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When the Grill hosted Pop the Cherry group exhibition


Nero Asebuwa and Olu Ajayi at the show… in Lagos

Nero Asebuwa and Olu Ajayi at the show… in Lagos

Many arts enthusiasts and collectors had time during the Christmas and New Year celebrations to savour the rich artworks of four young Nigerian artists at Backyard Garden and Grill, Lekki, Lagos. The group art exhibition tagged Pop the Cherry at The Grill, was organised by the founder of Backyard Garden and Grill, Mr. Temitayo Abolade.

The exhibition featured young Nigerian artists such as Chinedu Uzoma, Habeeb Andu, Aromire Wahab Oladehinde and Ekpetorson Elizabeth Chioma. The group show, which opened from December 26 to 30, 2016, had works with different themes and styles.

Interestingly, the exhibition was organised to provide a meeting point for art lovers and upcoming artists, who have limited opportunities to showcase their works but are despite doing amazing arts.


Uzoma had Sought After (oil on canvas), which shows a mother and child exuding confidence and happiness in spite of the economic situation. It also reflects the love and bond between the two. His presentation underlines his keen interest and strength in human forms and anatomy. His other work was The Reminiscence.

Uzoma graduated from Lagos State Polytechnic with a distinction in painting in 2014. He had an informal art training in Universal Studios of Art, National Theatre Complex, Iganmu, Lagos, before he got admission into arts school. He believes “art is a tool to communicate what words cannot tell.”

Unlike Uzoma, Andu, who graduated from Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State, where he had his National Diploma (ND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) in Painting, had works in mixed media and charcoal and pastel on paper. His works, ‘The Projection’ and ‘Homage,’ shows his versatility of a painter, who loves drawing. His works show his passion for drawing through his regular expression in charcoal, pastel and other drawing media.

The only female artist among the lot was Ekpetorson Elizabeth Chioma, from Delta State. She graduated from University of Port Harcourt and had her industrial training at Universal Studios of Art, Lagos. She specialises in drawing and painting.

In ‘Concentration,’ she captured the concentration level of a mobile male tailor at work using pen on paper. The drawing shows minute details such as folds, bends, stress and strains of both the clothes and the tailor. Her other drawing, ‘On the go meal,’ shows a female snack hawker wearing half hijab by the road side.

Olasehinde had ‘The counselor and The perfect man’ all in pastel on paper.


The founder of Backyard Garden and Grill, Mr. Temitayo Abolade, is a trained architect with a passion for the art. He acquired his first Bruce Onabrapeya’s work in February 2007 and has since then built a rich collection of artworks. His passion for the arts inspired the establishment of the Backyard Garden and Grill: a casual dining restaurant set in a garden on Plot 20, Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase One, Lagos, which serves grilled food on Fridays through Sundays.

According to Abolade, “The grill attracted a customer base with served interests in arts and a more humane lifestyle so the art exhibitions are a natural progression of activities. The current series of exhibitions is aimed at young and aspiring art collectors as we exhibit the works of young artists and facilitate interaction between both groups. The just-concluded exhibition was well attended and recorded sale of all the exhibited works.

“The gallery hopes to continue to provide an avenue for the identification, development and celebration of Nigeria artists, especially with the renewed calls for diversification. We appeal to the Nigerian public to enjoy indigenous art forms as it leads to the development of tourism, hospitality and economic development. The gallery also believes that the love of arts should not be restricted to only the elites in our society as arts is a form of expression for all humans alike.”

Among guests that attended the exhibition were Chairman of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Ernest Ebi, Mr. Emeka Onwuka, Chioma Ude, Nze Chimezie Osuala, Daniel Ajike, Ejiro Onabrapeya and Nero Asebuwa.


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