Ọmọlará Williams McCallister
2022 Cash Prize Winner – Visual Arts
Ọmọlará Williams McCallister’s (pronouns: o, love, beloved) artistic journey began in church at 7 years old as a classically trained vocalist and bassist. O has actively organized around social justice issues on the local, regional and national levels since age 13. Ọmọlará’s upbringing in the Black south is the foundation for O’s work. Love maintains an active studio practice that explores social hierarchies–race, gender, ability, etc.– in the US South and the conditions that create or subvert them. O’s work is a call and response blend of sculpture, performance, installation, ritual, space holding, community building, surface design, adornment, word, sound, song, movement, moving images and photography. The roles that Ọmọlará steps into include artist, educator, organizer, cultural strategist, conjurer. In all forms O’s work is immersive and interactive, it is co-authored by the people who inspire and encounter it. Ọ has garnered numerous awards and accolades to support love’s work. Fellowships that Ọ has won in 2021 include: Post Graduate Residency fellowship at MASS MoCA (North Adams, MA); Nellie MaeRowe Distinguished Fellowship at Hambidge Center for the CreativeArts (Rapbun, GA), to name a few. Ọmọlará has been invited to lead workshops at institutions including the National Museum of African American History and Culture (Washington D.C.); Creative Capital (NYC); Brooklyn Museum (NYC) and others.