The Okara Graphics production team, from the left, Violeta P. Davis, President, Christopher J. Anderson, Illustrator, and Collis H. Davis, Jr., Art Director confer about Okara
product, Jazzy Clipz 2 for Windows.
Okara Art Limited came into existence in order to address particular needs of the African-American designer as
well as those designing for the Black community. We found that there were no acceptable representations of African-Americans in the clip art books which one used to buy until computer-based clip art arrived. But even as we reviewed
the holdings of the major clip art companies, we found few if any images for this community, nor did we find adequate represen- tations in other underserved categories of the American cultural landscape. Therefore, we have decided
to create clip and border art designed to address the needs of African-American designers and those designing for this community.
Through our own travels to Africa, and having read the best of scholarly research on the
traditional African art, we have seen the cultural richness that is there. At the same time, our objective is not only to celebrate the best from this tradition but to up-date it in the inimitable ways in which African-American
culture is accustomed. Given that our culture is characterized by an ever-changing dynamism, we delight in the fact that what we are creating is essentially new!
Executives & Staff
Collis Davis, founder, art director and partner, and Violeta Hughes Davis, marketing director and partner, started
Okara Art Ltd. in 1994. Davis, an African-American hailing from Hampton, Virginia, has a background in the visual arts, including the plastic arts, photography, and film and video production. Along the way, he had occasion to learn
and practice commercial design, and later taught as a member of Pratt Institute's Graduate Visual Communications Design Department. Recently, he has been a member of the faculty at the Department of Theatre, The Ohio State
University where he lectured in film and video studies and production. During academic year 1995-96, he was a Fulbright Scholar in the Philippines where he conducted research for a documentary film, "Head-Hunting William Jones" and
taught documentary and African film studies in the Film Department of the University of the Philippines. Currently, Davis is in the Philippines following the completion of a second Fulbright Fellowship (2000-2001) where he is
lecturing at De La Salle University on design forwebsites and electronic media, and a script writing course, Hyper Narratives. For a look at his online portfolio, click on this link: PORTFOLIO
Violeta P. (Hughes) Davis, who was born and raised in the Philippines, was affiliated with the Office of International Education, The Ohio State University, where she was a counselor
and coordinator for the Study Abroad program. As our marketing director, Violeta brings a wealth of entrepreneurial and sales experience to Okara Art as well as knowledge of world cultures. While in the Philippines currently,
Violeta, who has now retired from OSU (effective June 30, 2000), is editing and writing for diverse publications publications, including the De La Salle University Press, The Daily Inquirer and Asia-Pacific Scouts office. She also
a consultant to a new Dot Com start-up called Inside Campus. To see her online webpage, click on the following link: VIOLETA
Okara's current artist is Christopher J. Anderson
who hails from Rochester, NY. A junior at Columbus College of Art & Design, Chris joined us in July of 1998. As a major in illustration, he brings considerable skills to our clip art projects. He has plans to turn the Walt Disney establishment upside down when he moves out to Los Angeles to pursue a career in animation. His work brings an added level of sophistication to our clip art collections as never before.
Eric B. Hughes, who has moved on to a programming position at Bank One-Columbus, was our accountant, computer
programmer and customer service representative. Accounting is presently handled by Collis Davis, with accounting consultation provided by Manoranjan Shaffer & Heidkamp, CPAs.
was our first figurative artist. An African-American from Columbus, Ohio and student at Columbus College of Art and Design, Quincy is a skilled caricature artist and computer graphics wizard. His desire is to move into animation eventually. As of this writing, Quincy has since graduated and taken a position at the very excellent San Diego Zoo.
Terefe Wondferawou, is an Ethiopian and was responsible for our Kuba Border Art Collection. Taking the principles
inherent in Zairian and African art in general, Terefe developed new and exciting designs which can be assembled in various ways to meet the needs of designers. His qualifications are without peer given his education in the
academies of Ethiopia, the former USSR, West Germany and the U.S. As our business grows, we will be bringing on additional artists to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for our product.