The Global Art Fair: A Bridge Into The New North Charleston

by Nailah Herbert

Art has the power to build bridges across communities and cultures that are normally riddled and weakened by an endless myriad of “not enoughs.” There are not enough opportunities. Not enough support. Not enough vision. Not enough talent. Not enough cooperation. Not enough time. There are not enough dreamers and practitioners who are bold enough, skilled enough, and creative enough to push beyond our comfortable discomforts that have normalized the status quo.

What if there was a cultural engineer who tinkered and tooled away within the shadows of our mainstream institutions for decades and who had the vision, skills, and toughness needed to beat our “not enoughs” into submission?

Like Andrew Carnegie, an American industrialist and steel magnate who realized in 1892 that steel would be the material of the future used to construct our skyscrapers and bridges; enters a scrappy new builder from the shadows with a world view and skills to match: Okeeba Jubalo, who realizes that the new bridges feeding citizens into North Charleston must be built with a new type of steel; contemporary art, small business support, community programs and premium cultural experiences.

Okeeba Jubalo at 2023 Atlanta Exhibition

Image by Katrina S Crawford Photography

“All major cities have major art fairs and cultural programming to appeal to the world’s markets. Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, New York, and Los Angeles all have major art movements. My vision for the Global Art Fair is to financially support the local artisans while stimulating our arts patrons but also to attract global creatives and supporters who do not live within our community. For those who are craving more than the nostalgic echos vibrating from downtown Charleston, this will be a multidisciplinary contemporary cultural experience that will fill a number of gaps within South Carolina,” said Okeeba Jubalo, Founder and Executive Creative Director of the Global Art Fair.

The Global Art Fair will inject the city of North Charleston with a newfound sense of aesthetic vibrancy and creativity. From avant-garde installations to thought-provoking exhibitions, the Global Art Fair will display the best of contemporary and outsider art within the Southeast and will grow into a platform for the world.

“It is not often that one finds themselves at the birth of a revolution. It is an honor to participate in this groundbreaking event,” said Patricia Coleman-Cobb, a distinguished featured Atlanta artist at the upcoming Global Art Fair. “The Global Art Fair is the dawn of a new era in art, not just in Charleston but for the entire artistic community.”

Image by Katrina S Crawford Photography

Guests at 2023 Atlanta Exhibition

The trailblazing Global Art Fair is set to take place at the Park Circle Community Building in North Charleston as a part of the 2024 North Charleston Arts Fest, with full support from Kyle Lahm, the Director, and Ann Simmons, the Deputy Director of North Charleston’s Cultural Arts Department. Their unwavering support has been instrumental as Okeeba Jubalo and his dedicated team at NobleSol Art Group work tirelessly to advance the project and continue to establish a solid foundation for the event, which was built over the last two years in North Charleston since Okeeba’s return.

“Hosting an event of this caliber at the new home of the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department feels like a huge win for us! The many unique components involved with the Global Art Fair will draw a diverse audience, offering something for all to enjoy,” said Kyle Lahm, Director of the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department. “We are excited to welcome both artists and patrons to our new facility for this extraordinary event and are thrilled to be working with Okeeba Jubalo and his team to show the world that North Charleston is truly an epicenter of arts and culture.”

Kyle Lahm, the Director of North Charleston’s Cultural Arts Department.

Ann Simmons, the Deputy Director of North Charleston’s Cultural Arts Department.

Okeeba’s vision is for the growth of North Charleston’s art scene to expand beyond the soft launch of the event itself. The famed Art Basel in Miami Beach is a true and positive testament to what can happen for a local economy by using contemporary art to bring our communities together. For over two decades, it has successfully been the meeting point for collectors, galleries, and artists worldwide.

Drawing inspiration from the success of Art Basel in Miami Beach and his industry-leading work in Atlanta for nearly thirty years, Okeeba Jubalo sees the potential for similar economic revitalization in North Charleston. With its strategic location, available commercial spaces, and neighborhoods ripe for rejuvenation, North Charleston is primed to emerge as a vibrant hub of arts, design, and culture within the state. The annual event will become a catalyst for the city’s evolution, leaving an unforgettable mark on its landscape and economy.

“The Global Art Fair and this art community are exactly what North Charleston needs to make South Carolina even more desirable,” said Christine D. Johnson, an unparalleled Charleston-based creative and featured artist at the upcoming Global Art Fair. “As an artist, I have yearned for this community since relocating from the North in 2006. The beauty and quality of Okeeba’s team’s art exhibits and the warmth of this new art community add fervor to my mission of creating soulful art for inner peace.”

Image by Katrina S Crawford Photography

Guests at 2023 Atlanta Exhibition

“An amalgamation of incredibly talented artists expounding on our cultural narrative,” said Damon Mescudi, a standout featured Atlanta artist at the upcoming Global Art Fair. “The Global Art Fair is for art collectors and art aficionados alike. It’s a must-experience art fair!”

As a son of Charleston who was raised in North Charleston, Okeeba Jubalo is completely focused on building his city. “We have what is needed to become a major player in the contemporary art market. We have an airport, vacant commercial retail spaces, and neighborhoods that are in need of refurbishment. This type of cultural movement will serve as the necessary creative infusion to rebrand and reposition North Charleston as the epicenter of arts, design, and culture within South Carolina. Being able to sidestep downtown Charleston’s infrastructure challenges will make us more attractive on a national and global scale,” said Okeeba Jubalo.

With nearly thirty years of experience in executive-level community building and curating timeless experiences within Atlanta, Georgia, and beyond, the community of North Charleston is very excited about the bridges being built with the Global Art Fair. A dynamic innovator, Okeeba Jubalo has the world watching and eagerly waiting for access to the new North Charleston.

Guests at 2023 Okeeba Jubalo Fine Art Gallery in North Charleston, SC

Image by Katrina S Crawford Photography