Joseph R. Wheeler III is the Artist, founder, and president of ONYXCON. Joseph is a proud southerner, born and raised in Atlanta, GA. He attended public schools in Atlanta Public School system and graduated honored from Benjamin Elijah Mays High School in SW Atlanta in 1993. He completed his foundation studies at Pratt Institute of Brooklyn, NY. He then went on to study drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture at the Atlanta College of Art (now SCAD Atlanta) where he acquired his Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in 1997.
An important fixture in the Atlanta art community with a commitment and experience working with Fulton County Office of Aging, Fulton County Arts Council, Atlanta Bureau of Cultural Affairs, Union City Parks & Recreation, Fulton County Parks & Recreation, Atlanta Fulton Public Library System, and countless other Arts & Culture providing institutions nation wide. Wheeler has been dedicated for over 20 years as an Arts Instructor and Therapeutic Creative Activities Specialist for both youth arts organizations and the Senior Citizen population (focusing on Adult Day Programs for Alzheimer's/Disabled Seniors). Wheeler has faced the challenges to Atlanta's Arts community with unfaltering service, maintaining progressive and innovative contributions to the Arts.
Currently, Joseph is very busy honing his skills for Film as a writer, producer, and actor. In growing the ONYXCON INSTITUTE and his appearances as a panelist/instructor he works with other conventions like MOMOCON and organizations such as Atlanta Fulton Public Libraries, and Emory University's Michael C Carlos Museum, to list a few. He is currently open to bookings - JRW3ART@gmail.com
As a professional Artist, Wheeler's career continues to be praised with accolades in publications such as the International Review of African American Art ( IRAAA ) published by Hampton University and BLACK COMIX: African American Independent Comics Art and Culture - internationally and domestically distributed who's who of Black comics, conventions, and more.
* Wheeler's latest historic masterpiece is an homage to the history of the African Diaspora in Star Trek canon. The piece entitled UAC - ANKh Project ( United African Confederation ANKh) is a FAN ART work that features a chosen 50 plus faces of known and often overlooked legendary characters ( actors and actresses) from the Star Trek TV and film series.
Salondia Popson - Aveni = Production Manager at Southwest Art Center / Theater Administrator for ONYXCON
Salondia is a native of Ft. Gaines, GA and a graduate of Fort Valley State University with a B.S. in Animal Science. She began her artistic career at the tender age of nine as a dancer with Patti Rutland Simpson, a student of the legendary Gus Giordano and director of the critically acclaimed dance company Patti Rutland Jazz. Salondia relocated to Savannah, GA in 1997, began teaching dance, and became a member of Sankofa Dance Theatre. During her time with Sankofa, she served as a choreographer, the Rehearsal Director and the Assistant Artistic Director for the company. As an amateur and a professional dancer she has had the opportunity to work with world renowned choreographers, perform on national and international stages, and study traditional West African Dance in Senegal, West Africa. In 2006 she made Atlanta her home and began working in television as Director of Entertainment for Teen City Productions. In 2008 she transitioned back into theater and is currently the Production Manager for the Fulton County Department of Arts & Culture’s Southwest Arts Center Performance Theater and Gallery. She looks forward to continued service in this industry.
BRIAN HEBERT - South West Arts Center Arts Specialist/ Exhibitions Specialist & Assistant Curator for ONYXCON
Brian Hebert is a visual artist, born and raised in Los Angeles, California. A graduate of Southern University, Brian was the Visual Arts Specialist at the Southwest Art Center and has been in that position since 2001, having established the visual arts program, which has brought countless exhibitions and visual artists to the Southwest Art Center. Due to a recent reclassification, Brian is now Arts Education Coordinator.
As a curator, he has conceived and organized many group juried and invitational exhibitions as well as solo exhibitions for artists.
Brian is a painter that works in acrylic on wood or canvas, his compositions are inspired by music, especially hip hop music and culture.
IYABO SHABAZZ - active from inception through August 2014, was the honorable Logistics Advisor, exhibit curator, and a graphic designer for ONYXCON. Her contributions to ONYXCON will forever be acknowledged and celebrated in the annals of ONYXCON's glorious history.
Currently, Shabazz is in the process of creating work that combines all of her interests, skills and talents both in the visual and performing arts.