On the canvas of life, each experience paints a different stroke. No one knows this better than Amiri Osman from Democratic of Congo (DRC). He’s a talented artist who came to Boise in 2016 and has been adding to the city’s arts and culture scene ever since.
Amiri was just 12 when his parents passed away. He found a refuge in drawing and art, which had been a hobby of his since he was a small child. As a kid, he first dabbled in art by drawing famous people, landscapes and animals. When his parents were gone and things became unsafe in the DRC, he traveled to a refugee camp in Botswana in 2002.
A life filled with art
Art was a central part of Amiri’s life in the camp, and he banded with other artists there and was even sponsored by the UNCR to display his work at art fairs. By selling at the fairs, he was able to buy shoes, food and clothing. He would also teach others how to paint a
nd draw while he lived in the camp. “Art has helped me get through many hard things,” he says. “It has always been a big part of my life and helps me process different challenges and feelings.”
When Amiri was 14, he first started doing Batik art, which is a technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to a cloth. The process, which originated in India, is one of Amiri’s favorite styles of art. “My drawings and paintings always have a message,” he says. “I like to express my feelings through the works I create.”
As an artist, Amiri has worked with acrylics, oil paints and watercolors. He also loves to paint murals. In the future, Amiri would like to go back to school to learn new painting skills, including how to paint homes and cabinets.
Making a new home in Idaho
Today Amiri loves living in Boise. “This city is peaceful and has nice weather,” he says. “People are so nice here and it has a good size population.” Amiri is currently working two jobs—one as a cook at the airport and the other for a busi
ness that washes linens for hospitals and hotels. He is grateful that EO helped him get a car that makes it much easier to get to work.
Amiri has three grown daughters still in Tanzania, ages 24, 21 and 19. Family is very important to him and he sends money to his daughters periodically to help support them.