Barbara Atim Okeny

Travel in Europe, immersion in a variety of cultures, awakened my interest in artistic exploration of my own cultural background. My family is from Juba, South Sudan, but I was born and raised in America. My work is an exploration of the disconnect between both cultures and my own familial roots. Focusing on themes such as lineage, heritage, and tradition to gain a better understanding of my own cultural identity. As a first-generation immigrant, african american, female artist and art therapist, each facet of my identity influences this exploration.

I use family photographs that I’ve taken myself or taken by other family members as inspiration. This artistic exploration of my own cultural identity signifies where I came from and how I came to be the artist and person that I am today. Through oil painting and printmaking I try to capture the essence of my family members and where they came from. Recreating these old family photographs, putting my own artistic mark on it by altering the image, ensuring that my own artistic voice rings through.