I was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In 1982, during the height of Ethiopia’s political turmoil, I migrated to the United States to avoid persecution by the military socialist regime then in power. Upon coming to the United States, I decided to pursue a career in the arts, and enrolled in the theater and arts management program at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia. After graduation, in 1987, I immersed in many disciplines within the creative world. In May 2000, I completed the Masters in Fine Art Program at Howard University.
My paintings incorporate the fusion of experiences, observation, influences and contemplation spanning my entire life. Growing up in my native Ethiopia, my childhood imagination was always moved by the ragged lines, the warm colors, the expressive eyes, and the stories told by ancient religious paintings in the churches.
My artistic interest will always make me an explorer. I am a gypsy who tries to tell eyeful stories by means of color, brush strokes, movements, shapes and characters. These stories visualize and portray my story, the stories of the Africans, the stories of the Americans and the stories of the world.