Monday, March 2, 2009

Exclusive Q&A Session With Dawn Okoro

“A Word For My Sistas” featured painter, Dawn Okoro, a few week ago and now she is featured again today with an exclusive Q&A session.

You may not be familiar with Dawn Okoro just yet, but it is befitting to say that this sista is well on her way to becoming a household name. An aspiring artist, Dawn has already received worldwide recognition and her artwork has been on exhibit from the galleries of Texas to the galleries of Paris. Original and astonishing is not just a few words to describe Dawn’s artwork, but those words can be used to describe Dawn herself. A graduate of the University of Texas, Dawn is currently a law student at Thurgood Marshall School of Law. Whether Dawn focuses her attention more on her artwork or on practicing law remains to be seen, but either way, this true renaissance woman is definitely on the trail to success.

Onetta: How long have you been painting?

Dawn: I have been creating art for as long as I can remember; I started off drawing. I did my first painting for art class in high school. However, it was in 2005 that I decided to actually pursue a career as an artist.

Onetta: If you had to describe your artwork in one word, what would it be?

Dawn: Soul.

Onetta: You have created so many great pieces of art. One of my favorite paintings is “A Baby Story.” What serves as inspiration for your paintings?

Dawn: I am inspired by people and popular culture. A friend of mind in Austin, TX posed for “A Baby Story.” The end product resonated a new life and innocence. That is how I got the title for the painting.

Onetta: Last semester in my humanities class, I watched a video where a young man was frustrated because he felt that in the prominent galleries across the country, the representation of artwork by black artists was limited. What are your thoughts on that issue?

Dawn: Being new to the art business, I had not thought about this problem until I started hearing other artists expressing concerns about this issue. I think it’s very unfortunate that art world would shut out anyone based on the color of their skin. Hopefully, with the progression of society, artists of color will be better represented through in prominent galleries in the future. In the mean time many artists, including myself, are turning to alternative art spaces.

Onetta: I have said that you are a true “renaissance women.” You are not only an artist, but you are a law student as well. Are people surprised by that fact?

Dawn: Most people who find this out are surprised by the fact. The most common question I get is “which one are you going to choose?”

Onetta: Artist and lawyer tend to be on the opposite end of the spectrum. Are you striving to have a successful career as an artist as well as a lawyer?

Dawn: I am going to devote most of my energy to building a successful career as an artist. However, I do plan to become licensed as an attorney and I would use those skills to help myself and others with “art law” issues.

Onetta: What advice would you give to someone who is seeking a career as an artist or a lawyer?

Dawn: For both careers, I would recommend: do your research, find a mentor, and focus.

Onetta: Complete the following sentence for me. In the next 5 years Dawn Okoro will…

Dawn: be content.

To learn more about Dawn Okoro and to discover how to purchase one of her paintings, visit

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