday celebrating the emancipation of African Americans from slavery, and the work was activated through town hall conversations, and community workshops. On June 18, 2021, Owunna collaborated with 1Hood Media and City of Asylum to host “Art as Liberation: Celebrating Black Art in Pittsburgh,” a community art event that included 14 Black artists, 4 Black performers, free food, music, conversation about police violence and African American history, and a fundraiser for the Antwon Rose II Foundation. Over 400 community members attended the event, and it was extensively featured in local television and print news. On June 19, 2021, Everyday Café hosted a Juneteenth brunch and town hall conversation featuring Owunna and curator Larry Ossei-Mensah in which they discussed public art activations of Infinite Essence in Homewood and around the city, artistic responses to police violence, and encouraged people to engage with the arts and local businesses in Homewood.

Visual Art Locations:

Digital Billboards: 

Route 28 at Clark St

Route 28 at Route 8 

Spin Bike Stations:

Penn Ave/Stanwix St - Location #1 - 603 Stanwix Street

N Highland Ave & Penn Ave - Location #2 - 106 N Highland Ave

First Ave/B Street - Location #3 - 698 First Avenue

Forbes Ave/Market Square - Location #4 - 138 Forbes Avenue

E Carson St/S. 18th St - Location #5 - 1801 E. Carson St

Schenley Dr & Forbes Ave - Location #6 - 221 Schenley Dr

Forbes Ave & S. Bouquet St - Location #7  - 210 S Bouquet St

Federal St & Isabella St - Location #8 - 12 Federal St

10th St. & Liberty - Location #9

Allegheny Station & Heinz Field - Location #10

Schedule of Events:

Monday, May 24

Instagram Live Conversation with Larry Ossei-Mensah and Mikael Owunna / 7-8pm (Virtual)

Thursday, June 3

Infinite Essence Student Workshop / 2-3pm

Bible Center Church, Maker's Clubhouse

7214 Tioga St

Pittsburgh, PA 15208

Friday, June 18

Juneteenth Art Fair, “Art as Liberation: Celebrating Black Art in Pittsburgh”, Curated by Mikael Owunna / 4-8pm

1Hood Media

320 Sampsonia Way

Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Saturday,June 19

Juneteenth Brunch and Conversation with Larry Ossei-Mensah and Mikael Owunna / 11am-1pm

Everyday Cafe

532 N Homewood Ave

Pittsburgh, PA 15208

Tuesday, June 22

Clubhouse Conversation with Larry Ossei-Mensah and Mikael Owunna  / 7-8pm (Virtual)