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Turtel Onli


2010: Adjunct Professor at Harold Washington College, Chicago II

NCLB/ Highly Qualified Art Teacher at the Kenwood Academy High School of Chicago Public Schools.

Chief Operating Artist at ONLI STUDIOS

Educational Background:

Masters in Art and Art Therapy and a BFA in Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Onli is a creative artist whose career has touched upon a variety of disciplines in fine and applied visual art. He has been an art therapist, educator, and illustrator. He has also distinguished himself in painting, drawing illustration, publishing, fashion, and multimedia production.This includes and extensive exhibition and publication record. He is known for having coined the term Rhythmistic in the 1970's to interpret his stylizations which fuse primitive and futuristic concepts. This was manifested with several solo exhibitions at Chicago's innovative Younger Gallery during that prolific period. Onli earned a BFA and MAAT from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago which included studies in Paris, France at the Sorbonne and the Centre Pompidou. He has work in the collections of the Cool Globes Public Art Exhibition, The Chicago's Children's Museum, The DuSable Museum, The Johnson Publishing Company, The estates of Mile Davis and Alice Coltrane, along with freelancing illustration for the Rolling Stones, MsDonald's, Motown, MODE Avant Garde Magazine, the Paris Metro Magazine, and Holt, Reinhart, & Winston to name  few.


Sustah Girl's Work Out Book

He has received many awards including Honorable Mention in the Salon Show at the Munster Center for Visual and Performing Art and the Prix Arts Electronica, a Laureate in the Concours des Dessin with the Foyer Internationale Accueil de Paris. His artwork was selected for presentation at FESTAC 1977: The Second World Festival of Black and African Art and Culture in Lagos, Nigeria. Between 1990 and now he is a regular Visiting Artist at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a three time solo exhibitor at the ETA Creative Arts Foundation in Chicago.

Recently he curated a major museum type exhibition featuring the visionary charts created by his late grandfather, the Rev. Samuel Davis Phillips, and Onli’s own Rhythmistic paintings. This show was called,”An Artistic and Spiritual Legacy” and was presented at the Center for the Visual and Performing Arts in Munster, Indiana. He is a regular participant in the School of the Art Institute’s annual Alumni fundraiser, Bare walls! Along with various art fairs in the Midwest. Onli is also a four time Visiting Artist at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He currently teaches Art and Graphic Design for the Chicago Public Schools and is an adjunct Professor of Drawing at the Harold Washington College.

Team Blanga

In the summer of 2007 Onli published a book of Rhythmistic original artwork called “No Evils”. This full color book combines his written musings about coping with evil along with his cosmic future primitive iconic artwork dealing with the same theme. This is a wonderful portal into the workings of his approach to concept, method, and expression which gives the curator, critic, and collector a way to embrace the potential of this movement. He is expanding his Rhythmistic concept by creating paintings and drawings that are desirableto collectors of all levels. This includes floral, metaphysical concepts, religious themes, and abstractions. All of them are treated with some aspects of the Rhythmistic construct. This growing body of originals and prints is a practical way for collectors to extend the pleasure and value of their collections. Onli’s work has attracted interest and application in educational, commercial, and fine art circles.