A native of Sudan, Hassaballa Omar Hassablla now lives and creates art in Olathe, Kansas. Hassaballa’s background is in anthropology, but he was inspired to paint by the views of Mount Rainier and the Sudanese landscapes and traditions. His stylized and vibrant pieces are a narrative of village life and his childhood experiences. Hassaballa’s work will be on display at the Leawood branch until April 30, 2023.
Introduce yourself and talk about the work on view.
My name is Hassaballa Omar Hassaballa. A Sudanese American and a self-taught artist. My art works depicts Sudanese and African cultures, traditional lifestyles and folklore. Further, I’m interested in painting landscapes from the Northwest and abstract art.
Do you have a favorite piece?
I love all my paintings, especially the one attached because it shows a deep tradition in Sudan and other African societies. In my village and other villages in Sudan, it shows communal work during times of labor demand. During this time people gather to help each other, as it is shown in this painting, villagers helping in putting a final touch in building a new hut.
What has been a seminal experience that influenced your art?
The seminal experience that influenced my artwork is the colorful savanna in which I used to live during my childhood and early youth.
Are the lines and vibrant colors of your artistic style influenced by any particular culture or art movement?
I was very much influenced by the nomadic culture I used to live in.
What is your most important artistic tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
Most important tools, I can’t live without, are my colors, brushes and papers.
What books, movies and/or movies have inspired you recently?
Last book I read was:
The Heart of Darkness By Joseph Conrad