Affinity Art Gallery Formally Opens with Inaugural Exhibition

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Yinka Olatunbosun

A new art gallery in Lagos, Affinity Art Gallery is trending for the right reasons. The gallery has launched its inaugural group exhibition titled “The Opening” on December 6, which runs till January 15, 2021.

The gallery’s arrival on the art scene is not just an architectural addition but an expansion of performance space, created to promote artistic exchange and gallery partnerships. Art enthusiasts relished the view last weekend as sprawling view is a calm contrast to the busy, effervescent nature of the city.

In a release by the Founder and Director, Affinity Art Gallery, Olugbemiro Arinoso, he noted that the new gallery is committed to promoting and supporting artists from Africa through diverse exhibitions and educational programmes. According to him, the gallery offers itself as an exhibition, installation and performance space, promoting cultural exchanges and global gallery partnerships.

“Our mission is to create a space that introduces the works of artists to a wide audience as well as make art accessible to everyone locally and internationally,’’ he said.

The gallery is a two-storey space parading paintings, sculptures and mixed media works from its existing collection by modern and contemporary artists.

The participating artists at this inaugural show include masters such as Sam Ovraiti, Rufus Ogundele, Tony Enebeli, Jimoh Buraimoh, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Muraina Oyelami, Tola Wewe, Yomi Momoh and Ben Osawe. Others are Bisi Fakeye, Amos Odion, Akachukwu Emeka, Segun Aiyesan, Toni Oshiame, Ebong Ekwere, Tega Akpokona, Emmanuel Ekefrey, Chike Obeagu, Tony Nsofor, Sokenu Abayomi and Olaoluwa Qozeem Abdulrahman.

Established in 2017, Affinity Art Gallery is domiciled in Muri Okunola, Victoria Island Lagos. The place offers visual testimony to the years of its collection focused on African art.

The gallery hinges on two objectives: to celebrate Nigeria’s modern and contemporary artists and support emerging artists by enabling their projects known through exhibitions, installations and presentations. The gallery also has a public art education initiative that focuses on government and private-owned primary as well as secondary schools across the country.

Arinosho, who was sporting a mask during the opening of the gallery, explained why it was important to open up a gallery space even at a time of the pandemic.

“As a passionate collector of African Art, I see the need to not only set up a gallery to spotlight artists who are bustling with life and creativity but also to render advisory services to new and existing collectors.

“There is a shortage of institutions and infrastructure to support the creatives on our continent and this pushed us towards this project which would enable us to show and educate more people on African art.’’