Hall of Fame

The 2018 Hall of Fame Honourees

 

 

In 2018, the Society of Nigerian Artists’ (SNA) established a Hall of Fame (HOF) to celebrate artists who have distinguished themselves in service to the profession. Membership of the Hall of Fame is the highest honour the SNA can bestow on a member whose life and career has materially reflected and advanced the objectives of the Society. Hall of Fame candidates are nominated by the membership, recommended by the Honours Committee and elected by the National Executive.

 

The inauguration of the hall was part of ‘Music Meets Art’, a collaborative initiative between the SNA and the Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON). The event was staged at a dinner and art auction at the MUSON Centre on October 24, 2018, and was a major feature of the MUSON’s 22nd annual festival. Aimed as a memorial to celebrate iconic artists, both living and deceased, the hall is conceived as a permanent exhibition at the MUSON and will inspire several generations of creatives.

 

The 2018 Hall of Fame Honourees are as follows;

 

Aina Onabolu (b.1882, d.1963)

Aina Onabolu was born in Ijebu-Ode in 1882 and is acknowledged as the first academically trained Nigerian artist. He first studied art at Académie Julian in Paris. He later earned a diploma in fine arts and a teacher’s certificate from St. John Woods College, London in 1922.

An accomplished educator, Onabolu also encouraged the hiring by the colonial government of European art teachers in the country, including Kenneth C. Murray. A well-known portraitist, he completed several important commissions including portraits of Mrs. Spencer Savage.

Aina Onabolu is inducted posthumously into the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) Hall of Fame for distinguished service to our country. Onabolu contributed immensely to modern art in Nigeria and the teaching and practice of art in Nigeria.

 

 

 

Akinola Lasekan (b.1916, d.1974)

Akinola Lasekan was born in 1916. He worked as an illustrator for the Church Missionary Society, and later more famously as cartoonist for West African Pilot from 1944 to 1966, the legendary newspaper established by the foremost nationalist Nnamdi Azikiwe. 

Significantly, his cartoons emboldened the Nationalist movement and calls for independence. An accomplished painter, in 1961, Lasekan joined the faculty of the newly established School of Fine Arts (now Department of Fine and Applied Arts) at University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Akinola Lasekan died in 1974.

Akinola Lasekan is inducted posthumously into the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) Hall of Fame for distinguished service to our country and the Society. Lasekan contributed immensely to the practice of art in Nigeria.

 

 

 

Ben Enwonwu (b.1917, d.1994)

Benedict Chukwukadibia Enwonwu MBE was born in 1917. He is the most influential African artist of the 20th century. His pioneering career opened the way for the postcolonial proliferation and increased visibility of modern African art. Educated at the Slade, University of London, he was one of the first African artists to win critical acclaim, having exhibited in august exhibition spaces in Europe and the United States, and listed in international directories of contemporary art.

Since 1950, Enwonwu was celebrated as “Africa’s Greatest Artist” by the international media and his fame was used to enlist support for Black Nationalists movement all over the world. In 1971, Enwonwu was appointed Nigeria’s first professor of art by the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, and was awarded the Nigerian National Merit Award by the Federal Government in 1980. The Enwonwu crater on the planet Mercury is named in his honour. He died in 1994.

Ben Enwonwu is inducted posthumously into the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) Hall of Fame for dedicating his life and career in distinguished service to our country. Enwonwu is credited with laying the foundations of modern art in Nigeria. One of the first patrons of the Society, Enwonwu contributed immensely to the practice, teaching and administration of art in Nigeria as the country’s first professor of art and federal art advisor.

 

 

 

Abayomi Barber (b.1928)

Abayomi Adebayo Barber was born in 1928. A painter and sculptor, Barber is also an illustrator, stage designer, musician, teacher and inventor of ‘the Barber or Yomi board’, a typified painting ground. He is the founder of the surrealist movement in the historical narratives of modern art in Nigeria, which had its beginnings in 1972 at the then School of African and Asian Studies, University of Lagos. Abayomi Barber is widely exhibited at home and abroad, and his works can be found in notable public buildings such as the National Gallery of Art in Lagos, the UNICEF office in Paris and the World Bank headquarters in New York.

Abayomi Barber is inducted into the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) Hall of Fame for distinguished service to our country. Founder of the Barber School of Surrealism, Barber has contributed immensely to the teaching and practice of art in Nigeria.

 

 

 

Lamidi Olonade Fakeye (b.1928, d.1999)

Lamidi Fakeye was born in 1928 and is one of Africa’s greatest sculptors. He comes from four generations of wood carvers and is famous for his modern re-interpretation of Yoruba traditional sculpture. Fakeye also earned a diploma in stone carving from Ecole Nationale Des Beaux -Arts, Paris, France. In 1946, he became an apprentice to the master carver, George Bamidele, and son of Areogun, a renowned traditional carver from Osi-Ilorin.

Fakeye was also artist-in residence at various universities in the United States including North Western University, Illinois and Purdue University, Indiana. Between 1972-74, he visited 56 American colleges and universities, lecturing on Yoruba art and exhibiting his work. Fakeye was also a visiting international scholar at Western Michigan University, United States and Professor of Art at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

His famous works include the doors to the Catholic Church at University of Ibadan and John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, and the statue of Oduduwa at Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife. His works can also be found at several prestigious institutions
including the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Institute of African Studies, University of
Ibadan. Fakeye’s work has been extensively exhibited in Nigeria and the United States. He died in 2009.

Lamidi Fakeye is inducted posthumously into the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) Hall of Fame for distinguished service to our country. Recognised for his modern interpretation of traditional Yoruba sculpture, Fakeye contributed immensely to the practice of art in Nigeria.

 

 

 

Afi Ekong (b.1930, d.2009)

Constance Afiong “Afi” Ekong was born in 1930. She trained as a painter and studied fashion design in England, at the Oxford College of Arts and Technology, Saint Martin’s School of Art and the Central School of Art and Design.

In 1958, Afi Ekong was the first woman artist to hold a solo exhibition in Lagos. A pioneer gallerist, she owned and operated the Bronze Gallery and manager of the Lagos Arts Council and founding member of the Society of Nigerian Artists. She was also chair of the Federal Arts Council Nigeria. Ekong appeared regularly on the Nigerian television programme called “Cultural Heritage”, to promote the arts. In 1990, she also chaired the National Council of Women’s Societies Committee on Arts and Crafts.

Ekong’s work to advance the arts and women’s education in West Africa was recognised in 1962 when she was awarded “The Star of Dame Official of the Human Order of African Redemption,” by President William Tubman of Liberia.

Afi Ekong is inducted posthumously into the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) Hall of Fame for distinguished service to our country. A pioneering gallerist, Ekong contributed immensely to the practice and promotion of art in Nigeria.

 

 

 

Solomon Irein Wangboje (b.1930, d.1998)

Solomon Irein Wangboje was born in 1930. He is a graduate of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Wangboje is considered a foremost modern printmaker in Nigeria. He is also an accomplished educator, his contributions include the development of the department of fine and applied art at the University of Benin.

Solomon Wangboje is inducted posthumously into the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) Hall of Fame for distinguished service to our country, and for dedicating his life and career to the mission and values of the Society. A founding member of the SNA, Wangboje contributed immensely to the teaching and practice of art in Nigeria.

 

 

 

Bruce Onobrakpeya (b.1932)

Bruce Onobrakpeya MFR was born in 1932 and is respected as one of the leading print makers in the world. He attended the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, now Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria with a Federal Government scholarship. He was a founding member of the Zaria Arts Society, which contributed immensely to modern art in Nigeria. 

In 2000, Onobrakpeya was honoured with the Fellowship of the Society of Nigerian Artists.
He has also received several other awards including the Pope John Paul II award for painting
the life of Saint Paul, the Fellowship of Asele Institute award, the Sadam Hussein award, the
Solidra Circle award, the Living Human Treasure award (2006) given by UNESCO and the
Fulbright Exchange Scholar award. In 1989, Onobrakpeya received an honourary D. Litt from the University of Ibadan. In 2010, he won the prestigious Nigerian Creativity award given by the Federal Government of Nigeria. In 2017, he won the Nigerian National Merit Award (NNOM).

Bruce Onobrakpeya has held numerous exhibitions across Africa, Europe and America. Through his various workshops and symposia, Onobrakpeya continues to influence generations of young artists.

Bruce Onobrakpeya is inducted into the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) Hall of Fame for distinguished service to our country, and for dedicating his life and career to the mission and values of the Society. A founding member of the SNA, Onobrakpeya contributed immensely to the philosophy of modern art in Nigeria, and continues to promote its practice.

 

 

 

Uche Okeke (b.1933, d.2016)

A founding member of the Society of Nigerian Artists, Christopher Uchefuna Okeke was born in 1933. He studied fine art at Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, now Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

Pivotal to the establishment of the art department of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Okeke also served as a visiting professor to the Department of Creative Arts, University of Port Harcourt and Honourary Deputy Director-General (Africa) of International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, among several other engagements with educational and cultural institutions in different parts of the world. Widely acknowledged as the leader of the Zaria Art Society, arguably the first modern art movement in Sub-Saharan Africa, Okeke is well known for his experiments with Uli, the ancient form of Igbo wall and body painting. He died in 2016.

Uche Okeke is inducted posthumously into the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) Hall of Fame for distinguished service to our country, and for dedicating his life and career to the mission and values of the Society. A founding member of the SNA, Okeke contributed immensely to the philosophy of modern art in Nigeria, as well as its teaching and practice.

 

 

 

Erhabor Emokpae (b.1934, d.1984)

Erhabor Ogieva Emokpae was born in 1934. He is one of Nigeria’s most significant modernist artists. Largely self-taught, he later trained at the Technical College, Yaba, now Yaba College of Technology.

Emokpae also worked briefly at the Federal University of Information, Enugu and later served as creative director of Lowe Lintas. Other major works of his include Olokun housed at the United Bank of Africa headquarters in Lagos and his historical portraits of Nigeria’s past heroes; Herbert Macaulay, Mai Idris Alooma of Borno, Uthman Dan Fodio, King Jaja of Opobo and Sultan Mohammed Bello of Sokoto for the 1981 Government-commissioned calendar.

Emokpae was awarded the Order of the Officer of the Niger (OON) in 1980 for his contributions to art in Nigeria. His works are in several major collections including those of; The Federal Government of Nigeria, Union Bank, Trust Bank, the universities of Lagos and Benin, the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos and Economic Commission for Africa building in Addis Ababa. Emokpae’s works have been widely exhibited all over the world.

Erhabor Emokpae is inducted posthumously into the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) Hall of Fame for distinguished service to our country and the Society. Emokpae contributed immensely to the practice of visual arts in Nigeria.

 

 

 

 

Yusuf Adebayo Grillo (b.1934)

Yusuf Adebayo Grillo was born in 1934 and attended Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, Zaria, where he received a diploma in fine arts and a post-graduate diploma in education. Grillo is a member of the famous Zaria Art Society, and is the first president of the Society of Nigerian Artists.

Considered one of Nigeria’s most outstanding artists, his works recognisable for their deep blue palettes and geometric forms. Yusuf Grillo is a former head of the Department of Art and Printing at Yaba College of Technology, where he strongly influenced several generations of artists.

Yusuf Grillo is inducted into the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) Hall of Fame for distinguished service to our country, and for dedicating his life and career to the mission and values of the Society. A founding member and first president of the Society of Nigerian Artists, Grillo contributed immensely to the philosophy of modern art in Nigeria, as well as its teaching and practice.

 

 

 

Demas Nwoko (b.1935)

Nwoko was born in 1935, and is a Nigerian artist, designer, architect and builder. A founding member of the Zaria Art Society, recognised as the first artistic movement in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nwoko was a publisher of the now defunct New Culture magazine.

Demas Nwoko is inducted into the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) Hall of Fame for distinguished service to our country, and for dedicating his life and career to the mission and value of the Society. A founding member of the Society of Nigerian Artists, Nwoko contributed immensely to the philosophy of modern art in Nigeria, as well as its practice and dissemination.

 

 

 

Timothy Adebanjo Fasuyi (b.1935)

Educator, administrator and painter, Timothy Adebanjo Fasuyi was born in 1935. He studied fine art at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He also completed a postgraduate Diploma in Education, moderated by London University. And later studied art and educational management at Birmingham University through a commonwealth scholarship.

Fasuyi was a member of the Zaria Art Society, arguably the first modern art movement in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the first secretary of the Society of Nigerian Artists. Throughout his distinguished career, he held several appointments including; chair examiner at the West African Examinations Council, Secretary of the Federal Scholarship Board, Secretary of the UNESCO Commission and Federal Art Adviser.

After retirement on his 50th birthday, he founded the Pre-varsity Education Centre, using part of his Ikeja Cultural Centre and continues to promote art and artists.

Timothy Fasuyi is inducted into the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) Hall of Fame for distinguished service to our country, and for dedicating his life and career to the mission and values of the Society. A founding member of the Society of Nigerian Artists, Fasuyi continues to contribute immensely to the teaching and administration of art in Nigeria.

 

 

 

Bisi Fakeye (b.1942, d.2017)

Bisi Fakeye was born in 1942 and is a sixth generation carver in the famous Fakeye family of carvers. Fakeye first apprenticed with his uncle Lamidi Fakeye before attending teacher training college. In 1968, Bisi Fakeye developed a more contemporary and commercially based practice. After FESTAC 1977, he settled into the studios on the grounds of the National Theatre till he passed on October 8, 2017.

Bisi Fakeye is inducted posthumously into the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) Hall of Fame for distinguished service to our country, and for dedicating his life and career to the mission and values of the Society. A founding member of the Society of Nigerian Artists, Fakeye contributed immensely to the practice of in Nigeria through his modern interpretation of traditional Yoruba sculpture.

 

 

 

Josy Ajiboye

Josy Ajiboye was born in 1945. After his secondary education, he worked as a trainee for African Challenge Magazine, a division of the Sudan Interior Mission. He would later study fine art at Yaba College of Technology. From 1971, he gained early recognition as a cartoonist at the Morning Post and Daily Times, where he commented regularly on cultural and socio-political issues in Nigeria.

Ajiboye is also well known as a painter and held his first exhibition in 1977 at the Gong Gallery, Lagos.

Josy Ajiboye is inducted into the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) Hall of Fame for distinguished service to our country. A well-known cartoonist, Ajiboye has contributed immensely to the practice of art in Nigeria.

 

 

 

dele jegede (b.1945)

Painter, art historian, cartoonist, curator, art critic, art administrator and teacher, dele jegede was born in 1945. He holds a first degree in fine art from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and a Masters and doctorate from the Indiana University, United States. jegede is a Senior Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, (1995). A former president of the Society of Nigerian Artists, he taught at Spelman College, Atlanta as Visiting Fulbright Scholar and was Professor and Chair of the Department of Art at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. jegede is recipient of the Distinguished Africanist Award of the University of Texas.

dele jegede is inducted into the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) Hall of Fame for distinguished service to our country, and for dedicating his life and career to the mission and values of the Society. A founding member and former president of the Society of Nigerian Artists, jegede has contributed immensely to the practice and teaching of modern art in Nigeria.

 

 

 

Gani Odutokun (b.1946, d.1995)

Influential painter and teacher, Gani Odutokun was born in 1946. He earned his BA (Hons) in fine art in1975 and an MA in painting in 1980 from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He would serve as a lecturer at the same institution till his death in 1995.

Gani Odutokun is inducted posthumously into the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) Hall of Fame for distinguished service to our country and the Society. Odutokun contributed immensely to the practice and teaching of visual art in Nigeria.

 

 

 

 

 

David Dale (b.1947)

David Herbert Dale was born in 1947 and is one of Nigeria’s most significant
artists. He studied fine art and art history at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria specialising in illustration and graphic design.

Dale is proficient in over 23 different media, including stained glass, watercolour, beads and deep etching. He has staged major solo exhibitions in Nigeria and all over the world. Some of his works are the stained glasses for Our Saviour’s Church, Race Course, Lagos and the Holy Family Church, Festac Town.

David Dale is inducted into the Society of Nigerian Artists Hall of Fame for distinguished service to our country and to the Society. Dale has contributed immensely to the practice of the visual arts in Nigeria.

 

 

 

 

Kolade Oshinowo (b.1948)

Kolade Adekunle Oshinowo was born in 1948. He graduated with a second class (upper division) degree in fine art with a specialisation in painting from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1972. Oshinowo is one of the leading figures of the famous Yaba School of Art. After a brief period teaching Art at King’s College, Lagos from 1972—1974, he served in various administrative and teaching capacities at Yaba College of Technology.

In 1986, he was appointed head of the department of Fine Art and in 1990, director, School of Art, Design and Printing. Oshinowo was also deputy rector of the same institution from 1992 to 1996. From 1975-1980, he served as national secretary of the Society of Nigerian Artists. In 2005, he was elected president, a position he held till 2008.

Kolade Oshinowo is one of Nigeria’s best-known and versatile artists. Some of his major work includes portraits of the Oba of Benin (Omo N’Oba Erediauwa II), Chief S.L. Edu, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa-Balewa. Oshinowo has participated in several international exhibitions from 1972 till date. He has held 22 solo and participated in over 90 group exhibitions in Nigeria and abroad. He has won numerous awards and prizes including; the National Productivity Order of Merit Award (2004); Award of Excellence by Yaba College of Technology for distinguished service as deputy rector (1996); and the 50th Anniversary Five Star Award for excellence and meritorious service to Yaba College of Technology (1998).

Kolade Oshinowo is inducted into the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) Hall of Fame for distinguished service to our country, and for dedicating his life and career to the mission and values of the Society. A former president of the Society of Nigerian Artists, Oshinowo has contributed immensely to the teaching and practice of modern art in Nigeria.

 

 

 

 

Nike Davies-Okundaye (b.1951)

Chief (Mrs) Nike Davies-Okundaye was born in 1951. Davies-Okundaye’s skills were nurtured at a young age by her parents and great grandmother who were musicians and excelled in crafts. She also spent part of her childhood in Osogbo, where she trained informally in batik.

A notable Nigerian leading painter, Davies-Okundaye founded and directs four art centres, which offer free training to young people in music, visual and the performing arts. She also owns one of the largest art galleries in West Africa, with over 4,000 artworks. The centres serve as a rich source of research on traditional arts and culture for scholars and institutions. Chief Nike Davies-Okundaye continues to promote her designs through exhibitions and workshops across Nigeria, United States, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy and the United Kingdom.

Nike Davies-Okundaye is inducted into the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) Hall of Fame for distinguished service to our country. Davies-Okundaye continues to contribute immensely to art in Nigeria through the promotion of young and emerging talents.