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Six U.S.-based artists tell ‘The Nigerian Side of the Story’


Six East Coast, U.S.-based Nigerian artists, will exhibit their paintings at Alfa Art Gallery, New Brunswick, New Jersey, on October 1 to mark Nigeria’s 57th year independence from British rule. In commemoration of this historic day, six Nigerian contemporary artists will come together from various parts of the East Coast region of the U.S. for a powerful exhibition of artworks exploring the narrative theme ‘Not Nasty but Feisty: The Nigerian Side of the Story.’

The exhibiting artists include Ola Balogun, Louis Collins Ejeh, Ajibade Awoyemi, Rodney Asikhia, Happiness Akaniro and Abiodun Eniyandunni. They are widely exhibited artists, whose careers span years of exhibiting both in Nigeria and abroad. The show promises to be engaging, as well as stimulating.

‘Not Nasty, but Feisty’ is a theme inspired by recent happenings in politics that brought about a new urban interpretation to the word ‘Nasty.’ Interestingly, the rest of the world was fascinated by the unprecedented and even, to an extent, entertaining happenings in America, and they too became engaged and were forced to look around and ask themselves some unprecedented politics-inspired questions like ‘What’s Nasty?’


In Nigeria, too, this political debate spilled into the lives of everyday people on the streets and saw them engaging in passionate debates. Also interesting was the artists’ fascination by how some American creative people put a positive spin to it all.

Well, these six Nigerian artists took their own interpretation of global politics to the studio and what is seen in this exhibition is from the artist’s point of view. What the public would see in their works is an interesting range of artistic approach to close to 30 paintings on display, with styles ranging from abstract to realism, each infused with the artists’ personality, experience and backgrounds among other influences. The artworks comprise mostly of paintings.

It is a two-day show. First day of showing is on Saturday, September 30, from 5pm to 9pm, a preview and artist talk, while the opening reception is on Sunday, October 1, from 12pm to 7pm. The event is put together by Labundu Events Agency, founded by Happiness Akaniro, one of the exhibiting artists. Akaniro is an artist and art book author. She has a Master of Fine Arts degree from a U.S.-based university.

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