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Lyrical Lines: The Works of Obiora Udechukwu & Ada Udechukwu

Lyrical Lines: The Works of Obiora Udechukwu and Ada Udechukwu
January 24 – April 20, 2003
Opening reception: Friday, January 31, from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
This event is free, and the public is cordially invited to attend.

Guilford College Art Gallery presents “Lyrical Lines: The Art of Obiora and Ada Udechukwu,” opening in the main gallery, Hege Library on Friday, January 24. The artists, two of the major contemporary artists to come from Nigeria, reinterpret traditional Igbo designs known as uli (Igbo body and wall paintings that feature curvilinear designs and symbols) in their paintings, etchings and drawings with collage. The artists are also known for their poetry; selections of their writings are included in the exhibition as a complement to their visual expressions. The exhibition will remain on view through April 20.      

Obiora Udechukwu, A Journey of Several Centuries, 1996, watercolor, pencil, and ink, 15-1/2 x 21-1/2 “

The Udechukwus are both members of the Nsukka Group associated with the Department of Fine & Applied Arts at the University of Nigeria-Nsukka.  Obiora Udechukwu is presently visiting Dana professor of international studies and fine arts at St. Lawrence University, in Canton, NY.  Prior to coming to St. Lawrence in the fall of 1997, Udechukwu was professor of drawing and painting at the University of Nigeria, where he received his B.A. and M.F.A. in painting.  Internationally known, he has exhibited work in a number of countries.  His paintings, drawings and prints (and his wife Ada’s paintings and textiles) were included in the group exhibition, “The Poetics of Line: Seven Artists of the Nsukka Group,” held at the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, DC.


Ada Udechukwu, Untitled, 2000, watercolor, charcoal, and collage, 12-1/8 x 16-1/8″

Ada Udechukwu is one of the few women artists associated with the Nsukka group.  Self-taught in the visual arts, she earned her B.A. in English and literature from the University of Nigeria in 1981.  Born to an Igbo father and an American mother in the city of Enugu in Igboland, the artist is “extremely aware of her allegiance both to Nigeria and Igbo culture and her sense of identity with America.”[1]  Her visual media includes painting on textiles and designing fashions, along with painting and drawing on paper; however, she considers herself primarily a poet.  In 1993, Boomerang Press (Bayreuth, Germany) published her book of poetry, Woman, me, which expresses many of the same personal qualities as her works on paper.The artists will visit Greensboro for four days in March as part of a program, “Igbo Visions: Art, Literature, and an African Cultures Values.”  This program will offer numerous opportunities for the public to interact with the artists, and will also include presentations by novelist and children’s author, T. Obinkaram Echewa.  Co-sponsored by the Guilford College library and art gallery, this is the first in a biennial series that will examine the art, literature and values of specific world cultures.
This project received support from the North Carolina Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of North Carolina and the National Endowment for the Arts.  The North Carolina Humanities Council, a state-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Friends of Guilford College Library, provided additional funding for Igbo Visions.