Ife Nii-Owoo is a public artist, visual artist, graphic designer, and educator. She studied African Visual Arts at the Institute of African Studies in Accra, Ghana, and lived in London, England, and Africa for nine years. She holds a BFA from Syracuse University and a Post Graduate Certificate in Design from the London School of Communications (England). In 1978 she was a Candidate for a Masters of African Visual Arts at the Institute of African Studies in Accra, Ghana. Born and raised in Philadelphia, to which she returned in 1981, she has been part of a ground-breaking generation of African American women artists and designers pushing through barriers, who were part of and influenced by Philly’s Black Arts and Black Power movement.
Both Ife’s graphic design and marketing practice, and her artistic practice reflect her skill in surfacing the stories behind the stories and crafting vehicles through which people can see themselves reflected in challenging and satisfying ways.
Ife Nii-Owoo has more than 25 years of professional design experience. She founded IFE designs + Associates,a full-service design firm based in Philadelphia and Atlanta providing services in strategic creative thinking, graphic design, and website development to corporate and non-profit clients. The firm is committed to socially responsible design solutions that communicate to and about the needs of diverse communities—offering experience in, and insight about, developing creative and value-added solutions that help clients working in diverse emerging markets.
Ife has received numerous awards, and grants including the Leeway Foundation Art and Change Award (2008), PRAME (Public Relations, Advertising, and Marketing Excellence) Award for advertising/print ad design (2000); Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau/ Multicultural Affairs Congress (MAC) Share The Heritage Award (2001).
Ife is a children's book author who wrote and Illustrated a children’s picture book entitled "A is for Africa" Looking at everyday Africa through the Alphabet.
I create collages, with hand-painted papers, familial, iconic/historic images, found objects, typography, and symbols. This work allows
me to explore how color, image, patterns, and textures evoke memory.