Afi Ese is an African American figurative narrative artist living in Houston, Texas, raised in rural WallerCounty, Texas, with roots in Togo and Mali. She holdsa master’s of science in forensic psychology with a concentration in juvenile art therapy from PrairieView A&M University. Afi’s work focuses on Black portraiture while venerating the rich history of theWest African diaspora with an emphasis on generational trauma and triumph in rural Black America. Afi combines and re-imagines historical events and attributes specific to the Black American experience. In doing so, she gets to shine a spotlight on the beauty and resilience of her community.She recognizes the importance of positive black images in daily life and uses her work to help direct theBlack narrative and experience in an honest and transparent fashion. Afi wants each piece to leave the viewer feeling culturally empowered, especially the youth. She tries to embed bold fresh images in the minds of viewers and hopes to replace some of the miseducation and misleading imagery that plagues her community. Afi identifies as a disabled artist, suffering from advanced rheumatoid arthritis and is wheel-chair dependent. She also has hand deformities. As a professional artist invested in mental health and howart can be used as therapy, she expresses her journey through pain--both metaphorically and physically. She views artistic ability as a mental skill just as much as a physical skill and aims to show others with disabilities that they can find catharsis and relief through art.Most recently, Ese’s works have been on display at The Museum of Fine Arts-Houston and The HoustonMuseum of African American Culture in Houston, TX, If We Had Wings solo exhibit at Gallery Guichard in Chicago, IL, and The Brazo sport Center for the Arts, TX, where her piece was the first sale of the night.