Bekele Mekonnen is Assistant Professor of Fine Arts and Coordinator of Graduate School for Film Studies at Addis Ababa University; and Assistant Professor at Alle School of Fine arts and Design. He is visual artist, poet, and Educator.
He obtained a Masters degree in Fine Arts from Moscow State Institute of Fine Arts in 1993 and diploma from Addis Ababa School of Fine Arts in 1983.
Ato Bekele has served two terms as the director of Alle School of Fine arts and Design; as the first Director of the Modern art Museum Gebre-Kristos Desta center; as Director of The School of Fine Arts and Design; and as Lecturer of Sculpture and History of Art and Drawing in the School of Fine Arts and Design.
He had critically acclaimed exhibits in Ethiopia, Europe and the USA. He has exhibited and lectured on his works as well as on art practices in Ethiopia and in several colleges in Europe, such as SACI in Florence, Italy.
Ato Bekele has received Awards and Prizes at home and abroad. In 1998, he was the only African artist to win the Chicago Artists International Program, then, one of the 11 international winners around the world, the only visual artist among the group. He was the first visual artist to receive the Scholar Rescue Fund Award, a program of the IIE, in New York in 2006. That Same year, He was invited by the Maryland College of Art to be an Artist in Residence in Baltimore, Maryland. He is a recipient of $20,000 USD from Pollock Krasner foundation in New York as recognition of artistic potential.
Ato Bekele played a key role in the establishment of the first higher education program in Film studies. He has designed several monuments and statues. He is the creator of the historical Ethiopian millennium logo in 2007. He is also known for his active participation in artistic and social programs on a radio and TV shows.