Today, in EDU 301, we had a visit from Ibiyinka Alao. Mr. Alao is the art ambassador of Nigeria. He gave a talk about his art and described a few of his pieces. He spoke about the importance of self expression through art. He also shared with us that he has built a school in Nigeria for refugee children some of whom were once child soldiers and the effect that painting has had on their lives. Mr. Alao's paintings, which can be viewed at his website, are vibrant depictions of life in Nigeria. We learned that in Nigeria visual art is usually accompanied by music and dance. After his talk Mr. Alao taught us how to create a simple landscape with watercolors. By giving us step by step instructions as well as encouragement Mr. Alao allowed us to create and learn while having a really fun class period. I feel really lucky to have been allowed the opportunity to meet Mr. Alao.
The Painting I made in class:
Mr. Alao and I holding the print I purchased. Mr. Alao had talked about this painting in his lecture and said he had painted it when he was feeling homesick for the warmth of Nigeria on a visit to New York. I really liked this because I always feel most homesick when I am cold. Even when I'm home and it is just winter like it is now I feel homesick for summertime.