An Ethiopian Diary: The Final Days (Seeing Artists’ Souls Through Their Work)

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The Ethiopian Odyssey II team at Nahosenay’s studio.

Visiting our friends’ studios is a final highlight in an extremely full trip.

First, our team arrives at the studio of Nahosenay Negussie. Gasps could be heard as we entered. His art so alive and vibrantly beautiful. It is one thing to be painting alongside of someone on the road; it’s quite another to enter his studio, filled with finished pieces. It is here in the studio that the full spectrum of an artist is felt, and Nahosenay does not disappoint.

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Nahosenay’s work

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On the road, when you’re working, conditions are rough, time is limited and your brain is already stretched to capacity with the sights and sounds swirling around you. But for most artists, the magic happens in the studio. You have time to process all the ideas and have all of your supplies at hand. Seeing inside the studio is a special experience.

Our next stop is Yacob Bizuneh’s studio. Here, our minds were stretched and expanded. Yacob is a very modern, contemporary artist. His paintings are supported with video and are exhibited as installations.

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Yacob’s work

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His current works on our addiction to technology and the oil barrel workers of the Merkato of Addis Ababa make you think about the price we pay for “advancement” and our dependency on oil. Who pays that price? You can’t leave his studio without introspective thought and a nod of respect to the artist.

An Ethiopian Odyssey II: The Exhibition is going to be as magical as the trip itself and the beauty we beheld — just you wait and see. Troy Zaushny and myself have a high bar to reach for, but I think we are up for it!

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About Stephanie Schlatter Art

Stephanie Schlatter is an Artist who draws from the world for inspiration. While she calls Grand Rapids, Michigan, home she’s often off on new adventures. For more than a decade, her journeys have taken her across the globe. She has studied art both locally and abroad, including time in Mexico, where she decided to shift her focus from photography to painting. Stephanie's travels led her to found Absolutely Art: A Project for Change in 2006. Through this non-profit organization, she brings art instruction to the children of Ethiopia while supporting their education. Stephanie's work reflects an expression influenced by other cultures which resonates a variety of influences that have given her work direction.

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