Visual Collaborative

Visual Collaborative is an American festival and publishing platform highlighting the intersections of people, commerce, and innovation. Acclaim for its social impact in humanities, it was featured by VOA, for advancing the cause of humanities and the creative economy. The platform organizes exhibitions that feature talks, art, technology, development, and live music performances.[1] Over the years, the initiative has grown in scope and size, aligning with sustainable goals.[2][3]

Visual Collaborative
Visual Collaborative Corporate Identity.png
Status    Active    
Genre    Conference, exhibitions and digital properties    
Frequency    Seasonal    
Venue    Various locations, Online    
Headquarters    Minneapolis Minnesota, New York City, United States    
Years active15
Founder    Olufeko    
Organized by    Visual Collaborative, LLC,
Filing statusPrivate    
PeopleTola Ogunleye
Electronic Publishing
First issueApril 5, 2019  
LanguageEnglish (Some articles in French or Spanish)  
ISSN  2642-9780  


In 2006, Visual Collaborative was founded by designer and technologist Ade Abayomi Olufeko, to bridge the gap between creative professionals and their commercial value.[1][4] Since originating in Minneapolis, Visual Collaborative has showcased collections and talks in Minneapolis, Miami, New York City, The Mission San Francisco California, Columbia Maryland, and Washington D.C.[5]

In 2007, the group's inaugural event featured international artists Miko Simmons and Linda Zacks, took place at the original Center for Independent Artists, inside Instituto de Cultura y Educacion located in a community of South Minneapolis. In 2011, in Washington D.C., Visual Collaborative produced an exhibition featuring emerging and established artists with a collection described as vibrant new art.[5]  In 2015, the platform collaborated with the Arts District Hyattsville Master Association in Hyattsville, utilizing the Lustine Center to host a group exhibition themed Vanity.[6]

Operating modelEdit

Up until 2015, the platform's exhibitions occurred as disruptive innovation in a traveling formatted pattern.[7] They have been held in reputable galleries, lofts or donated spaces by private owners who include art enthusiasts and lifelong patrons of the arts.[6] They are executed through joint ventures with other arts and humanities organisations[4]  which have in the past included Arts District Hyattsville Master Association in Prince George's County and Voices for Children Miami.[8] In April 2019, Visual Collaborative launched an open access online collective called Polaris, also documented as North Star by the Library of Congress, ISSN 2642-9780.[9]

A month-long pop-up exhibition featuring emerging artists and creatives took place in Adams Morgan, Northwest of Washington, D.C., 2011

Visual Collaborative is a platform that represents artists and works of diverse backgrounds. Its past emerging and notable features include: Aniekan Udofia, Tiphanie Brooke, Dawn Okoro, Danielle Eckhardt, Eugene Ankomah and music recording artist TolumiDE.[10]

In 2008, Visual Collaborative adopted an outreach model, partnering with Voices for Children Miami-Dade, a Children Foundation that raises funds for abused and neglected children in Miami-Dade County—The organisation gave their proceeds to charity to help build the bridge between the community and the arts.[11][12]


Events held in U.S Cities before publishing expansion:


In April 2019, Visual Collaborative launched an open access online collective called Polaris, also documented as North Star by the Library of Congress, ISSN 2642-9780.[9] The project commenced in the winter of 2019 for a period of three months. The interdisciplinary collective featured 26 practitioners from various disciplines from the United States, Europe and African metropolitan cites such as Lagos and Cairo. Articles from the catalog received coverage from various news media for highlighting the intersections of people, commerce and innovation.[14][15][16] The Polaris catalogue explores creative disciplines, perspectives and intrinsic value of the featured practitioners and how they interact with society.[17][18]

French musical duo Hélène and Célia of Les Nubians featured in TwentyEightyFour, the collective's fifth publication.

Polaris features both established or emerging people in the creative industry, intersecting with anthropology and humanities. Its subtopics may include health and wellness, architecture, fashion, entertainment news and non-partisan political themes. In addition to covering professionals from regions around the globe, the content aims to boost literacy in various socioeconomic circles.[19]

In June 2019 bringing in the summer equinox, the second volume of the Polaris series featuring 25 people was released under the title Voyager. Exploring life journeys of the invited participants in long form interview format, topics and subjects related to influence, economic disparities, pragmatism, self awareness and youth leadership among others were covered.[20] Grammy-nominated music artist and performer Seun Kuti, the youngest son of legendary afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti appeared as one of the main features.[19] Other features included Pan-African activist Aya Chebbi, the first ever African Union Youth Envoy, Marcie Rendon an Award-winning playwright, poet and writer of native American Ojibwe ancestry and Minneapolis Civil Rights Commissioner, Anika Robbins.

In the Voyager collective, some of the interviews are presented in both the French and English language, accommodating featured influencers from French speaking regions.[21] In the same month, during pre-coverage of Voyager's release, forthcoming issues were announced.[22]

"It’s refreshing to see younger people interested in creating, contextualizing, re-defining, preserving, and chronicling art, culture, and history." said Kaia Black, of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, who appeared in volume II of the collective.[23]

2020 TwentyEightyFourEdit

In May 2020, international news outlets announced the release of the TwentyEightyFour series. The 5th volume of the Polaris catalog consisted of conducted and transcribed interviews, among the 21 participants featured French music sisters Les Nubians, Metal Gear music and soundtrack composer Rika Muranaka, Global business strategist Busie Matsiko-Andan, Comedian Chigul, Electronic music artist Coppé and a reprised conversation of Nollywood actress Dakore Akande.[24] Themes of adaptability and empathy ran consistently across the collective, aiming as a reprieve and alternative to the COVID-19 pandemic media barrage.[25]

Polaris interviewsEdit

Selected features from over 150 guests from the Polaris catalogue Volumes 1–10. Credits from The Punch, This Day, Vanguard, The Guardian and Business Day news.[18][15][26]


  1. ^ a b c "Visual Collaborative treats arts enthusiasts to an evening of performances". The Guardian. December 21, 2015.
  2. ^ Onyekwelu, Stephen (4 December 2019). "LIFE & ARTS Nse Ikpe-Etim, William Coupon, others drive creative sector SDG". Business Day. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  3. ^ "Nse Ikpe-Etim, William Coupon and Nere Teriba in latest Visual Collaborative SDG publication". Guardian Arts. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  4. ^ a b Makori, Vincent (host) (18 December 2015). "A technologist, Visual Collaborative". Africa 54. Voice Of America (VOA).
  5. ^ a b c "Visual Grandeur, A Visual Collaborative Exhibition". African Digital Art. December 18, 2011. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Visual Collaborative Redefining the essence of arts". The Guardian Nigeria. October 8, 2015. Retrieved November 1, 2015.
  7. ^ "About Visual Collaborative". Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  8. ^ "R&B Singer TolumiDE Serenades Guests at Visual Collaborative 'VANITY' Event!". December 17, 2015. Archived from the original on February 20, 2016. Retrieved May 2, 2015.
  9. ^ a b Visual Collaborative in Periodicals database | OCLC WorldCat. OCLC 1096432925.
  10. ^ "Artists & Speakers". Retrieved December 17, 2015.
  11. ^ Visual Collaborative Miami Florida HFA
  12. ^ a b "Visual Collaborative Art Exhibition, Miami 2008!". Ladybrille. April 15, 2008. Archived from the original on May 4, 2015. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  13. ^ "Diaspora Initiative continues its platform to push emerging artists". Entertaining Africa. December 19, 2014. Archived from the original on May 2, 2015. Retrieved May 2, 2015.
  14. ^ "Ade Olufeko speaks at Yale University, collaborates with Bahia Shehab, others in new collective". New Telegraph. 2 April 2019. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  15. ^ a b "Bahia Shehab, Bobby Yan, others feature on Visual Collaborative". The Punch. 2 April 2019. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  16. ^ Agbana, Rotimi (2 April 2019). "Shehab, Bobby, Tosin Oshinowo, others featured on Visual Collaborative". Vanguard (Nigeria). Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  17. ^ Oreoluwa, Mayowa (2 April 2019). "Ade Olufeko speaks at Yale University, collaborates with Bahia Shehab, others in new collective". News Direct. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  18. ^ a b "Tosin Oshinowo, Remi Vaughan-Richards, and other Nigerians featured in online catalogue". This Day. 2 April 2019. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  19. ^ a b "U.S based Festival Platform Visual Collaborative features Seun Kuti & Other Africans". Bella Naija. Retrieved 6 July 2019.
  20. ^ Ganiu, Olaitan (17 June 2019). "Seun Kuti, Seun Kentebe, others featured on international platform". The Nation. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  21. ^ "Elozi Lomponda Interview by Visual Collaborative". Retrieved 6 July 2019.
  22. ^ "Seun Kuti, Chris Uwaje, Others to be featured on Visual Collaborative" (Life & Style). This Day. 19 June 2019. Retrieved 6 July 2019.
  23. ^ "Kaia Black Interview on Visual Collaborative". Visual Collaborative. Retrieved 6 July 2019.
  24. ^ Onyekwelu, Stephen (6 May 2020). "Les Nubians, Rika, Chigul, Dakore feature in TwentyEightyFour". Business Day (Nigeria). Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  25. ^ "Les Nubians, Rika Muranaka, Chigul, Busie Matsiko-Andan, Coppé appear in TwentyEightyFour" (Guardian Arts). The Guardian. 3 May 2020. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  26. ^ Bankole, Idowu (17 June 2019). "Seun Kuti, Chris Uwaje, others to feature on American platform, 'Visual Collaborative". Retrieved 6 July 2019.

External linksEdit