Articles, Written by: Jekami Adetiloye O.


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This article reports selected events you must have missed while away on that art residency, writing workshop, work travel, or exhibition tour around Lagos, Nigeria. It starts in the United State of America’s White House and ends in Venice, Italy.


On the 7th of September 2022, the official portraits of President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama were unveiled in the White House. The portrait of the first American black president was produced by Robert McCurdy who is acclaimed for his former commissioned piece of Nelson Mandela. Sharon Sprung delivered a captivating painting of America’s former first lady. 

The portrait of Barack Obama was created in a photorealistic style. The former president can be seen confidently standing at the center of Robert McCurdy’s canvas in a grey suit on a white background. 

I’ve always described the presidency as a relay race. You take the baton from someone, run your leg as hard as you can, then hand it off to someone else. The portraits hanging in the White House chronicle the runners in that race—each of us tasked with trying to bring the country we love closer to its highest aspirations.“- Barack Obama.

The painting of Sharon Sprung illustrated the former first lady in a blue dress in a setting believed to be located in the White House Red Room. The portraits speak of power and possibility that should inspire present and future generations of black African Americans to hope for more. 

Narrating the creative process, Robert McCurdy said in an interview that it takes close to a year or 18 months to paint his photorealistic portraits. Sharon Sprung shared the consistent attempt she had to overtake in properly hiding the work from studio visitors. 

There is no doubt that the two timeless pieces will stand out in the midst of the others exhibited in the White House’s Grand Foyer and Ground Floor hallway where former president Barack Obama’s and his wife’s portraits are expected to grace. 


“I’m always thinking: How can I get the best for my clients, for those who can afford but also for those who can not afford?”- Diedebo Francis Kere

“The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions for everyone at the Kéré Architecture studio in Berlin and our team across Burkina Faso. We needed some time to fully process what has happened and now want to finally take the time to thank everyone that has been part of our journey.”- Kéré Architecture studio.

The Pritzker award Architecture Prize is the most celebrated award in architecture. First awarded in 1959, the 51st recipient was announced in March of 2022 to be Kere. 

Diedebo Francis Kere is an architect from Burkinafaso. A 56-year-old African who has designed sustainable designs globally. According to Tom Pritzker, the chairman of the board that sponsors the award: Kere won the 2022 Pritzker award because of their innovative architectural abilities at coming up with structures that preserve the earth and protect its inhabitants. 

Diedebo Francis Kere has been linked to the building of public spaces, schools, government buildings, and medical centers across Africa in places like Burkinafaso, Sudan, Mali, and Benin. Prior to this pioneering achievement, Kere is the first African to be selected to design the Serpentine Gallery in London park. 

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Venice Biennale is the oldest and most prominent contemporary art fair in the universe. This year, it was curated by Cecilia Alemani. 

After 127 years, female artists overtake the Venice Biennale for the first time. The curator took a different path by shining the light on female and gender non-conforming artists who have been ignored over the years. 

It was a “ladies’ night” kind of event. The show under the direction of Cecilia Alemani is the fourth time a woman would be entrusted with the curation of the historic art fair with the current edition being its 59th. 

The Russian Pavilion was not opened this year as the artists withdrew their participants due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Danish Pavilion artist Uffe Isolotto, Chilean poet Cecilia Vicuna, German artist Katherina Fritsch, American artist Leigh, Turkish 85 years old artist Funsun Onur, and New Zealand third gender artist Yuki Kihara are some of the artists whose works have been greatly applauded. 

The prestigious art event which runs until November 27, 2022- experienced a one-year delay as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

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