Kent State University School of Art: ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT – GEORGIO SABINO III

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT – GEORGIO SABINO III

It is not often that you have the opportunity to photograph figures such as Oprah Winfrey or to meet former President Barack Obama, but Georgio Sabino III’s career has led him to do so. Owner of GS3 Innovations, LLC, he earned his B.A. in Fine Arts from Kent State University in 1999 and went on to earn his M.A. in Art Education from the Cleveland Institute of Art and Case Western Reserve University (2009). Originally from Columbus, Ohio, he currently lives in the Asiatown neighborhood near downtown Cleveland. 

Georgio has enjoyed a thrilling career as a photographer. In addition to operating his own business, he works as a photographer for several organizations, including CityNews Newspaper Group, the Real Deal Newspaper, and FraserNet.Georgio covered the Ohio State Buckeyes when they won their first national championship (2015) and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ first championship with LeBron James (2016). Both photographic events were at the White House under the Obama administration. According to Georgio, “We are a small, black-owned business that covers big stories.” We interviewed him to find out more about his business, celebrity photoshoots, and teaching experience. Q: After you earned your B.A. from Kent State, you went on to study art education at the Cleveland Institute of Art and Case Western Reserve University. Can you explain more about what led you to pursue art education after graduation?

A: I told myself that, if I were to live in Cleveland, I’d like a master’s degree from Case Western Reserve University. I have a passion to learn and to teach, influenced from being in a very large family with ten siblings. It’s fun and exciting when I have pupils who are not as interested in art as I am. I tried to help students realize that everything you do is an art and to respect the arts. I met Donna Johnson, then director of Sankofa Fine Arts Plus. She introduced me to Tim Shuckerow, Director of the CWRU Art Studio and Art Education program. I have fond memories of that program. I did my field studies at The Guggenheim Museum, the exclusive Trinity School in Broadway, NYC, Park East High School in Harlem, NYC, Studio Museum of Harlem, University School here in Moreland Hills, and, last but not least, Cleveland School of the Arts with Danny Carver and Mr. Hamlet. I filmed my experiences, which are on my YouTube channel.

Q: You have photographed famous figures including Maya Angelou and four U.S. presidents. What were these experiences like? Do you ever feel nervous about these types of high-profile photoshoots, even with your years of experience? 

A: These memories are very special when I think about it. My repertoire of celebrity photographs includes the Russo brothers, the late Maya Angelou, musician BB King, prominent political figures such as Ambassador Andrew Young and former U.S. Congressman John Lewis, football legend Jim Brown, entrepreneur and billionaire Jeff Hoffman, American singer-songwriter Bruno Mars, and actor Matthew McConaughey. 

Georgio Sabino III meeting Barack Obama

When I think of history, it’s crazy to think of all that I was capturing in the moment. I was cognizant and stunned but very confident to handle such precious moments. It took me a while to fully embrace photography. But now I see everything as history— the stories my eye has captured for clients and family. So was I ever nervous? In most of these experiences, I was not. I was the guy with the camera with a long lens, so I could keep my distance, occasionally come up close, and then back off. I had chances to meet and greet with lots of high profile people such as Annie Leibovitz, all of Bob Marley’s family, Malcolm X’s daughter, and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s son (the 3rd.) 

I was once nervous in the White House. I didn’t know anyone, nor did I know all the protocols. I followed the press corps herd as we patiently waited for the Ohio State University Football team and President Obama to come into the East Wing. All the areas filled up quickly and I found myself on the south side of the East Wing, which turned out to be a blessing from God. The Commander-in-Chief entered the room right next to me, so I knew he had to leave the same way. I was told he more than likely would not sign anything, but I was going to try.  

There I was in the moment. President Obama started to exit after presenting the award to the OSU Champions and accepting the team jersey. My mind clicked to stop taking photographs and I held out the photographs I had taken of him throughout the nation. What do you know?! He shook my hand and proudly signed my work. The photographer next to me, Ricky Fitchett, photographed us together. As the President left I was shaking hysterically and all the press photographers started laughing. I’d call that nervous because I knew the value and the historical aspect to being in the right place and time. I am sure I will have another moment of anxiety. It was a wonderful rush! 

Q: In 2019, you participated in a collaborative exhibition at the Uumbaji Gallery in Oscar Ritchie Hall. How did it feel to come back to Kent State as an alumnus and take part in this show? 

A: It’s always fun to revisit Kent State. My wonderful youth was spent enjoying the struggle and the perseverance to triumph over education. This past art show allowed me to re-conceptualize my time, my work, and to see old and new friends who I had invited to see the show. I asked my beautiful friend Rachel Truitt to share the Uumbaji art gallery space with me. The show was a hit, curated by Idris Kabir Syed. This art show allowed me to relive my youth with my present self. If I had to describe the words that came to mind, they were ecstatic, elated and euphoric. I felt my younger self enjoying the meeting with new staff, the new Black United Students and the new art students. The university sent invitations throughout the school. Even some of the fashion students attended. Q: Prior to the pandemic, you were involved with Cuyahoga Community College’s Encore program,where you taught students ages 55+ about digital photography. How does your background as an art educator come into play in this role? Is there anything special you have learned through this experience at Tri-C? 

A: What I learned is that even the most mature minds want to learn technology. My students were just as diverse as today’s kids. Some had no experience with art. For others, it was their job before retirement. Just because someone is older, or with different abilities, doesn’t mean that lifelong learning should stop. 

It’s rewarding to see someone grow from education. I like sharing art secrets to making work. I believe I could teach anyone to draw or paint. If you can draw a circle, triangle and rectangle, you can draw a person, but it takes practice. 

Q: What advice do you have for art students who want to start their own business? 

A: Open! Open! Open! It’s your life and love! Why not? The world has shared that it’s not easy or pretty. But it’s rewarding to create and develop your ideas and dreams from your own hands. Create a plan and execute it. Remember to learn the business side if you don’t have an agent. Use business contracts to present yourself professionally. Protect your intellectual and creative work, legally and financially, if you partner with others. Learn to adapt with business trends. Stay focused on your craft. And if you pray, pray! Most of all, for me it’s never work. I love what I can do for others and for family.

To learn more about Georgio, follow him on social media via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.POSTED: FRIDAY, APRIL 2, 2021 – 1:57PM UPDATED: MONDAY, APRIL 5, 2021 – 10:39AM WRITTEN BY: GRACE CARTER

Killa Joe Signage: Danny Carver

Killa Joe Signage: provides a range of large format signage, outdoor graphics, outdoor advertising and display services designed to engage and influence a target audience. Our large format signage solutions demand attention, they look good, last longer and achieve their commercial objectives. Danny Carver and Georgio Sabino can work to develop existing brands or ideas, or we can present you with an entirely original concept.

GS3 Photography 2017 FraserNet Power Networking Conference, from July 6-8, 2017, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Prince George’s County, Maryland

More than 50 years after passage of the Civil Rights Act and nearly eight years after President Barack Obama’s election, achieving economic empowerment for African-Americans still remains an elusive goal, according to the National Urban League’s 2015 “State of Black America.”

That’s why artist photographer and entrepreneur Georgio Sabino III will follow in the footsteps – literally and figuratively – of long-time mentor, entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker Dr. George C. Fraser, to capture the key moments and messages that will inspire others.

GS3 Inc. is the official photographer for the 2016 FraserNet Power Networking Conference, from May 26-28, 2016, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The theme of this 15th anniversary event is “Accelerate: A New Model for Change.”

“If you have any doubt in your mind whatsoever whether ‘Black Lives Matter’, then networking in our own community among Black America’s most powerful leaders will reaffirm the ability to create, connect, collaborate, communicate and change,” states Sabino. “We absolutely want to leave a legacy of empowerment, inspiration and wealth to our next generations.”

“Nowadays if you want to get noticed, you also have to be digitally visible or you’ll be left behind,” Sabino continued. More than three billion people use the Internet, according to the United Nations agency that monitors international communications. In the U.S., a study by the Pew Research Center indicates at least 74% of online adults use social media for networking.

“But word of mouth and one-on-one personal relationships through networking still remain the best marketing tools to promote your goods or services. Facial recognition with your associated image helps to reinforce your mission and message, whether it’s for printed business cards or social media,” says Sabino. 

The GS3 Inc. team will provide daily photographic and video coverage of the event, as well as private corporate or individual photography sessions by advance reservation. Sabino notes, however, that the team schedule already is filling fast with graduation, engagement and wedding date reservations. For more information, go to http://www.news.gs3.us or call (216) 256-7018.

Contact: Christopher Yoshito 
Phone:  (678) 592-8213

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GS3 Summers in ‘Hotlanta’: ‘Building Economic Power for Black America’

Nothing tops the hot sizzling sun like Georgio Sabino III during his summer tour in Atlanta. The Ohio-based fashion photographer recently completed his summer season at the thriving southern metropolis which reflects the graciousness, charm and exuberant extrovertedness that Sabino embodies.

Sabino, with subsidiary operations of GS3 in Atlanta, was the official photographer among the many hundreds of celebrity participants circulating at George Fraser’s Annual PowerNetworking Conference, before proceeding to the annual conference of 100 Black Men and the National Urban League, as well as an NFL gathering among the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints. 

Absorbing the city’s energy and vibrant club scene, he was drawn to its metropolitan spirit. “Atlanta’s full of life, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are nightclubs on the rooftops of buildings like Bed, Verb and The Compound. That I was able to VIP through the whole two months there is amazing,” he remarked. 

Sabino captured the highlights of each event that he photographed, tempering each experience with his own insights and reflections. When asked what he expected to gain from his foray to Atlanta, Sabino stated, “My goal was to meet new people, network and gain new clients — to make GS3 more of a national presence. I met a LOT of people.” From the National Urban League, among those he met was supermodel Iman, “one of the greatest fashion supermodels — every fashion designer’s dream” and actor Morgan Freeman.

Even more impressive to Sabino was meeting several delegates who marched in the civil rights movement with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “These people were a testimony to helping establish a better place on this earth,” he commented. Like his many positive role models such as Tiger Woods and President Clinton, Sabino’s affinity for circulating among the rich and famous is ultimately a humble and humanitarian desire “to do something positive, for real…I want to create movement, an impetus, that people will want to join, to invest and be a part of. I’m living my dream right now, just as much as someone like Tiger Woods. The difference is that I’m trying to do just as much without the same amount of money. But I’m doing it in my own way.”

Sabino proceeded to the 100 Black Men and National Urban League conferences. Of the latter, he was able to meet and listen to African-American scholar and public intellectual Dr. Cornel West. At the National Urban League, it was really something to see how large an organization they are, and what wonderful things they have done. It was great, number one, to be there, 2) to watch, and 3) to gain knowledge from the superheroes of the intellectual world.”

This year’s conference drew its largest crowd at 13,000 attendees. Sabino personifies the theme’s goal of “Building Economic Power for Black America” as he strives to create a family company that includes his nine other brothers and sisters, and their families, his nieces, nephews and their children. Sabino was among other notable attendees such as: Vermont Governor Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee; Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman; Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, other leaders of many faith-based communities; Fortune 500 presidents, the mayors of many U.S. cities, women of leadership and other leaders of color.

Of the 100 Black Men conference, Sabino said, “To truly sit and hear Bill Cosby speak, you knew you were hearing the truth in front of you because the man is right on it! I’m a fan and an advocate. And in my own right, I’ll be a successor.” 

In between his work as fashion photographer and visual artist, Sabino shares his art with school-age children from kindergarten through high school. Presently he is substitute teaching sixth through eighth grades in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights school system before pursuing other business opportunities in New York City. However, each time he returns to teaching, Sabino utilizes what he has gained and translates real life learning back to his students in the classroom.

Sabino also uses the genre of video filmmaking to document and compile artistic interpretations about his ‘slice of life’ experiences. With these digital perspectives, unwavering optimism and plenty of street smarts, Sabino determinedly asserts himself among the students he teaches to demonstrate how their education may be the door to better opportunities and a broader world view than the limitations of their immediate neighborhood. After all, he did it, too.

Ultimately, his goal is to create a legacy for family, friends and generations of youth to follow the path where art has led him. Of his experiences this summer, Sabino says, “I saw it (all), been there, worked it…did it. Ultimately, what kinds of things can I teach these kids? I want to build, manage and design GS3 to be a vehicle of empowerment for whoever wants to be a part of it.”

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