News & Events

Penny Stamps Speaker Series

Osborne Macharia with Blinky Bill

The Rude Boyz (Michigan Theater)

September 13, 2018

Osborne Macharia with Blinky Bill

As a multi-award-winning photographer and digital artist based in Nairobi, Kenya, Osborne Macharia's visual- and narrative-driven style, known as 'Afrofuturism,' has been recognized internationally not only as entertaining and Afrocentric but also as a platform for discussing critical social issues and conveying important messages on topics such as inclusion, representation, gender abuse, female genital mutilation, albinism, conservation, and care for the elderly. As a commercial photographer Macharia has been privileged to work with some top local and international brands, including Marvel (Black Panther), Disney, the Oprah Winfrey Network (Queen Sugar), Absolut, MTV, Volkswagen, Forbes, Guinness, and Mercedes-Benz. In 2018, Macharia was also the first Kenyan ever to be selected as a jury member for the prestigious Cannes Lions creative awards and the ADC/One Show Awards.

Nairobi-based "Blinky" Bill Sellanga is a singer-songwriter, beat maker, producer, TED Fellow, and one-fourth of the Kenyan art and music collective Just a Band. He is an alumnus of the Red Bull Music Academy and the OneBeat international music collaboration. In 2017, Sellanga released his debut solo album, titled Everyone’s Just Winging It And Other Fly Tales, on the heels of his experimental 2016 EP, We Cut Keys While You Wait.

Osborne and Bill will premiere Remember The Rude Boy - Detroit, a collaboration created as part of their week-long Detroit residency and supported by the Witt Visiting Artists program at the Stamps School of Art & Design. A fictional narrative about a tailor and his "up-cycled" thrift shop fashion collections, Remember The Rude Boy is a celebration of Black Fatherhood and mentorship within the community. The initial project took place in Nairobi, Kenya, with subsequent editions in Accra, Ghana, and Johannesburg, South Africa. In Detroit, the artists connected with four African-American veterans to create a new edition of the project.

At the start of their Detroit residency, Osborne and Bill will make an additional Penny W. Stamps Speaker Series presentation on Saturday, September 8 at 7:00 PM at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.  

Presented in partnership with Design Core Detroit Detroit Month of Design and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

Unless otherwise noted, all programs take place on Thursdays at 5:10 pm at the historic Michigan Theater, located at 603 E. Liberty Street in downtown Ann Arbor, and are free of charge and open to the public.