posted April 3, 2000

Resident Artist in Smithsonian

Internationally recognized Nigerian sculptor Lamidi Olonade Fakeye, who spent the fall of 1996 at Hope College as an artist-in-residence, is featured in a retrospective exhibition in the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

          His work and biographical information are featured
  throughout the year 2000 in the "Focus Gallery" of the newly
  opened permanent exhibition "African Voices."  The
  exhibition examines the diversity, dynamism, and globalism
  of Africa's peoples and cultures over time in the realms of
  family, work, community and the natural environment.  In
  addition, Fakeye is featured in a series of web pages about
  the exhibition, located on the museum's web site at:
  www.mnh.si.edu/africanvoices/
          A senior art fellow at Obafemi Awolowo University,
  Fakeye has taught and exhibited extensively both in Nigeria
  and internationally.  His work appears in many private
  collections, as well as the permanent collections of
  institutions such as the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the
  John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and numerous
  others, including Hope.
          Born in 1928 and descended from five generations
  of woodcarvers, Fakeye roots his work in the traditional
  Yoruba system of apprenticeship, while his awareness is
  informed by studies in the conventional European canon.  A
  devout Muslim, he carves subject matter ranging from
  depictions of biblical scenes to traditional Yoruba imagery.
          The web site presents his work in three
  categories:  plaques, figures, and doors and posts.  An
  interactive section also traces the creation of one of his
  sculptures in stages, from unformed wood block through
  completion.  Biographical pages include his family's
  woodcarving history and a selected chronology that cites his
  semester at Hope.
          Fakeye has made numerous visits to Hope through
  the years, most recently in December of 1999.
          During his 1996 residency at the college, the
  gallery of the De Pree Art Center featured a retrospective
  exhibition of his work and published his autobiography,
  "Lamidi Olonade Fakeye," which is now being sold by the
  Smithsonian as the accompanying piece for his exhibition
  there.  In February of 1997, he spoke on-campus through the
  college's Presidential Lecture Series, and also presented
  Hope with four door panels that he sculpted through a
  commission from the college.