Ibiyinka Olufemi Alao, Nigeria’s Ambassador of Art, returns to Orange Beach

By Melanie LeCroy
Posted 10/16/19

Ibivinka Olyfemi Alao, Nigeria’s “Ambassador of Art,” returns to Orange Beach Oct. 21 – Nov. 11 making public appearances and holding workshops for area youth.

In 2015-16 Alao spent …

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Ibiyinka Olufemi Alao, Nigeria’s Ambassador of Art, returns to Orange Beach

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Ibivinka Olyfemi Alao, Nigeria’s “Ambassador of Art,” returns to Orange Beach Oct. 21 – Nov. 11 making public appearances and holding workshops for area youth.

In 2015-16 Alao spent six weeks in Orange Beach as a base to his many dinners, receptions, speaking engagements and art workshops. He even made an appearance on the City of Orange Beach float in the Gulf Shores Christmas Parade.

Alao integrates art and culture in all subjects with leadership, character and diversity elements built in to enhance the learning experience. Teaching children the importance of their own creativity in all aspects of life.

Alao is an artist who represented his country — Nigeria — and became the first-place winner of the prestigious United Nations International Art Competition amongst 61 countries. His entry "Girls and a Greener Environment" chronicles the life of a girl-child from infancy to adulthood and the values she acquires along the paths of life.

Alao’s perspective is from the traditional African viewpoint. His father was a very quiet man and from him, he grew up to learn that happiness in life is a code which we can often decode by listening to silent voices and speaking without talking.

Even at an early age, Alao saw what many others didn't. He saw life in "color" and "color" as a language. This unique perspective of life allowed him to depict, in a clear and elaborate manner, what he had a hard time articulating. The empty surface soon became a vehicle for bringing his thoughts to life and giving his opinion a voice.

"Wisdom is what we have when we realize that vanity isn't a vice after all, and that emptiness is an opportunity to fill. What really makes us artists is a void in our heart that is the size of the universe without us. We live our lives trying to fill this void. God himself created all to fill that void. This is how we break the codes of creation — Genesis," Said Alao.

Alao’s paintings speak volumes and the impact of his works has received worldwide recognition. His paintings are currently in the United States on tour. They have been exhibited at the Harvard Business School, the Indianapolis Art Center, the Martin Luther King Art Center, the African Unity Festival, the Nigerian Consulate, the Nigerian Embassy, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Cultures, the New York University Brownstone Salon, the Queensborough Library International Resource Center, the United Nations headquarters, the World Bank headquarters, as well as the Empire State Building. "Visions of True Colours," a reception and exhibit of his paintings, was hosted by The Washington D.C. African Community in September 2016.

In between exhibitions, Alao finds himself giving open lectures at universities and setting up workshops in community centers across the country. As Nigeria's Art Ambassador, Alao is available for speaking engagements, participation in seminars, panel discussions, workshops and exhibitions.

These paintings are a rare collection of an artist who has spent many years expressing a peaceful view of integration of cultures in our world today through the use of colors.

Ibiyinka Olufemi Alao Public appearances:

Oct. 23 - Coastal Art Center of Orange Beach – Welcoming reception – Public Invited

5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

26389 Canal Rd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

https://www.facebook.com/CoastalArtCenter/

Oct. 30 - Gulf Shores United Methodist Church – Public Invited

6 – 7:15 p.m. - in Auditorium

1900 Gulf Shores Pkwy, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

https://www.facebook.com/Gulf-Shores-United-Methodist-Church-196757365005/

Nov. 3 - Orange Beach United Methodist Church – Reception following -Public Invited

5 – 7 p.m. – Presentation and reception to follow

28751 Canal Rd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

https://www.facebook.com/orangebeachumc/

Nov. 6 – St. Andrews by the Sea Gulf Shores

5:45 – 7:15 p.m.

17263 Fort Morgan Road, Gulf Shores, AL 36542; 251-968-3900

https://www.facebook.com/youthsaintandrewgulfshores/

Nov. 9 - Gulf Shores Cultural Center – “My Fireflies, An Island Experience” Finale- Public Invited