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Alexis celebrates anniversary with Emergence of new artists

By Tajudeen Sowole
29 September 2021   |   3:04 am
Ten years ago, the curator Patty Chidiac-Mastrogiannis-led exhibition space started with a mission to lift Nigerian art. Since then, the space, Alexis Galleries, has become a favourite platform, particularly, for emerging artists.

Alexis Galleries

Ten years ago, the curator Patty Chidiac-Mastrogiannis-led exhibition space started with a mission to lift Nigerian art. Since then, the space, Alexis Galleries, has become a favourite platform, particularly, for emerging artists.

To celebrate this milestone, the gallery is showcasing 14 new artists in a group show titled, Emergence, from October 2 to 9, 2021. It will go virtual on the opening day in the gallery’s social media handles: Instagram- alexisgalleries, Facebook- Thehomestores and Alexisgalleries.

Interestingly, the show will boost the Nigerian art’s lexicon with what Chidiac-Mastrogiannis has described as a gathering of ‘Ibadan Artists’.

The artists have two things in common: They all are based in Dugbe, Ibadan, Oyo State and mentees of the mid-career artist, Oluwole Omofemi.

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

Chidiac-Mastrogiannis traces the artists’ involvement in the show to Omofemi’s working relationship with Alexis from when the gallery had its early shows 10 years ago.

“We started with Omofemi 10 years ago, when he was among the young artists we showed then,” she said, during the show’s preview at the gallery. “Hopefully, in 10 years time, these new artists would be strong too.”

On the show’s theme, she said Emergence is a group of young talented artists, “in all fair assessments” based on styles and those whose work captures and reflects 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 started as a space for presenting and disseminating contemporary art in every area of visual arts. 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 noted. “We have established ourselves rapidly as one of the best in Nigeria — a meeting place for artists, collectors and enthusiasts of art.”

In its Gallery Statement, Alexis said: “We have over the years organised residency programmes, as we recognise the enormous benefits of such programmes for artists, we have created an avenue for new communal context with other artists from different artistic backgrounds in order to cross-experiences. We also bask in our yearly 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.”

And following its tradition of social responsibility these past years, Alexis said, “we adopt a charity organisation in every exhibition and give part of the proceed to their cause. In this particular show, we are adopting The Bricon Foundation, a non governmental organisation 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.”

Pepsi, Tiger, Indomie, Mikano, The Guardian, Wazobia TV, Cool FM, UPS, Haier Thermocool, Cobranet, Delta Airlines, Aina Blankson, The Homestores, Art Café, Lost In Lagos and AMG Logistics are sponsoring Emergence.