Mahlet Birhanu  


I was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1989. Growing up, I was blessed with a caring family that nurtured my interest in art. My late father, Birhanu Gebre - who was a professional painter who has done numerous works in Ethiopia, encouraged my creativity after observing my very first signs of talent in drawing at an early age. Ever since I can remember, I have always enjoyed sketching and painting. As a child, I grew up surrounded by the sight, smell and texture of art materials. I believe it’s this early exposure that has set me on my still evolving journey through art. 

During my time studying Psychology at Addis Ababa University, I enrolled at Enlightenment Art Academy, a private art school in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. At Enlightenment, I learnt the basic language of fine art and was able to fine tune my drawing skills. 

I am currently pursuing my Master’s at University of Bergen in Norway. I consider myself a self-taught artist with my skills complimented and sharpened by my formal studies of art.  In the past, I have contributed to Trueafricanart - an African Art collector based in New York. Although I am not a full time artist, a typical day for me would always involve having my pencils in my hands. Most of my work is influenced by beauty, color, women, and the traditional Ethiopian hand-woven fabric and clothes. I describe my work as a blend of fashion and art. In addition, I draw portraits of people and still life paintings. I can simply say that my soul is immersed in art, and celebrates with it. I’m happy to share some of my works with you.