About Color Me Africa Fine Arts
Color Me Africa is a non-profit founded by Soraya Sheppard with the goal to sponsor, celebrate and honor talented African artists. Leaving her home in South Africa to flee the apartheid, Soraya immigrated to the United States. Twenty-five years later, she decided it was time to face her past and returned to the new South Africa.
When visiting an art dealer, Soraya came across a treasure trove of incredible art from the African diaspora. The art reminded her that she wasn’t the only one who struggled during those hard times. She needed to show the rest of the world what these talented artists wanted so passionately to share.
Color Me Africa aims to provide talented African artists with an opportunity to showcase their work at exhibitions across the world, without the constant threat of exploitation by unscrupulous art dealers.
Our Mission: Bringing African art to the world
Color Me Africa’s mission is to bring the vibrant fine art and culture of Africa and share it with the rest of the world. Because of many African artists’ exploitation by ruthless art dealers, their emotionally charged artwork often goes unnoticed in the street or sells for ridiculously low prices. Through professionally curated exhibitions and events, Color Me Africa seeks to promote cultural awareness between the public and these brilliant artists, while also giving them an opportunity to earn a fair price for their hard work.
More About the Founder
Twenty-five years after a self-imposed exile from South Africa, founder Soraya Sheppard returned to reconnect with her county. With a new perspective only distance can bring, Soraya began to dream of ways she could make a difference in South African society. So she went back for a year, diving into the culture and looking for the right opportunity. When she met the street artist Ras, she knew she found she found something special.
Ras brought the South African culture to life in his artwork and sold his paintings at a small gallery in Johannesburg. Impressed by the raw talent displayed in his artwork, Soraya knew if others could see his paintings they would feel the same joy and pain that so often co-exist in South Africa.
Soraya succeeded at bringing her vision to life when she held her first exhibition at the South African consulate in Chicago, featuring 22 promising artists and their visions of the transformation that took place during the apartheid.
Soraya has plans to share the rich and vibrant culture of Africa with the rest of the world, so keep an eye out for future worldwide exhibits.