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Art Exhibit: Nigerian Art from Oshogbo Artists

November 11 – January 7, 2023

Art from Oshogbo Artists of Lagos Nigeria in the 1980’s, is an exhibit of pieces collected by the owners Cindy and Mike Gresham during their three-year stay in Nigeria in 1979.

The ElectricCoGallery is honored to present a unique exhibit featuring artwork from Oshogbo artists in Nigeria. This show is a collection of works purchased by Cindy and Mike Gresham during their stay in Nigeria beginning in 1979.  

My husband, Mike, was working for General Electric in West Germany in 1978 when we were offered the opportunity to transfer to Lagos, Nigeria for three years to set up a “Two Way Radio Sales and Service Shop” for a customer there.  We arrived in January 1979 and stayed for a short time with another GE employee until we could get moved into our permanent quarters.  His wife was the current “curator” with the Oshogbo Artists’ Commune weekly showing in her home, which at that time had been going on every week for nearly 15 years.  

I would help her set up every Thursday and watch the hordes of expatriates come through buying everything they could get. Mostly British, Nigeria had been a British Colony, but also a good quantity of Germans and Americans. This is how I was introduced to the many artists involved. I began purchasing hand-picked pieces and getting to really know the artists.  Each artists came and delivered new pieces every week. This is where I met and became good friends with Bruce Onobrakepeya, an out-going, happy 60-year-old. I also got to know David Dale quite well, and met Teyo Quaye, Jimoh Buriamoh and several other carvers and painters associated with the show.

When we finally moved into our permanent quarters in Maryland, a suburb North of Lagos City Center, I would make a point of traveling every Thursday to continue to help set up the show. I cannot explain what a wonderful experience this was, and an honor to become part of the artists’ lives. I eventually acquired over 180 pieces to bring home and this exhibit is merely a small glance into what I found beautiful and personally meaninful. I hope you enjoy this exhibit!

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