About Me


Growing up in Botswana, Africa, I was always surrounded by art in one form or another. The desert landscape, the Baobab tree, the Okavango Delta. As a student, I fell in love with capturing those scenes on paper. It was magical. At home, however, I did not paint. I did not draw. Instead, I built. This whole art thing came from building stuff. I built my first guitar when I was 13. I started building onto my parents' home when I was 17. I lived a farm life. Whether I was building a fence or fixing a corral, I saw this all as art. When I had the opportunity to attend university, I transitioned from building to my first loves - drawing, print-making, sculpting and painting.

After university, I started working as an art teacher in secondary schools. This fine-tuned my artistic vision even more. While cultivating my own style, I looked towards promoting art appreciation and a new generation of artists in my country. In 2007, I met my wife. She was a Peace Corps volunteer from the US, so in 2010, we decided to move to her town of Portland, OR.

In Portland, I continue to create artworks that use abstract symbolism to portray cultural impact. I have sold work currently on display at Multnomah County Health Department clinics in downtown Portland (Health Services Center and Billi Odegaard Dental Clinic), and have worked on the set of Portlandia, creating paintings and set design for a few episodes.

I have exhibited with:

  • Cascade AIDS Project, a Portland-based organization working to support and empower all people with or affected by HIV, reduce stigma, and provide the LGBTQ+ community with compassionate healthcare.

  • Project Access NOW, a Portland non-profit whose mission is to improve the health of our community by creating access to care and services for those most in need. 

  • Coloured Pencils, an art organization based in Portland that promotes human and equal rights through the arts to support immigrants and refugees from around the world.

Omphemetse Olesitse