MoAD Vanguard Presents: The Intersection of Art & Technology
In a world of digital dreams, blerds and analog spirits you intersect into another galaxy known as the the intersection of art and technology. A paint brush leads you to a land of creativity that is explorative but in order to reach a global audience you must rely on technology.
Join MoAD Vanguard as we talk to individuals who have used the intersection of art and technology to promote the authenticity of creativity through their lens. Special guest panelist, Yertunde Olagbaju of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Justin Gerrad of if(we) mobile dating app for Black singles, Ardrian Octavius Walker – photographer and author of “My Lens, Our Ferguson.” The panelist will be joined by moderator Adu of Carol H. Williams Advertising.
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Meet The Speakers
Moderator // ADU
Justin Adu, or Adu as he is affectionately known by to his peers, is currently the Associate Creative Director of Digital and Social Media at Carol H. Williams Advertising (CHWA). Prior to leading the digital and social media executions for clients like General Motors at CHWA, Adu’s diverse career has impacted notable brands, organizations, and public figures.
Adu earned his BS in graphic design with a minor in marketing from Alabama A&M University. He later earned a MA in advertising with a concentration in art direction from Savannah College of Art & Design. Adu has made huge successful strides in the advertising industry and made a foothold in the art world by curating and exhibiting original art in ten solo art exhibitions. His projects include “African Amedia”, a performance piece that addresses the negative portrayal of African Americans in the media, and “Unsung Changemakers” a mix-media installation that celebrates the untold stories of African American heroes.
Adu is a creative chameleon with an ability to navigate between art and brand communications with confidence, conviction and brilliance. A visual artist, videographer, director, teacher, social media maven and mentor, Adu is a 21st century renaissance man. He credits his career versatility to hard work and a calling to change the world. “Through my artistry, I aspire to challenge myself to think outside the box and I hope to inspire everyone around the world to push the boundaries of their creativity,” Adu said.
Panelist // YERTUNDE OLAGBAJU
Yetunde Olagbaju is a multidisciplinary artist and collaborator currently residing in Oakland, CA. Through her work she concerns herself with time travel, space, source, vulnerability, ancestry, and her own relationship to the blackness of the universe. With a degree in Studio Art, Museum Studies, and Religious Students from Beloit College, she utilizes various mediums and trains of thought to illuminate paths of deep emotional kinship and cosmic mirroring within human connection and identity.
This is all with the desire to bridge the past with the present-future.
She currently runs youth programming at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and is part of multiple art collectives (Black Mail and DARKEASE) comprised of all Black artists and creatives, that hope to use their skills to foster meaningful communities of change.
Panelist // JUSTIN GERRAD
Justin Gerrard was the CMO and Co-Founder of Bae (team acq. by if(we)), a mobile app that connected Black singles. Justin’s marketing efforts resulted in Bae becoming one of the fastest growing Black dating/ social apps in the world, registering as a top 50 lifestyle app in 20 African and Caribbean countries including Nigeria, Ghana and Tanzania.
Justin’s accolades include, 2016 BET 29 People to Watch, 2016 BET Black and Lit List and a 2015 Black Enterprise BE Modern Man. He has appeared in publications such as TIME, TechCrunch, Inc. Mag, Fortune, Fast Company, VICE and the Wall Street Journal. This spring he will be an official judge for the 2017 European Dating Awards.
Currently, Justin runs Marketing and Growth at if(we), the parent company of popular dating apps Tagged and hi5. Outside of if(we), Justin advises brands and startups and co-founded the Young Mavens Society (YMS), an initiative to improve the pipeline of underrepresented minorities pursuing careers in entrepreneurship. He lives in Oakland with his wife, loves to travel, and is a Harvard College graduate and MBA candidate at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business.
Panelist // ADRIAN OCTAVIUS WALKER
Adrian Octavius Walker was born and raised in North Saint Louis and received his BA in Sociology with a certificate in photography and Women’s and Gender studies from the University of Missouri St. Louis in 2010. Walker now often photographs the mundane areas of the west and east sides of his current home city Oakland, California, where he works as an assistant editor on the entertainment community team for VSCO. Always curious, Walker also creates sensitive portraits based on his studies human interactions in intense environments. The work of black women photographers including Latoya Ruby Frazier, Carrie Mae Weems, Deana Lawson, and Deborah Willis Thomas as well as his investigations of the black body and dynamics of the black family inspire his current work. This includes the 2016 mixed-media installation Living Room, which was curated by his wife Morgan H. Walker.
In 2015, Walker self-published the book My Lens, Our Ferguson, a documentation of the Ferguson, Missouri, protests that was shortlisted for a Paris Photo-Aperture First PhotoBook award. Images from that book were featured in a solo exhibition last year at the University of Alabama and in five group exhibitions internationally. The same year, Walker offered his insight into what it is like to grow up in North Saint Louis in an episode of Vice’s Abandoned, which aired in 2016. His work has been included in a variety of solo and group exhibitions including Black On Film, Creative Campus at The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama (2016); Dandy Lion, Brighton Photo Biennial, Brighton, England (2016); Black Mail 2, Space 236, San Francisco, California (2016); Common Sense(s), The Center for Photography at Woodstock, Woodstock, New York (2016); Paris Photo-Aperture Photobook Awards 2015, Huis Marseille, Museum of Photography, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (2015); and Street Beautification, World Chess Hall of Fame (2014)