Turtel Onli is an artist whose career has touched upon a variety of disciplines in fine and applied visual art. He has been an art therapist, educator, and illustrator. He has also distinguished himself in painting, drawing, illustration, publishing, fashion, and multimedia production. This includes an extensive exhibition and publication record. He is known for having coined the term Rhythmistic in the 1970s to interpret his stylizations which fuse primitive and futuristic concepts. This was manifested with several solo exhibitions at Chicago’s innovative Younger Gallery during that prolific period.
Onli earned a BFA and MAAT from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago which included studies in Paris France at the Sorbonne and the Centre Pompidou. He has work in the collections of The Cool Globes Public Art Exhibition, The Chicago Children’s Museum, The Dusable Museum, The Johnson Publishing Company, The estates of Mile Davis and Alice Coltrane, along with freelancing illustration for the Rolling Stones, McDonalds, Motown, MODE Avant Garde Magazine, the Paris Metro Magazine, and Holt, Rinehart, &Winston to name a few.
He has received many awards including Honorable Mention in the Salon Show at the Munster Center for Visual and Performing Art and the Prix Arts Electronica, a Laureate in the Concours des Dessin with the Foyer Internationale Accueil de Paris. His artwork was selected for presentation at FESTAC 1977: The Second World Festival of Black and African Art and Culture in Lagos Nigeria. Between 1990 and now, he is a regular Visiting Artist at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a three-time solo exhibitor at the ETA Creative Arts Foundation in Chicago.