Nominee’s nameAmani Olu

SEEN Changemaker CategoryArt & Entertainment

A picture of the nomineeA picture of the nominee
Nominee’s job titleCo-Founder of Detroit Art Week
Nominee’s cityDetroit
Please describe why the nominee is a SEEN Changemaker:

Amani Olu is the co-founder of Detroit Art Week an annual celebration of contemporary art and culture in Detroit. The platform has worked galvanize the artistic community and serve as a means to find points of symbolic connection between Detroit and the outside world. The week is quickly becoming one of several must attend moments within the annual calendar and is becoming a key cog Detroit’s rapid ascendancy in the art world as an international hub for cultural exchange. The 2019 edition included 36 exhibition openings, 13 performances, 7 panel discussions, works by 150 artists from Detroit and all over the world.

Tell us about the individual’s accomplishments:

Amani Olu is a serial entrepreneur, with a strong background in exhibition making and art writing. He is also the co-founder of Humble Arts Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that began in 2005 to support and promote new art photography. From 2008 to 2012, he curated numerous exhibitions of contemporary photography and spearheaded the four-part series “Young Curators, New Ideas.” In 2011 he joined Nadine Johnson & Associates as an art publicist for clients such as the Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Marlborough Chelsea, and the Dallas Art Fair. Eighteen months later, he was named managing editor of Whitewall, having contributed to the magazine articles on artists William Eggleston, Zoe Crosher, Elad Lassry, and Rashaad Newsome. He left to establish Olu & Company, a marketing consultancy for individuals, businesses, and organizations in the arts. Olu makes art under the name “Scott Avery,” and is currently developing IMG SRVR, an all-in-one visual media center designed to help creative professionals collector, organize and share information with ease and elegance.

How is he/she impacting the community or the lives of people in Metro Detroit or across the world.

By co-founding Detroit Art Week, Olu has become one of several individuals who is helping contextualize the dynamic and diverse artistic community that is percolating in the Metro Detroit artist not only for people coming to visit, but also for citizens within the community. Detroit Art Week does not only serve as a celebration, it also fosters a space for discovery an recognition of how incredible the artistic community in Detroit is.


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Peter and Danialle Karmanos