Piece by Piece mourns the loss of renown South Central Los Angeles artist Noni Olabisi. She was a fierce voice for her community, creating murals that have left a legacy of empowerment and passion. She was a friend to many of our artists and instructor team, and always had encouraging words for fellow artists, raising their confidence and joy.
We first met Noni Olabisi at Gangster Gardner Ron Finley’s DaFUNction community event in South Central Los Angeles in 2018. Piece by Piece popped up with free mosaic art projects, surrounded by a variety of other free activities promoting community, gardening, and art. We immediately embraced her passionate and enthusiastic personality. In turn, she supported our artists by attending a series of Piece by Piece workshops and sharing her artistic wisdom and talents alongside our artists.
When the opportunity came to collaborate on a project in late 2021, artistic director Dawn Mendelson reached out to Noni, and the Firestone-Phoenix mural came to life. The mural was a combination of paint and mosaic, the first project of this kind for Piece by Piece and for Noni. After several consultations on color and design, the team collaborated with Noni and, under her guidance, created a series of feathers with symbols of renewal and hope for a supportive housing apartment complex.
We hold with us Noni’s passion, her steadfast support of others, and her openness to try new things, always. Noni was the embodiment of the value of working alongside professional artists, which has a lasting impact on our participants and their enthusiasm for collaboration as well as their individual creativity. RIP Noni Olabisi.