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Educator and Rythmistic Artist

Onli is a creative artist whose career has touched upon a variety of disciplines in fine and applied visual art. He has been an art therapist, educator, and illustrator. Onli has also distinguished himself in painting, drawing, illustration, publishing, fashion, multimedia production, and having an extensive exhibition and publication record. He is known for coining the term Rhythmistic in the 1970s to interpret his stylizations that fuse primitive and futuristic concepts; this was manifested with several solo exhibitions at Chicago's innovative Younger Gallery during that prolific period. Onli earned a BFA and MAAT (Master of Arts in Art Therapy) from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, which included studies in Paris France at the Sorbonne and Centre Pompidou.

Onli has art artwork in the collections of The Cool Globes Public Art Exhibition, The Chicago Children's Museum, The DuSable Museum, The Johnson Publishing Company, and the estates of Miles Davis and Alice Coltrane. Also, he did freelance work for the Rolling Stones, McDonalds, Motown, MODE Avant Garde Magazine, the Paris Metro Magazine, and Holt, Rinehart, & Winston, to name a few. Onli received many awards, including Honorable Mention in the Salon Show at the Munster Center for Visual and Performing Art and the Prix Arts Electronica, a Laureate in the Concours des Dessin with the Foyer Internationale Accueil de Paris.

Recently he curated a major museum-type exhibition featuring the visionary charts created by his late grandfather, the Rev. Samuel David Phillips, and Onli's very own Rhythmistic paintings. This show was called "An Artistic and Spiritual Legacy" and was presented at the Center for the Visual and Performing Arts in Munster, Indiana. He is a regular participant in the School of the Art Institute's annual alumni fundraiser, Bare Walls! Along with various art fairs in the Midwest. Onli is also a five-time Visiting Artist at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

In the summer of 2007, Onli published a book of Rhythmistic original artwork called "No Evils." This full-color book combines his written musings about coping with evil and his cosmic future primitive iconic artwork dealing with the same theme. It is a wonderful portal into the workings of his approach to concept, method, and expression, which gives the curator, critic, and collector a way to embrace this movement's potential. He is expanding his Rhythmistic concept by creating paintings and drawings that are desirable to collectors of all levels; floral, metaphysical concepts, religious themes, and abstractions. He treats all of them with some aspects of the Rhythmistic construct. This growing body of originals and prints is a practical way for collectors to extend their collections' pleasure and value. Onli's work has attracted interest and application in commercial and fine art circles.

Since 1991 Onli has produced and organized the annual "BLACK AGE" convention, which promotes independently produced graphic novels as related products. He was awarded a Life Time Achievement award in 2006 at Temple University and named "The Father of the Black Age of Comics."

To learn more about Onli visit the following websites and click here to listen to him talk about his work. Also, view a gallery of his incredible work below.


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