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Nigerian U.N. ‘Ambassador for Art’ will present workshop on watercolor

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Imagine yourself at the Springfield Art Museum in the company of Ibiyinka Olufemi Alao, Nigeria's ambassador of art, as he blends his music and art in a discussion with members of Studio 55.

Imagine yourself at the Springfield Art Museum in the company of Ibiyinka Olufemi Alao, Nigeria’s ambassador of art, as he blends his music and art in a discussion with members of Studio 55.

Ibiyinka Olufemi Alao, Artist and United Nations Ambassador for Art and Peace will give a free public program and watercolor workshop, sponsored by Friends of the Springfield Art Museum and Studio 55 Fine Arts Guild, from 6-8 p.m., Thursday, November 17, in the Springfield Art Museum Community Room, located at 1111 E. Brookside Drive.

Seating is limited, so reservations are required. To reserve a place, call Sandra Letson, president of Studio 55 Fine Arts Guild, at (417) 869-7812 or by e-mail, sandragraves@mchsi.com.

Alao will be covering two topics: “Visual Storytelling” and “Art is Frozen Music” which is the idea that art can visually astonish, as in painting, sculpture and architecture, but can also have musical and poetic components of dance, drama, and writing. He will show and discuss five of his paintings and perform a short musical demonstration on the African Djembe drum.

Ibiyinka’s painting, “Girls and a Greener Environment,” was the winner of the 2001 United Nations International Competition. His 2016 work, “Eternity in Our Hearts” was awarded the grand prize for the Kids are Authors contest sponsored by Scholastic, and is the basis for the children’s book “Ibi’s Fireflies.” His paintings have been exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Museum, the Martin Luther King Jr. Art Center, and the United Nations Headquarters.

In addition to his presentation, Also will lead a watercolor workshop where participants will create a small watercolor painting. This workshop is most appropriate for adult artists. Artists will need to bring their own supplies including: watercolors, paintbrushes, 11 by 14 watercolor paper, drop cloth, and tape.

Founded in 1928, the Springfield Art Museum is the city’s oldest cultural institution, dedicated to enhancing the education and documenting the cultural heritage of the people of southwest Missouri through the collection, preservation, and exhibition of art objects. For more information, please visit www.sgfmuseum.org. For more information, please contact Joshua Best, Development and Marketing Coordinator, at 417-874-2859 or jbest@springfieldmo.gov.

Studio 55 Fine Arts Guild is a member of the Springfield Regional Arts Council and was organized in 1996. It is composed of artists of all media and various levels of expertise. They are dedicated to support, educate and develop artists while promoting visual arts in Springfield and the surrounding communities. Monthly programs and meetings are free and open to the public. They are held in the Gallery at National Avenue Christian Church. Visit them on line at Studio55Guild.com or on Facebook: ‘Studio 55 Fine Arts Guild.’

Friends of the Art Museum (FOSAM) was formed in 1982 for the purpose of bringing educational lectures and exhibits to the museum. As an organization, dedicated to furthering artistic education in Springfield, the FOSAM organizes programs and lectures that provide educational support and sponsors the Family Art Lab. Their teams and committees have worked on behalf of the Museum to produce and sponsor over 120 exhibitions, receptions, gallery talks, educational lectures, special fundraising events and function and exhibits to the museum at ArtMuseumFriends-spfd.org/index.html.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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