Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio 1957 to William and Dorothy Pounds. My given name is Joey although I use my Orisa initiate name Okanbi in all of my artworks. I am initiated to Oshun and Ifa in the Orisa spiritual system. After retiring from the Postal Service in 2010, I relocated to Brooklyn. My Orisa brother and established artist Karl Macintosh invited me to Dorsey's Gallery where I began my journey in the world of art. Under the tutelage of master artist Otto Neals I began to develop as an artist. I give all the credit to the Dorsey Gallery family and Otto Neals for any success I may garner as an artist.
Ed Parker at the Snicklefritz Cultural Workshop in East Cleveland Ohio also has allowed me to work at his studio when I'm in Cleveland Ohio. Like Dorsey's Gallery, Ed Parker opens his gallery to the public and has given instructions to many aspiring artists myself included. My work has been exhibited at Dorsey's Gallery and on a limited number of occasions at other venues in Brooklyn NY.
Art for me is a spiritual endeavor. I want my work to bring alive the forgotten, neglected and those that go unnoticed.
I like working with graphite because it allows me to explore the beauty of blackness.
I also like working with clay. The clay gives me the feeling of commu- nicating with the ancestors and mother earth.
I love working with watercolor as well. The fluidity of the medium forces me to relinquish control. I literally have to go with the flow.
I get the sense of freedom doing my work. As I develop my work my work developes me.
To paraphrase Steven Biko, I paint what I like.