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Olusola "Shala." Akintunde is an Nigerian American contemporary artist, producer and pioneer in the medium of Solar Art; a discipline that seamlessly merges art and solar technology. He is primarily lauded for the creation of the poignant portrait series, Shala’s Seven Spoon and his groundbreaking solar murals and sculptures; particularly Shala’s Bronzeville Solar Pyramid.

Shala’s Bronzeville Solar Pyramid is a 16 feet tall pyramid skinned by unique art-rendered solar giclees. Now a Chicago landmark, the solar pyramid generates solar electricity that allows it to illuminate and provide energy to a neighboring building. This has made Shala’s Solar Pyramid the first public sculpture of its kind.

Shala’s work challenges social convention in a charming, yet, confronting way. As a consequence, the artwork itself is expressed through re-examined forms of media and technology. For example, his solar-powered murals re-purpose the solar panel into a working canvas that provides beauty and electricity. His candid artist talks are quickly gaining notoriety and he routinely speaks at various institutions of higher learning; often following up with a unique DJ set and after affair.

Shala. lives and works in Chicago, while engaging in commercial, private and public projects internationally. He owns a private media venture dedicated to using art and culture to solve social and economic injustice. It develops traditional art as well as art in the forms of entertainment, video, music, and fashion.

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Shala has partnered with multiple global brands including Nissan, Xfinity, Anheuser-busch and Lululemon. He has also received multiple honors, and his solar artwork has been the subject of a brand campaign and even a Fall course at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Photo: Rena Naltsas