Inonge Khabele-Stevens is a fine artist (watercolors, inks and acrylics), an illustrator and a graphic designerand has been painting and drawing for as long as she can remember.
Inonge was born in Lusaka, Zambia to a Mosotho father from South Africa and an African-American mother. Her formative years (5 – 13) were spent in The Kingdom of Lesotho, a small country landlocked by The Republic of South Africa. One of her favorite series is of watercolors on rural traditional life in Lesotho.
Inonge earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Howard University in Washington, DC, having majored in painting and minored in graphic design and art history. In DC, she was a member of Tribe Vibe Urban Renaissance Artists (wearable art), had a studio in the O Street Artists’ Studios in Dupont Circle and briefly, a little gallery in the artists’ collective 1800 Belmont Arts in Adams Morgan.
After living in DC for nine years, she and her husband Michael Stevens, a jazz musician returned to Austin, Texas (where she had attended high school and they had met). In Austin, Inonge joined COABA (Coalition of Austin Black Artists) and exhibited at such places as The George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, The Dougherty Arts Center, and Blackworks Gallery.
Inonge has returned to making art the way she used to and is currently taking commissions. Her art has changed over the years and developed into three distinct styles: Realism, Abstract and Figurative.
She and Michael have four talented children and live in Austin, Texas.
I draw what I see in my mind and I draw what I see in front of me. Art is meditation, peace and renewal. It helps me to document my thoughts, tell stories, and sometimes even sort out problems and answer questions. My approach is simple. My wish is that people are moved and it causes them to think, dream, or simply want to make art for themselves.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting, Minored in Art History and Graphic Design
Howard University, Washington, DC
Graduated Cum Laude
African American Art Display in Honor of Black History Month Two Person Show with Carla “Nade” Nickerson Central Market / Austin, TX / February – March, 2009
Corners of the World Tiru Gallery / Austin, TX / April 14, 2007
COABA & the Pro Arts Collective Present Heritage: Creating New Legacies Julia C. Butridge Gallery at the Dougherty Art Center / Austin, TX / February 3 – 27, 2003
Group Exhibit Austin-Bergstrom International Airport / Austin, TX / November, 2002 – March 2003
These Hands George Washington Carver Museum & Cultural Center / Austin, TX / June 15 – October 30, 2002
Totally Cool, Totally Art Opening Reception / Dove Springs Recreation Center / Austin, TX / February 5, 1999
Handpainted Wearable and Edible Art 1800 Belmont Arts / Washington, DC / August 25, 1996
Artists of African Descent Ascension Gallery / Washington, DC / July 24 1994
Inner Vision and Uncommon Beauty A Premier Exhibition of New Original Works by Michael Brown and Inonge Khabele Ascension Gallery / Washington, DC / July 9 – 24, 1994
Art workshop for exhibition: Africa Explores Corcoran School of Art / Washington, DC / February 7, 1994
Gallery Night Out Presents Image Reveals An Evening of Art and Jazz Featuring Visual Artists Inonge Khabele and Susan Cook with Washington DC’s Jazz Diva Sunny Sumter The Bethune Museum & Archives, Inc. / Washington, DC / October 13 – December 2, 1994
Works in Progress! Grand Opening Celebration 1800 Belmont Arts / Washington, DC / April 17 & 18, 1993
Ifetayo and The Black House Present Njia Kuumba: Passages Through Creativity / Ifetayo Cultural Arts Facility, Inc. / Flatbush, NYC / March 16 – June 5, 1993
Urban Spirit: Washington, DC Artists Hampton University Art Department – Armstrong/Slater Gallery / Hampton, VA / November 5 – December 3, 1993
Fourth Annual Miss Africa in USA Scholarship Pageant at The Kennedy Center African Cultural Link / Musical performances by Tshala Mwana and Seigneur Rochereau Tabu Ley / June 18, 1992
Honored Guest at French Embassy’s Third Annual Africa Festival / Keynote speaker: Maya Angelou / Hosted by Ambassador Jaques Andreani / Washington, DC / June 19, 1992
Testimony of culture: African American Art Speaks to the Jury at the District of Columbia Superior Court / Ascension Gallery / with Al Smith, Kevin Holder, Winton Kennedy, Francine Haskins, Lois Mailou Jones, and Larry “Poncho” Brown / June 7 – October 28, 1992
Challenges of Heritage DC Arts Center / Washington, DC / June 13 & 14, 1992
WPFW Art & Auction WPFW 89.3 FM / Washington, DC / September 19, 1992
Graduating Class of 1992 BFA – MFA Thesis Exhibition Howard University Gallery of Fine Art / Washington, DC / May 8 – 29, 1992
60th Annual Student Exhibition Howard University Gallery of Art Washington, DC / January 9 – 30, 1991
Fresh Visions District of Columbia Arts Center / Washington, DC / May 23, 1991
An Exhibition of Student Work from Area Institutions in Honor of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area University of the District of Columbia Art Department / University Auditorium, Van Ness Campus / Washington, DC / April 28, 1991
Afro American Cultural Arts Festival Washington, DC / May 6 – 8, 1991
Curated exhibit: First Annual Kwanzaa Festival Student Art Exhibition Howard University Blackburn Center Art Gallery / Washington, DC / December
The Gallery of Good Hope Presents The Art of Inonge Khabele Collard, Folk & Co. / Washington, DC / December 2 – 23, 1990
Commissions and Collections
District of Columbia Superior Courthouse, 1993
WPFW Radio Washington, DC / 1992
Lazarus House Washington, DC / 1990
Selected Published Works
Children’s Initiatic Tales, Stories of the Immortal Light by Simel E. J. Bey / contributing illustrator/ Austin, TX / 2011
The Story of the Prophets by Farmaz Ma sumian / book illustrations /Austin, TX /2008
A Dragon Story by The Starbursts of Children’s Discovery Center and edited by Suzette Haws-Puckett / book illustrator and publisher / Austin, TX / 2000
Stepping into Womanhood – A Black Woman’s Poetic Journey by Traci Brooks / book illustrations and cover / San Antonio, TX / 1999
Eight Plays for Children: The New Generation Play Project by Coleman A. Jennings / book cover illustration / University of Texas Press / Austin, TX / 1998
Yasmeen: Walking in the Way of Love / recording cover illustration / Washington, DC / 1993
Black Artists Unite for a Show of “Hands” by Denise Gamino article in the Austin-American Statesman about These Hands exhibition at The Carver Museum / Austin, TX / June 15, 2000
Group Makes Mark with Figurative Art by Claire van Ryzin in the Austin-American Statesman / Austin, TX / July 22, 2000
Stories & Gifts of Inonge Khabele-Stevensy by Faith Weaver for NOKOA The Observer newspaper / Austin, TX / July 20, 2000
Tribe Vibe: Urban Renaissance Artists on the Hip-Hop Tip by Sharon Dukes article in YSB Magazine / Washington, DC / September 1993 issue
African Festival Has Links Around World The Washington Post newspaper / Washington, DC / June 23, 1992
Livin’ High on a Funk-E Vibe by Dara Jackson for Tempo newspaper / Article on Tribe Vibe Urban Renaissance Artists / Washington, DC / May 6, 1992
Coming Together to Cultivate Art by Marcia Davis The Washington Post newspaper about the artists of 1800 Belmont Arts / Washington, DC / April 23 1992
Inonge Khabele – In Touch With Beauty and Spirituality interview by Preston Jenkins in Artistic Pedigree newspaper / Washington, DC / October Issue