Yabatech Honours Art Icon, Ekundaye, At 70

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Yabatech Honours Art Icon, Ekundaye, At 70

The Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech) Art Museum, recently honoured Nike Ekundaye, the art legend, on her 70th birthday, during its exhibition.

The event, which took place at the School of Art, Design and Printing, was hosted by the museum with the theme “Living Blue, an Archive Retrospective.”

The art exhibition, to assist researchers, which centered on presentation on the life and practice of Ekundaye, showcased the art-works of the professional textile artist.

Presenting the plaque of honour on behalf of YABATECH Governing Council, the Rector, Mr. Obafemi Omokungbe, an Engineer, eulogized Ekundaye for her contributions, and commended the Ford Foundation for the $200,000 financial support to upgrade the museum, without whose contributions the show could not have held.

Curator of the museum, Odun Orimolade, noted that the theme of the show, which is an archive retrospective, meaning it is not just art works, added that it was an extension of “advocacy on gender issues and youth development.”

She explained that Ekundaye was brought to the space due to her many achievements in the art circle.

“We brought her space into the museum for her achievements. There are a lot of processes like the memorabilia, history, documents with much information that we could get out of artistic space, running for two months.

“If you go through the collections we have, you have actually gone through her life. There are quite a collection of books on her digital, texts, images, art objects, elms and other things that make up what she is.”

Giving reasons Ekundaye was taken as a subject for the research work of the museum, Orimolade said: The reason we have taken her as a subject for this research is not that she turned 70 years, but because of what she does and represents.

On her part, Funke Baruwa, Programme Officer, for gender, racial and ethnic justice at the Ford Foundation for West Africa in Lagos, said as long standing partner of the College, the foundation believes that art is a medium of expression and culture that helps change and address social norms.

She emphasized that art can be influenced to help negative stereo-types and biases that affect a people, adding that with it, we can be on our way to moving development in Nigeria.

Baruwa noted that Nike is a legend and celebrating a woman like that who uses her works, developed her arts and her skill is worth it.

In her response, Ekundaye, who was overwhelmed by the reception thanked YABATECH for the honour and pledged her continuous support to promote art.

Impressed by the work of art in the school, the art icon urged the youth to embrace art and take bold steps to gain recognition in the circle.

“I want more and more people to see art as work and means of making money. I never knew this work of art will take me this far. It’s a dream come true.

I will like to be remembered as mama Adire (meaning tie and dye). I started with Adire. I do other printing but my first work from age five with Adire. Parents should allow their children who have chosen art as a career, it is not ordinary. My dream kept me moving.