Visionary artist, and master sculptor, Baba Atu is well versed in ancient West African traditions of art. Currently residing in Atlanta for the past two decades, he was born August 10, 1940 in Birmingham, Alabama and raised in Chicago and New York.
Self-taught, Atu created his first significant carving from the wood of a peach tree at 10 years old, carving a five-inch tall three-dimensional sculpture of a Black family with three children. Atu fashions small and large carvings; both depicting realistic and abstract scenes of African life and culture.
A virtuoso percussionist and drum maker, Atu’s love for music was first fed by his mother, a pianist, who encouraged his piano lessons. He later played saxophone, flute, and drums, eventually intertwining his love of sculpture and music together. Out of 300 wood sculptures, 200 are carved drums. Baba Atu’s personal collection is crafted from oak, mahogany, ebony and other woods, each holding its own unique story. Under the tutelage of the phenomenal drummer and ensemble director, Chief Bey of New York, he had the opportunity to showcase his talent as an instrumentalist. Under the stage name, “Black Harold”, Atu recorded with world renowned musicians such as saxophonist, Pharoah Sanders and Sun Ra.
“As a community, we believe that Baba Atu is an iconic resource and a national treasure. He needs and deserves a studio space that will allow him to complete several unfinished works, display all of his sculptures in an accessible location, and archive his legacy for future generations. We envision this studio space to be located at the ArtsXChange, a community of working artists."
- Bryan Jenkins
- Mama Adeelah
- Tassili Ma'at
- Edward Grimes
- Amira Davis
Fundraising team: Team Baba Atu Legacy (3)