Wednesday 29 September 2021

'Emergence' of 'Ibadan artists' hits Lagos

'Red' (oil on canvas, 62x92cm) by Victor Morawo as one of the paintings for Emergence. Pic: c/o Alexis.

FOURTEEN Young artists from Ibadan open a new path of their career in Lagos as they celebrate ten years of art promotion with one of the most active galleries in Lagos. 

Victor Morayo, Damilola Ilori, Bola Obatuyi, Samson Toba, Williams Sunday, Quazeem Animashaun and Oluwaseun Ojebiyi are among  the 'Ibadan artists.' Others include Gobe Joseph, Segun Okewumi, Emmanuel Ojebola, Busari Adewale, Emmanuel Aderiye, Esan Mayowa, and Seun Aderire 

They are celebrating ten years of curator, Patty Chidiac-Mastrogiannis-led Alexis Galleries. The gallery, which started as The Homestores came with a mission to lift Nigerian art.  Since then Alexis Galleries has become one of the  favourite spaces, particularly for emerging artists.

In celebrating its ten years of existence, Alexis Galleries flaunts the space's foundational mission by showing 14 new artists in a group exhibition titled Emergence, from Saturday,  October 2-9, 2021. The exhibition is also running on  virtual tourno on the opening day, on the gallery’s social media handles; Instagram- alexisgalleries, Facebook- Thehomestores & Alexisgalleries. The exhibition, it has been assured, promises to be intriguing for both virtual and live view.

Interestingly, the exhibition will be boosting the Njgerian art lexicon with what Chidiac-Mastrogiannis described as a gatherng of "Ibadan Artists." The artists have two things in common: all are based in Dugbe, Ibadan, Oyo State and mentees of a mid-career artist Oluwole Omofemi. 

Chidiac-Mastrogiannis tracked the Omofemi mentorship connection in Emergence to the artist's working relationship with Alexis right from when the gallery had its early exhibitions ten years ago. 

"We started with Omofemi 10 years ago. when he was among the young artists we showed then," she said during a preview at the gallery.  "Hopefully, in ten years, these new artists would be strong too."

On the theme of the exhibition, she explained Emergence  as a group of young talented artists, "in all fair assessments" based on styles and those whose works capture and reflect on society, human experiences, and issues that are important to us as a people. Other contents of the show include  "intriguing paintings and sculptures."

The gallery recalled how it  emerged with the aim of presenting and disseminating contemporary art in every area of visual arts specialization. And over the years, "We have created an art space that accommodates aesthetically pleasing arts, works in the wide range of materials and styles, contemporary works in the media of painting, drawing, mixed media and sculpture." The gallery boasted that "we have established ourselves rapidly as one of the best galleries in Nigeria, a meeting place for artists, collectors, and enthusiasts of art."

In its Gallery Statement, Alexis said: "We aimed at promoting artists from across Africa and Africa Arts at large, especially young artists. We have organized and showcased their works and talent through numerous exhibitions, as we desire to take the Nigerian artists to greater heights in strengthening the ever-vibrant Nigerian Art Circle. We have over the years organized residency programs as we recognize the enormous benefits of such programs for artists.  It creates an avenue for new communal context with other artists from different artistic backgrounds in other to have cross-experiences. We also bask in our annual effort to constantly showcase the intriguing works of reputable Masters that are successful executors of techniques, styles, and material exploration.

"We are celebrating our 10th anniversary by remembering and recreating the way we were launched, by organising an exhibition that creates a platform for new, vibrant, and talented young artists to emerge."

Supported by   Pepsi, Tiger, Indomine, Mikano, The Guardian, Wazobia TV, Cool FM, UPS, Haier Thermocool, Cobranet, Delta Airlines, Aina Blankson, The Homeatores, Art Café, Lost In Lagos and AMG Logistics. the exhibition also continues past three years tradition of Alexis' social responsibility, Alexis said every exhibition at the gallery has given back to the society.  "We adopt a charity organisation in every exhibition and give part of the exhibition proceed to their course. In this particular exhibition, we are adopting The Bricon Foundation, an NGO that supports patients and their families battling cancer through counselling, education, and advocacy, and assistance with sourcing for funds for treatment, by donating part of the exhibition proceeds to its course."

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