Nnenna Okore featured image background

Nnenna Okore

Professor of Art

Raised in Nsukka, Nigeria, Nnenna Okore’s largely abstract works are inspired by textures, colors, and landscapes of her milieu. Her work, by virtue of these influences, celebrates the transformation of discarded materials into cultural objects, forms, and spaces and brings a critical focus to bear on the consumption and recycling cultures in parts of Nigeria. Her materials include newspapers, wax, cloth, rope, clay, and sticks and she applies various repetitive and labor-intensive techniques, like weaving, twisting, sewing, dyeing, waxing, and rolling, which were learned by watching villagers perform everyday tasks. These processes accentuate colors, textures and other visceral qualities of her sculptures.

As a professor, Okore aims to challenge, inspire, and expose students to contemporary practices and discourses from around the world, including visual artists from continental Africa. She uses hands-on creative exercises, dialogue, and exhibitions to give students professional experiences that enhance their art practice. Professor Okore seeks to encourage students’ involvement in Chicago’s art scene by maintaining an active exhibition record in the city and requiring museum visits in her classes. Her students are prompted to use elements of their faith or spirituality as inspiration for their creative work.

Professor Okore wants prospective students to know that North Parks “dedicated, close knit, and reputable art faculty who ensure that students to excel in whichever area they choose.” Concentration within the art major include curatorial studies, fine arts, and graphic design—and a pre-professional track in art therapy.

Professor Okore is a recipient of the 2012–2013 Fulbright Scholar Award, among others, and has been shown in numerous prestigious galleries and museums across the globe. Explore more of Professor Okore’s work.

Popular Courses

Three Dimensional Design