Throughout 2021, Messenger and Meta Open Arts teamed up with a diverse cohort of artists from around the world to create custom 360 backgrounds for Messenger Rooms and video calls. Each artist brought a unique style and perspective that allows you to experience their art in a new way. From sci-fi-inspired surrealist desert images, to Latinx LA neighborhoods, to yoga in the tropics of the Philippines, to a 3D rendering of a coffee shop, it’s been amazing to see the personal worlds of these artists come to life on Messenger. 🎨
Today, we’re excited to announce our sixth and final artist in the series, Washington DC-based interdisciplinary artist Jamilla Okubo, who uses art to connect to her family history, fashion and music. She describes her 360 background as a funky, Afrofuturist outer space disco party that invites you to groove.”
Jamilla traces her style back to elementary school, where she was inspired by her art teacher–art was also her favorite class. Realizing she could use art to discover more about her heritage, she explored the different sides of her family, particularly her father’s roots in Kenya and Trinidad. She studied fashion and textiles as a platform to bridge her connection. “My work often reveals universal truths through personal narratives. I celebrate the Black body and Black culture to share my cultural heritage,” she says.
“Art is a really powerful tool. It connects people. It brings joy; it brings sadness and pain. It’s a tool for bringing out different emotions,” says Jamilla. Jamilla’s 360 background for Messenger brings her celebration of the Black body and Black joy to outer space, inviting users to join the party.
“Each artist spotlighted in this series brought an entirely different approach and set of influences. Jamilla’s 360 background takes us out of this world, a perfect way to wrap up this transportive Open Arts x Messenger series,” says Open Arts Curator Tamar Benzikry. “She channeled her own aesthetic to create a playful vision for the future that millions can enjoy as they connect with the people they care about,” says Tamar.
To access Jamilla’s background, simply start a video call in Messenger, tap the smiley face icon on your self view then select “backgrounds” to access “Jamilla Okubo’s Mothership.”
About Meta Open Arts
Meta Open Arts empowers community through creativity. As a company dedicated to bringing people closer together, Meta recognizes that creativity is essential to our collective wellbeing. Within our walls and around the globe, Meta Open Arts cultivates creative engagements that offer new ways of thinking about ourselves, our communities, and the world at large. Learn more at fb.com/metaopenarts and follow us on Instagram at @MetaOpenArts.