Monday, October 3

Ambassador Croma presides over opening of The Fire Within exhibition

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By Yunus S Saliu

The ambassador of the United States of America to The Gambia, Mrs Sharon L Croma, on Friday, 2nd September 2022 declared open an exhibition titled The Fire Within organised by Dr Olumide Oludare Egunlae, President of Adonai Art Foundation.

The Fire Within exhibition was held at The Key Art Gallery located at Alhagie Kebba Conteh Plaza, Kanifing Layout, it was attended by prominent people from across the country.

At the just concluded exhibition, Dr Egunlae has the opportunity to exhibit 21 paintings in the solo exhibition for the pleasure of lovers of art, collectors, and The Gambian community,

The exhibition which derived its theme from the title of the exhibition – The Fire Within was all about the organiser’s feelings and expression of his fire of love for painting that burns within him on daily basis.

“My life is all about art when I meditate, quiet, walk, talk or sleep. Though I carry the fire of art all alone in my brain every second, I have been opportune to display a fractional part of the fire within me here today for everyone to see,” Dr Egunlae expressed his innermost feelings about his talent, work, and the exhibition.

According to him, his paintings are dialogues of his mind as viewed, perceived, or seen from things, lifestyles of the people, and the worlds around him.

“When I captured the images in my conscious mind, I find a special way to analyze and engage those images carefully into my canvas,” he added.

Talking about his experience, “I discovered my love and journey in art at a very young age of 8 through my father, who lived his life as a Fine Art teacher/educator and author of several books in Art and Design, and my uncle, Michael Olusegun Adejemilua, a painting Professor was one of the founding fathers of Ona Art Movement in Nigeria.”

About the exhibited painting he explained that through a free-form approach to his paintings, he has explored the use of balance, lines, shapes, colors, and heavy textures and give a lot of chances and freedom to experiment with his colors which results in real unconscious juxtapositions of colors and other elements in the whole work.

Meanwhile, he appealed to the Gambian Government and the Ministries of Youth and Sports, Tourism, and Culture as holders of the keys to national developments to intensify and support programs that are tailored toward Visual Arts, Vocational and Technical Education as they, vocational and technical education, could help in solving the problems of unemployment and reduces the number of people who depend on government for the job.

He went further to explain that when the youths and adults are trained vocationally or technically, it would enable them to be self-reliant in different areas such as Information Technology(ICT), Art and Design, Tailoring, Carpentry, Hair Dressing, Electrical, Plumbing, Automobile, Vulcanizing, Computer Engineering, GSM repairs, Cloth weaving and so on.

“This will helps to bring about rapid economic development while the survival of individuals will ensure the survival of the country as a nation,” he added.

In his words, the organiser, Dr Olumide Oludare Egunlae said “I discovered my love and journey in art at a very young age of 8 through my father, who lived his life as a Fine Art teacher/educator and author of several books in Art and Design, and my uncle, Michael Olusegun Adejemilua, a painting Professor who was one of the founding fathers of Ona Art Movement in Nigeria.”.

However, Dr.Olumide is one of the best, nationally and internationally recognized artists. He has also been commissioned by the Gambian Government, Banks, and Embassies in The Gambia.

The history of his exhibition that he has partaken included the ‘All for Peace’ group exhibition in 1998; ‘Above The Sky – 2000; ‘Taking It To The Street’ a solo exhibition in 2012; ‘Opportunity’ in 2012; ‘Waking The Spirit’ in 2013, ‘USA Birthday’ in 2015; solo exhibition. And also participated in ‘Gambian President’s Exhibition for 3 Artists’ at State House, Banjul in 2016; ‘UNFPA/ICPD 25 Exhibition Against FGM’ in 2019; ‘International Fine Art Exhibition’ at Alliance Francaise in 2019 and among other notable exhibitions.

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