Appreciating Art in Abuja

This is the second post on my recent trip to Abuja, read the first one here.

Whenever I get an opportunity to explore art, I love to indulge completely. I heard about a few Art Galleries In Abuja and visited Thought Pyramid Art Centre and Nike Art Centre.  Also, I found time to visit the famous Abuja Arts and Crafts Village, so I can say I got the opportunity to gratify that desire in several places.

Thought Pyramid Art Centre

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I went there on my second day in Abuja still feeling very excited about exploring. I was given a tour around the two floor gallery by a guide and was taken away by so many beautiful pieces of contemporary art from Paintings to photographs, beadworks, furnitures, sculptures of wood, metal and bronze.

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The gallery has been in existence in Abuja for about seven years, with a new branch opening in Lagos soon and there’s an exhibition about 4 times in a year for Artists and Art enthusiasts.

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The Gallery also has an indoor and outdoor Restaurant/Bar.

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There are, by the way, artworks from over a hundred African Artists available in the gallery and all pieces are for sale. whooop!

Nike Art Centre

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I have always heard stories about Mrs Nike Davies Okundaye, an Artist and her art galleries, I decided to see the gallery in Abuja. I got on an Uber with a friend on my third day in Abuja, to locate the gallery. I had no idea it was located on the outskirts of the city. Thanks to google maps, my Uber Driver located the gallery easily once we were close.
We were welcomed with metal work sculptures displayed on a vast terrain before getting to the gate, the view was amazing and no passerby would fail to captured by them.

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Once at the gate, we were met by Mr. Jide, who was in charge and our guide for the day. He was very nice and welcoming and answered any questions we asked in details. The gallery has a traditional setting and architecture which even made it more exciting because it was nothing like I’d seen in any gallery.

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There’s a major focus on African Art including paintings, various tie and dye outfits, beadworks, sculptures of wood, metal, bronze and clay, jewelries, masks and various souvenirs in the gallery and our Guide mentioned that all pieces were for sale.

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Our Guide showing us “Adire” Outfits

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More Adire Outfits

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“Turning Trash into Treasure” Curtain handmade from parts of rubber slippers.
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Totebags and Backpacks handmade from Ankara Fabric

There are classes held in the compound for students willing to learn the art of tie and dye textile designs popularly known as “Adire” in Nigeria and I met a few of the students.

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Tie and Dye Wells
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A shrine in the compound
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Traditional Means of Storing Grains
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Artistic Depiction of a Bird

My Guide showed me around the equipments for the textile design classes, showed me a tree that produces leaves from which the colour indigo is extracted and also explained the processes.

Abuja Arts and Crafts Village

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I mentioned in this post that I’ve heard a lot about this place and made sure I had to visit before leaving Abuja.

Basically the Abuja Arts and Crafts Village is a market, set to look like a village with huts as shops. There are also, restaurants and cafes in the compound but all I was interested in were the items sold by the traders.

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Every item sold in the village are either natural or hand made from natural materials. Items sold in the market include clothings of different cultures, jewelries, shoes, bags, hats and caps, paintings, rugs, wooden/metal/bronze sculptures, masks, figurines, musical instruments, luggages, board games, kitchen wares, precious stones, interior decorations, furnitures and souvenirs.

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The traders generally had a welcoming attitude, spoke English and explained the meaning or use of any item in a friendly manner. Also, they had no problem at all with visitors taking pictures of their goods.

TIPS…

  • Thought Pyramid Art Centre is located on No 18 Libreville street, off Aminu kano Crescent, Wuse, Abuja. Entry is free but you would normally not be allowed to take pictures  of the artworks. However, taking selfies are allowed.
  • Nike Art Centre, located on Kilometre 7.5 Abuja International Airport Road, Piwoyi Village allows visitors to take any kind of pictures and entry is free as well. There are 4 Nike Art Galleries in different locations in Nigeria; Lagos, Abuja, Osun and Kogi States.
  • Abuja Arts and Crafts Village is located on 1161 Sani Abacha Way and entry is free. Items sold are generally quite pricey but negotiable.

Are you an Art lover too? Or do you find it boring? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments. If you loved this post and would like to see more of these, subscribe to recieve them in your mailbox.

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