Vernon Lockhart is Executive Director of Project Osmosis, an education and mentoring initiative that emerged from the Chicago chapter of the Organization of Black Designers (OBD). Sharing a mission with OBD to increase dialogue and interaction between aspiring designers and the professional world, Vernon has directed Osmosis toward mentoring young creative minds. Osmosis programs foster a generation of confident makers by engaging minority youth in activities that promote creativity and self-expression. The organization helps more than 400 students each year to gain access and knowledge about career opportunities in the design disciplines.
Vernon is also founder and principal of Art on the Loose (AOTL), a creative consulting firm specializing in exhibition design and brand identity. Clients of AOTL include Bronzeville Children’s Museum, Chicago Community Trust, Communities in Schools of Chicago, DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center, Museum of Science and Industry, Newberry Library, and Northwestern University. The firm’s work has been recognized by Communication Arts, Graphic Design USA, Graphis, and Print.
Active on all fronts of design advocacy, Vernon is a member of the Advisory Council for Diversify By Design and has served on the local and national boards of AIGA. Before establishing Osmosis, he was Executive Director of OBD Chicago (1997–2007). Vernon was instrumental in helping UIC to establish the UIC Osmosis Charles Harrison Scholarship.