I am passionate about the arts and protecting artists because I know what it is like to have art save your life. Unfortunately, I grew up in a place where options were limited after high school. Play sports, join the military, get a warehouse job, or sell drugs were the main options on the table.


Sometimes we combined all of them as a means to get over the ISM fence. I became well versed in racism, classicism, colorism, and every other ism used to justify the lack of opportunities for people who looked like me. However, I was one of the lucky "talented" ones who had a high school art teacher who created a safe space for me to explore the arts. She also introduced the concept of my going to art school after high school. That is how I ended up in Atlanta in 1993 at the Art Institute of Atlanta.


That one slice of difference surely saved me from a lifetime of crime and jail. I did not have the mentality to play college sports, join the military, or get a warehouse job. However, I did have the mentality of becoming a street hustler. Years later, I realized that creativity is indifferent to how you use it. Being a creative hustler separated me from the pack of young black boys who were not as creative, so they had very base approaches to navigating the minefields we moved across on a daily basis. At any point, our young black bodies were blown into reform schools, psychiatric wards, and prison camps.

A troubled & young Okeeba Jubalo, headed down the wrong path.

Though I was in and out of trouble throughout my high school years, I can honestly say that in comparison to getting caught versus not getting caught, I had a pretty good record. I did not want to be a criminal, but the options were limited. Being surrounded by a sugary world of theory meant very little when the reality of my life was far from sweet.


Art became my way of saving my life; I pushed to create a path that did not exist. After graduating from the Art Institute of Atlanta, I began to see the hard reality of being a black creative. Being talented was secondary to having the right connections and resources needed to be a professional creative. The black arts industry in Atlanta was more about the illusion of class; success was not driven by talent or skills.


As I moved through various disciplines within the arts, it became clear that this industry was very similar to the streets, actually more complicated than selling drugs and avoiding prison or death. On the streets, there are clear rules; in the arts, there are no rules, just the illusion of structure and opportunities.


I was more comfortable in the streets because I knew what it meant to be there with the collective of shady characters. It is pretty simple: eat or be eaten. It is easy to navigate the ways of the vampires; I always knew where I stood.


As the years rolled on, it became known in Atlanta’s arts community that I wasn’t afraid of anyone. Nobody was going to take anything from me or disrespect me as an artist. Not the mayor, not a county employee, not a gallery owner, not a curator, not another artist... nobody. My life in Charleston and North Charleston had prepared me to hold my own, regardless of the costs. I would walk into Atlanta’s black arts scene on my feet, and I would leave on my feet, as a man with ethics and morals. I would never compromise myself or the other artists I worked with.

Okeeba Jubalo hosting 2019 ATLANTAFE Artists Talk

Okeeba Jubalo preparing a gallery for an installation

Okeeba Jubalo working in his Atlanta art studio

Okeeba Jubalo performing at his solo fine art exhibition, The Dirty Dozen

Okeeba Jubalo lecturing at Clark Atlanta Univeristy

Okeeba Jubalo and his family at the 2023 Atlanta & Friends Fine Art Exhibition

I worked too hard and sacrificed too much for me to do things the right way, so playing with me the wrong way was and is not an option. Art saved my life. I am committed and will not back down from anyone.


So the narrative amongst the vampires became, "Okeeba is difficult to work with." What they really meant is that "Okeeba will not just lay down and let you suck on his neck. He will drive a stake through your heart first."


I get it. Some artists are afraid to roll with me because they would rather let the vampires have their way with them. They think it is easier to let the vampires suck on them until they die.


Not me. Not now. Not ever. 


It was always stunning to me how those working on "behalf" of artists within these government and nonprofit sectors are paid six-figure salaries. County credit cards, travel expenses, health insurance, paid vacations, and meal comps are being collected on behalf of the starving artists within their communities.

Meanwhile, in the real world, the artists they "represent" have to choose between art supplies or food, rent or paying for their children’s field trips, gas or medication, health insurance or student loan payments.

Okeeba Jubalo at the Okeeba Jubalo Gallery in North Charleston, South Carolina

Images by Katrina S Crawford

Okeeba Jubalo within Charleston County schools leading his Art to Heart program

Okeeba Jubalo interviewing 8-time Emmy Award winning Journalist, Mr. Maynard Eaton for Young Black Entrepreneur Magazine

Okeeba Jubalo speaking at the 2016 Black Media Matters

press conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

These government and nonprofit employees are constantly propped up as "art leaders" in the community. Gliding from one gala to the next, auctioning off our bloodstained art as a means to raise funds on behalf of the depleted artists who aren’t even allowed to attend these galas. “Just bring your art and go. If it is not purchased, please return after the lights and cameras disappear to retrieve your art. We will call you if and when we want to suck on your necks again.”

For nearly thirty years, I have witnessed it all. Artists are crushed beneath the weight of this dysfunction. Suicide. Alcohol and drug addiction. Homelessness. Sickness. Death. 


So pardon me for not being impressed or intimidated by these "art leaders," who are disconnected from the realities we face on a daily basis as artists. The more I traveled, the more I realized this is a national problem with the business model for the arts. The machine has been designed to not work for us, just to work us into the ground. A new machine is the only answer.

After all of these years, I do know one thing for sure: there is no middle ground for an art activist. We either have enemies or we have allies. Let us know where you stand!

Okeeba Jubalo

Okeeba The Mayor

MARCH 14,2023 @ 6pm


(You will be emailed our Zoom invitation)

Our Moderators!

Image : Phyllis Iller

Dr. Ed Garnes is one of the most dynamic therapists,

educators and life consultants in America!

A doctoral internship trainee of Cal Berkeley, he holds a PHD ((University of Tennessee), M.A. in Counseling (Michigan State University), M.A. in Psychology (University of Tennessee) and B.A. in English Writing with minors in Black Studies; Mass Comm (DePauw University). Dr. Garnes has worked extensively with diverse individuals and groups. He curates interventions keenly aware of the impact race, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, socioeconomic background, and disability status have on values, interests, and skills that directly impact academic, career, and psychosocial development.

Intergenerational supporters champion his ability to channel his grandmother's southern wisdom, observational humor, and sobering life lessons as an activist into practical strategies for personal development.

Community leader, artist, activist, gallerist, and CEO, Okeeba Jubalo, is a visionary pioneer for the advancement of African American art and business. Jubalo has over 25 years of national experience in the arts industry across a wide range of disciplines and leadership roles. He has helped push the culture forward and create opportunities for others through his marketing and branding agency, NobleSol Art Group, and his publications, Young Black Entrepreneur Magazine and The Charleston Compass Quarterly Magazine. Among his clients are the Morehouse College National Alumni Association, the Los Angeles Sparks, and many others.

He has mastered a number of executive leadership roles. From performance artist to music label executive and producer to fine art exhibition curator and gallery owner, his vision, leadership, and precision know no bounds.

MARCH 14,2023 @ 6pm


(You will be emailed our Zoom invitation)

03.29.23 - Charleston, SC - SOLD OUT!


By Nailah Herbert

Burke High School in Charleston, South Carolina, have teamed up with NobleSol Art Group to offer their students a new program, The Wolfpack 2.0. An elite, nationwide program, The Wolfpack 2.0. combines students' intellectual and creative abilities with real-world entrepreneurship experiences.

“As a college student, I really struggled with getting a quality internship. It was very frustrating to have a level of talent that could not be developed further with the help of a mentor. I created this program because I knew our students needed it,” said NobleSol Art Group, Founder and President Okeeba Jubalo, who developed and established The Wolfpack internship program. “We launched this program in 2016 at Georgia State University, Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, and Morehouse College. Our pack members have grown into industry leaders, and I am excited about bringing this to my hometown of Charleston, South Carolina.”

Nailah Herbert working at the 2023 Atlanta & Friends Fine Art Exhibition

As a former member of the Wolfpack program and now an alumnus of Clark Atlanta University, I learned skills within the Wolfpack internship program that stretched beyond the classroom. My first on-site Wolfpack internship experience was mind-blowing as I attended my first gala hosted by NBAF (National Black Arts Festival). I signed up to photograph, capture B-roll, and write an article about the event. At the gala, I was able to meet and photograph the late WSB-TV news anchor, Jovita Moore and meet the members of The Coca-Cola Foundation, like the recently retired Ingrid Saunders Jones.

Okeeba Jubalo was an impeccable mentor, leader, and coach throughout the internship. In addition, the Wolfpack program catapulted my career as a journalist and photographer.

The 2019 Wolf's Den $5,000 Entrepreneur's Pitch competition at Clark Atlanta University

Students who intern with the Wolfpack program can expect to develop and refine their skills and gain confidence in their craft. They will also gain a competitive edge as they transition into college or their careers.

Many professors around the Atlanta University Center, which encompasses Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, and Morehouse College, highly encouraged students to intern under the leadership of Okeeba Jubalo. A former professor of Clark Atlanta University and distinguished journalist, Maynard Eaton, knew that his students could benefit immensely from Okeeba Jubalo and his internship program.

“Okeeba Jubalo is an exemplary artist, multi-media entrepreneur, and editor of The Charleston Compass Magazine. He is also a friend, partner, and co-founder of TheMaynardReport.com, and our online TV interview program GEORGIA POWER,” said Maynard Eaton. “After meeting with and lecturing to my four journalism classes, we discussed how we could train these interested students for what could be a pioneering HBCU media internship program beginning here at Clark Atlanta University.”

More than 20 students at Clark Atlanta University were chosen to intern with the Wolfpack internship program.

“Thus, The Wolfpack was conceived and created. But, that's the rare and appealing essence of Okeeba Jubalo. He is the quintessential creative spirit; a man who is riveting, robust, talented, savvy, and divinely gifted. Jubalo has crafted a dynamic internship program that is already making a dramatic difference in the lives of our journalism, videography, and public relations students. I wholeheartedly and enthusiastically endorse Jubalo and the brilliant breath of fresh air and spirit he has infused into his Wolfpack internship media team.”

Since the inception of the Wolfpack program at the Atlanta University Center in Atlanta, Georgia, Okeeba Jubalo has helped to further the professional careers of several students.

Now that Okeeba Jubalo is back in his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, he is prepared to equip the bright and talented young minds at Burke High School with tools that will further their personal and professional growth.

“Our program is for elite students who will move into their industries with the skills needed to succeed,” said Okeeba Jubalo. “This is designed for every creative high school and college student who wants to get to the next level.”

Learn more about The Wolfpack Internship Program here.