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Bruce ONOBRAKPEYA (Dedicated Exhibition)

Born Onobrakpeya Bruce in 1932, the Urhobo artist from Agbarha-Otor, Delta State, Nigeria, is one of the Nigerian artists best known internationally.

He had part of his basic education at the now defunct Eweka Memorial (High) School near Iyaro, Benin City in the early 1940s, while his secondary education was at Western Boys High School, also in Benin City. While studying at the Nigerian College of Arts, Science & Technology (NCAST) in the late 1950s, he co-founded the Zaria Art Society (nicknamed the Zaria Rebels); a group initially made up of first generation artists from the NCAST (now Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria). The Zaria Rebels significantly influenced the course of art in Nigeria.

An accidental experiment with hydrochloric acid on zinc plates in the late 1960s started him on a new phase of print-making. Improving and refining this serendipitous innovation, Bruce Onobrakpeya has risen to the heights of professionalism in his career. The fusion of his training in Western techniques and materials blended into his background, culture and genius yield such ingenuity that is irrefutably indigenous, yet exotic. His rich textured works are a blend of native folklores, faith, environmental reflections and supernatural essences.

Dr. Bruce Onobrakpeya and the Bruce Onobrakpeya Foundation founded the Annual Harmattan Art Workshop; a forum to inspire and help support visual artists. This initiative aids to develop the potential of Nigerian Artists through the provision of opportunities by means of skills acquisition, training and mentoring. Bruce Onobrakpeya has exhibited his works in major international cities and events. He was conferred an honorary D. Litt. from the University of Ibadan in 1989.

Bruce Onobrakpeya is regarded as one of the foremost master printers /artists in Nigeria. He is a successful family man, domiciled in Lagos.


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