By The Independent
Nigerian artist, Oluseyi Soyege, has won another top laurel at the San Antonio Art League & Museum’s 93rd Annual Juried Art exhibition held in Texas, United States of America.
Soyege’s fabric collage artwork titled “A Peek Into the Future” won one of the six awards given to artists selected out of the 552 works submitted by over 200 artists from San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Marcos, Corpus Christi and other cities in Texas.
The exhibition, which is free and open to the public from April 2 through June 3, will display the works of the 64 selected artists as designated by juror Catherine Walworth.
“Judging these works was like sitting on a train and watching the Texas landscape roll past my view. Altogether, it was a wide swathe of artists and perspectives, a window onto a certain time and place, and a lovely, broad field of human conditions. I applaud everyone who entered for putting something new into the world,” says Catherine Walworth.
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Commenting on the award, Oluseyi Soyege, Founder of Ongrounds Art Gallery based in Houston, Texas, says he is proud to bring honour and recognition to his Nigerian artistic roots through his artistic creativity that continues to record growing acceptance across the U.S. and beyond.
Soyege’s winning artwork is a fabric collage with a newspaper depicting a child imagining his future self as a rich guy who can afford rich materials for clothing and live a life of luxury.
According to Soyege, in “A Peek Into the Future,” the boy is revealed to the viewer as his mind pictures his later self. “He decks up in a coat of many colours with a colourful hat to boot. Every child, at some point in life, looks into the future hoping to glimpse what might be the culmination of his or her existence. The eyes of the child in this picture are the giveaway.”
Soyege explains that, “my foray into fabric collage came in answer to the universal question of urban consumerism and its concomitant pollution problems. Recycling of wastes has been a front burner in this century. My response to cultivating a clean environment in our cities is to find artistic use for ‘waste’ from everyday pollutants like scrap metals and fabrics offcuts. Hence the peregrination into the nascent world of fabric collage.”
Soyege, whose works adorn hotels, schools, cinemas, and individual homes across Nigeria, Africa, the U.K., and the U.S., pays tribute to his Nigerian roots that shaped and defined his artistic journey.
Soyege is a graduate of Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, Nigeria, where he started producing sculptural works and paintings during his undergraduate days. Later, after graduation, he joined seasoned artists to further hone his skills in studio practices. Afterwards, he took up a teaching job at a high school while simultaneously running a vibrant art studio.
Soyege, a prolific artist whose numerous and varied works speak to incredibly multi-level contemporaneous issues, and are housed in art institutions, museums, has hosted several solo exhibitions and shows.
“My work explores the dual sensory stimulations obtainable in the phenomenal concept of synesthesia. I explore this phenomenon in both abstract and conceptual art forms, employing paints, scrap metals, wood, stones, and fabric collage. On my canvases, frequent dynamic, sweeping brushstrokes of acrylic paints or black ink, patterned in codified symbolism characterise most of my works. As with my paintings, my sculpted works in scrap metals, or any of my media for that matter, convey a controlled but dynamic sense of movement. In them, new synergies are generated from both the traditional and modern structures. The elements of my works evoke the bifocal nature of synesthesia, for understanding the seen and the unseen stimulants, drawing greater enjoyment of each work. Mistakes or accidents at production often turn out to be fortuitous and usually remain. After all, the discrepancies found in nature itself add the extra touches of unfathomableness to its glorious beauty,” says Soyege.
Soyege says he is excited at the recognition by San Antonio Art League & Museum, which has a highly regarded reputation of showing some of the finest artwork Texas artists have to offer, beginning with the Edgar B. Davis collection competitions held in the late 1920s.
Notable Texan artists such as Robert and Julian Onderdonk, José Arpa, Emma Richardson Cherry, E. G. Eisenlohr, Martha Mood, Charles Umlauf, and Amy Freeman Lee are represented in the League’s diverse and highly respected collection.
The museum was built in 1896 and its intimate house-turned-museum and gallery is home to more than 600 works in its permanent collection. Works in all media, including paintings, drawings, prints and photographs, ceramics, and sculpture, are available for public viewing. Revolving contemporary exhibits highlight both local and regional artists and represent the unique work of diverse Texas talent.
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