Tola Wewe

Tola Wewe
In Residence: July 5 – August 6, 2004
Opening Reception: July 23, 5:30- 7:30pm
Exhibition: continues through August 6, 2004 

Tola Wewe will be our Creative Resident at PlatteForum July 5-23, 2004. A Nigerian painter, Tola obtained his B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of Ife in Nigeria in 1983 and M.A. in African Visual Arts from the University of Ibadan in 1986. He has taught Painting and Drawing in Nigeria and has had several solo exhibitions in Africa and Europe. Tola’s work has traces of cubist inspiration and explores the beauty of simple child-like forms. He often works with a mixture of sawdust and glue, then painting over the textured surface. Moyo Okediji, Curator for African and Oceanic Arts at the Denver Art Museum states that Tola Wewe is one of the major artists upon whom they are focusing as they move their curatorial efforts toward contemporary African Art, stating, “I consider him one of the most talented minds from the African continent. His work is a hybrid of African and western sensibilities and images, reflecting his won training and experience as an international artist.”

Residency Description
During his residency, Mr. Wewe will transform PlatteForum into a painting studio. He describes his work as such, “My early paintings have traces of cubist inspiration. Later works are simpler in forms. In fact, they remind me of how I drew when I was a kid. I entertained my siblings and friends with my drawings, mostly executed with a piece of stick on a wet ground. I now create a similar type of expression with the use of sawdust on canvas. It is my intention to share this experience with audiences and enthusiasts of all ages and callings.”

Tola will also lead a Learning Lab with youth from Joan Farley Academy. This alternative school works with homeless, high-risk, disadvantaged youth who have traditionally met with school failure. Joan Farley Academy has created a new and unique school culture that addresses the special educational needs of these youth – especially in terms of vocational education. Youth learn to work through their problems, take responsibility for their actions and become productive members of society. For this residency, each child will create a series of paintings using Mr. Wewe’s techniques and guidance. An exhibition of the work the youth create will open with new works by Tola Wewe on July 23, 2004.