Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Friday, July 28, 2017
CITATION For the Honourary Degree of Doctor of Arts (Hon. D. A) to Bruce Onobrakpeya from the Delta State University.
Bruce Obomeyoma Onobrakpeya the universally acclaimed master printmaker, painter, sculptor and poet was born at Agbarha-Otor on 30th August 1932.
After attending elementary and secondary schools in Ughelli, Sapele and Benin from 1941 to 1951, he won a Federal Government Scholarship in 1957 to the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and
Technology, (now Ahmadu Bello University), Zaria where he studied and earned a Diploma in Fine Arts in 1962 and also a Postgraduate Arts Teacher's Certificate.
He began his working career in 1953 as an Arts teacher at Western Boys' High School, Benin- City. He relocated to Ondo Boys' High School in 1957. He was from 1963 to 1980 the Arts teacher at St. Gregory's College, Obalende, Lagos.
|Prof. Bruce Onobrakpeya|
As a master artist in a class of his own, it didn't take long for Onobrakpeya's skilful hands to attract global attention. He became an Artist-in- Residence at Haystack Mountain of Art and Craft
in Maine in the United States of America in 1975. He has, since then, held some of the most prestigious Art Residencies and professorship around the world, seven of which were in the United States. He also enjoyed the same rare privilege at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, and the National Gallery of
Zimbabwe which is one of the world's most notable arts galleries. He has since 1998 organised and participated, annually, in the Harmattan Workshop for artists at Agbarha-Otor.
In the course of his enchanting career as an artist, Onobrakpeya has held more than one hundred art exhibitions. The first of which took
place in Ughelli in 1959. Since then his art works have been standing taller than any other at exhibitions in Lagos, New York, London, Berlin, Moscow, Warsaw, Washington, Bologna, Nairobi, Illinois, Toronto, Bradford, Holland, Zurich, Bonn, Zimbabwe, Abidjan, Dakar, Dubai, etc. I must not forget the one at the Vatican Museum in Rome in 1977. I am sure Pope Paul VI must have told God about the marvel of Onobrakpeya's art.
In recognition of his sublime art, he has received over fifty awards, honours and prizes from all over the world. He is a winner of the Pope Paul VI Gold Medal. In 1989, the University of Ibadan, awarded him an honorary doctor of letters. He was the second person after Chinua Achebe to win the Nigeria Creativity Award in 2010. Many other prizes came from across the seas; USA, Britain, France, Iraq, Czechoslovakia, etc. The Federal Government of Nigeria conferred the Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) on him in 2002. Very significantly, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) canonised him as a Living Human Treasure in 2006! Art connoisseurs have long reached a consensus that had there been a Nobel Prize for Visual Arts, Onobrakpeya would have long won it!Today, Onobrakpeya's art works can be found in all the continents of the world. Presidents, Prime Ministers, Kings, Nobles, Commoners, all stand before his works in adoration!
Onobrakpeya' s astonishing portfolio of achievements is reinforced by ibiebe an Urhobo alphabetic system he invented, fourteen published monographs and fourteen illustrated books. The number of theses written on his works by art cognoscenti is now in the realm of the uncountable!
Before us today is one of the most significant artists of global resonance for all times. At eighty- five, Onobrakpeya is the youngest among today's honourees, but he is the oldest known practising artist in Africa now. Whatever he touches becomes art. Art works immortalise the artist. So let it be with Owena Bruce Obomeyoma Onobrakpeya.
Sunny Awhefeada, PhD
Delta State University, Abraka.
22nd July, 2017
Saturday, July 15, 2017
In 1957, Onobrakpeya was granted a Federal Government Scholarship to attend the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, now the Ahmadu Bello University, where he studied fine arts and arts education. While a student, the Zaria Arts Society, later called the Zaria Rebels, was formed with the aim to “decolonize” the visual arts as taught by Europeans. Onobrakpeya states that while college taught him technical skills, the Zaria Arts Society taught him confidence in his ability to form a personal style.
Throughout the 1960s Onobrakpeya participated in artist workshops and apprenticed with sculptor Ben Enwonwu. In 1964 he became a founding member of the Society of Nigerian Artists. From the 1970s until the 1990s, Onobrakpeya was an artist-in-residence and professor at numerous institutions in the United States, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.
Much of Onobrakpeya’s work comprises stylistic elements and compositions rooted in traditional African sculpture and decorative arts. Onobrakpeya has no definitive style but instead specific periods of work that differ in content and media. His works range from lino cut prints, bronze, paintings, drawings and installations. The themes found in his works include folklore, Zarian landscape, Christianity, the Benin Kingdom, environmental degradation, politics, tradition, philosophy and social unrest. A testament to his skill and creativity as an artist, Onobrakpeya innovated several unique printmaking and relief sculpture techniques such as bronzed lino relief, plastocast relief, plastograph, additive plastograph, metal foil deep etching, metal foil relief print and ivorex. Furthermore, Onobrakpeya innovated and uses Ibiebe, a writing style that features invented script of ideographic geometric and curvilinear glyphs.
Onobrakpeya has taught and exhibited in the United States, Italy, Zimbabwe, the United Kingdom, Kenya and Germany. In 1999 he founded the Bruce Onobrakpeya Foundation which organizes the annual Harmattan Workshop Series in Agbarha-Otor, encourages creative interaction among artists and scholars and aims to increase public awareness of African art. His work is held by various collections and he is the recipient of many honors.Onobrakpeya lives and works in Nigeria.
|Onobrakpeya standing before Akporode Installation|
As an experimental artist he was lucky to have had an early breakthrough, through the innovation of plastography in 1967. He is also a founding member of the Zaria Art School. His exhibitions have contributed to a large body of literature which not only placed him as a contemporary and modern artist, but also created an artistic continuum for Nigerian art after Nok, Benin, Ife and Igbo Ukwu legacies. He has exhibited at the Vatican, the National Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian institution in Washington D.C., U.S.A, and London Museum to mention a few places
As an installation artist, he has pioneered, developed and emphasized installations as an art form, since the early 1990s. His inspiration has been drawn largely from the example of traditional African shrines. Another inspiration for his installation art is the availability of numerous discarded objects, particularly those from used computers and the automobile industry. A good example of his installation is a work titled Akporode which was shown in 2002, at U.C.L.A. Fowler Museum. This piece is now on permanent display at the Onobrak Museum in Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.
We at BOF Salute and Celebrate our avatar Bruce Onobrakpeya for bringing an elevated consciousness of our immeasurable valuable asset of Culture. As he is being honored on the 22nd of July 2017, with an honorary Doctor of Arts Award from the Delta State University, Abraka, Delta State, Nigeria, we wish him continued and enlightened Guidance as he journeys.
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Thursday, November 24, 2016
|Chief Rasheed Gbadamoosi|
Picture Credit:Sahara Reporters
TRIBUTE TO RASHEED GBADAMOSI
The death of Rasheed Gbadamosi came as a shock to me and to artists and art lovers for whom he had been a great patron. His passing is even more painful when we realize that another patron Sam Olagbaju was laid to rest a few weeks back.
|artists and friends at Lecture at Grillo Pavilion|
Rasheed did not only empower artists to grow through the purchase of their artworks, he also built the Grillo Art Pavilion in Ikorodu, near Lagos, in which works of pioneer artists including those of the Zaria Art Society were given annual exposure.
Rasheed will be greatly missed and we pray that his Legacy will last forever and immortalize his name. I wish him a peaceful rest in the bosom of the Lord. Amen
November 24, 2016
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
GRANGE SCHOOL PRINTMAKING WORKSHOP
AT THE DIDI MUSEUM
VICTORIA ISLAND, LAGOS.
Eminent ladies, gentlemen and students I am grateful to the Grange School authority for nominating me as their Artist In Residence for the year 2016. This year’s programme is a joint training in printmaking between the famous school at Ikeja and Bruce Onobrakpeya Foundation (BOF) Harmattan Workshop Series in Agbarha – Otor.
I praise the Grange School for creating the forum where art practioners interact with their students every year. I have been involved through the Harmattan Workshop with this type of training for many years and as such, I consider the partnership as a very healthy and profitable trend in our educational system.
I commend very highly the performance of the selected students in the project. They were excited and very involved in the different processes of creating and drawing out multiple art works from the templates. I am sure that by now, they recognize that printmaking is both artistic and scientific and that it also lends itself to experimentation which is at the root of modern developments.
I thank the Grange School art teachers and other workers for all that they have done to make the workshop a huge success. Here I must mention Mr. Onajobi Olumide the Head of the art department . My thanks go to the team from the Harmattan Workshop – Mrs. Juliet Maja-Pearce, Ojo Olaniyi and Dele Oluseye, who are the facilitators or instructors also to our two co-ordinators, Bode Olaniran and Moses Unokwah. I thank Udeme Nyong for the secretarial works and other assistants for fabricating some of the materials and assembling both tools and equipment necessary for the workshop.
Finally, I like to appeal to individuals and cooperate groups to help us with funds that will enable us continue the interactive and instructive programmes of the Harmattan Workshop Series which have in the past benefited both young and old. Thank you
Bruce Onobrakpeya MFR
Chairman Bruce Onobrakpeya Foundation
June 19, 2016.
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