Saturday, 19 September 2009

The House Nike Built


After years of dreaming it, and living and reliving its spirit, leading art maker and women empowerment specialist, Nike Okundaiye has finally birthed a befitting home for her volumptious art works. The new Nike Art Centre, her first in Lagos after that in Ogidi-Ijumu, her home town; Abuja and Osogbo, where her career really started is a baeutiful edifice with lavish space for the display of her works and that of the multitude that she mentors through her various workshops and skill acquisition programmes for the less-priviledge artistes and art enthiusiasts. The gallery is situated at Plot 2, Lekki 2nd Roundabout at Ikate Lekki. Robustly jovial as usual, Mrs Okundaiye told The GuardianLIFE during the week: “The new ‘Nike Art Centre’ with an art gallery and textile museum in Lagos is built to celebrate Nigerian cultural heritage”. In deed, every one of Nike’s activities in hernear-five decades lofty career has been remarkably slanted to stress this patriotic dimension to the service of the arts and humanity. She disclosed that the new gallery may be formally opened sometime in October. IN the past 20 years, Nike has given workshops on traditional Nigerian textiles to audiences in the US and Europe. While she is known for her colorful batik and paintings that offers a modernist gloss on traditional themes, she was brought up amidst the traditional weaving and dying practiced in her native village of Ogidi in Western Nigeria. Her fame as an artist and teacher has taken her all over the globe. Now, she invites you to visit her in Nigeria and immerse yourself in African tradition”, stated her website. “Nike found that the traditional methods of weaving and dying that had been her original inspiration were fading in Nigeria. She used her international success to launch a cultural revival, building art centers where young Nigerians master traditional arts and crafts. You can now visit the world of the Yoruba, to explore a culture that has flourished in Western Nigeria for well over 1000 years”.

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