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:
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.