By Yinka Olatunbosun
The Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art (YSMA) has been awarded the Museum Opening of the Year 2020 by the Apollo Magazine, an international publication that specializes in the world of art across the globe. The award-winning museum, domiciled at the premises of the Pan-Atlantic University, Ibeju-Lekki was on the same shortlist as Aberdeen Art Gallery (reopened November 2019), The Box, Plymouth (opened September 2020), Gemaldegalerie Alte Meister und Skulpturensammlung bis 1800, Dresden (reopened February 2020) and KBR Museum, Brussels (opened September 2020).
Named after Prince Yemisi Shyllon, an art collector and businessman, it began operations in 2019 with two exhibitions. The first shows the museum’s ground floor titled, “Making Matter” and highlights materiality and technology in Nigerian art. The second exhibition titled “Mirroring Man’’ explores society and politics as influences on Nigerian art and is showing on the museum’s top floor. Both exhibitions feature works donated to the museum by Prince Shyllon and others from the university collection, artists and private collectors.
The museum’s director and designer, Dr. Jess Castellote revealed that the architecture of the museum follows the principles that inspired the design of all other buildings in the institution. The flexible space allows for the museum to change its display configuration according to changing curatorial demands. He further remarked that the university museum, YSMA, is primarily an educational resource at the service not only of the Pan-Atlantic University but also for the larger community.
The museum will develop community educational programs for students of public schools as well as training programmes for art teachers.