By Japhet Davidson

POISED by her passion for arts and the need to change the face of African art by providing a platform for artists to exhibit their works in a favourable condition and hosting artists-in-residence programmes, one of the leading galleries in Nigeria, Alexis Galleries graduated the batch 6 artists that participated in a two-week residency programme with an exhibition tagged Fate IV.

The programme which took place at the galleries home, 282 Akin Olugbade Street, Victoria Island lived up to its bidding as it afforded the artists a conducive environment which enabled them to come out better than how they entered there.

Founder and Director, Alexis Galleries, Mrs. Patty Chidiac-Mastrogiannis, who introduced the  artists to the press announced that the programme will climax with an exhibition tagged Fate IV, an exhibition of painting, assemblage sculpture, mixed media and metal foiling.

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The artists are: Olatunde Taiwo David, Taiwo Owoyemi Sola, Usman Semiu Alvin, Kalu Isaiah, Darlington A. Chukwumezie and Akeem Dada.

The exhibition which is scheduled to open on 15th February and run till 22nd February, 2020 at Alexis galleries will feature diverse works of arts that speak on topical issues affecting human being. Speaking about the theme, Chidiac said that “Fate is just about people who are destined to come and grow with me and fulfill their destiny in arts. Since  inception over 30 artists have participated, in this edition we have six artists from different backgrounds who were housed together for the purpose of identifying themselves, helping one another and learning from each other and it has been interesting.

One good thing about the programme is that it offers space for creative minds to live and work with all expenses paid courtesy of some art loving organisations like Pepsi, Tiger, Indomie, Mikano, Wazobia, Cool FM, Delta, Cobranet, The Homestores , Art Café, UPS, Cool World etc.

Another benefit of the programme is that, some of the works of the artists would be shown on the galleries to put them on a bigger scale.

The studio was filled with some finished works and some unfinished works which they are working on. A look at the works confirm what she said as their stay brought out the creative ingenuity of the artists and they were able to produce many works within the short period.

Speaking about their experiences, the artists commended the management of Alexis galleries for the wonderful opportunity which has really changed their artistic life.

For Olatunde Taiwo David, who is a third time participant in the residency, “before the residency I paint on canvass but delved into panel after last year’s residency.” A look at some of his works confirm that as they resemble works by Professor Bruce Onobrakpeya and El Anatsui,  who he said he studied online and got a lot of inspiration from. Some of his works are, Swim in your own direction, The heartbeat of love.

For Usman Semiu Alvin, “My experience so far has been tremendous, meeting with colleagues of mine, got new ideas, new ways, new knowledge and experience. It was an eye opener, never taught what I did I could actually achieve that. In my studio, it takes me like two weeks to do one job, but here I was able to do five works in just few days.

I acquired more speed, felt impressed with the residency. My coming here made me to explore new ideas, concepts.”

For Dada Akeem, it was a wonderful experience, working with people, learnt a lot from them, improved on my speed and developed new approach to work.

I really appreciate it. I really improved in the speed, a lot of training, advice, constant talk.

I appreciate the opportunity given to me by Alexis, the experience I gathered is not what money can buy.

For Taiwo Owoyemi, a multi dimensional artist who work on scrap materials. “The residency afforded me a new environment that allows me to work any time of the day unlike at my studio, no distraction. The volume of works I produced here is great, in my studio it takes me like two weeks to finish one work but here I have been able to produce seven works within this period.” He however advised art dealers/ community to key into what Alexis is doing, “make this type of opportunity available to upcoming artists so that they can improve on their work. Most of the masters benefited from things like this, so they should do so for upcoming artists too”, he added.



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