Launching of Two Books on Bruce Onobrakpeya

Urhobo Historical Society

Launching of Two Books on Bruce Onobrakpeya


August 3, 2003
Lagos, Nigeria

Subject ONOBRAKPEYA AND PORTFOLIO OF ART AND LITERATURE FOR LAUNCH AUGUST 3 Date: Sun, 10 Aug 2003 12:42:16 +0200 From: Bruce Onobrakpeya To: <

For Immediate Release
July 16, 2003

Contact: Ekpo Udoma  and Mudiare Onobrakpeya
Telephone (Lagos, Nigeria): + 234 + 01-452-2910

For Launch, August 3, 2003

Two books entitled Onobrakpeya by Dr. Richard Singletary and Bruce Onobrakpeya: Portfolio of Art and Literature by Bruce Onobrakpeya will be launched on August 3 at the Nimbus Art Centre Maitama Sule Street South West Ikoyi, Lagos.

The launching ceremonies shall be accompanied by a weeklong exhibition of paintings, prints and installations created by Bruce Onobrakpeya at the same venue, most of which were produced in the last twelve years based mainly on environmental themes. The books were produced with the kind support of the Ford Foundation-Office For West Africa.

Dr. Richard Singletary is a distinguished American Scholar and Professor of African Art. His book, published in the United States of America in 2002, is a dissertation on the works of Prof. Bruce Onobrakpeya as a case study to illustrate the inventiveness of contemporary African art. The author who has a Doctorate of Philosophy degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia USA brings to prominence the ethnic, national and international, and modernistic impulses in Onobrakpeya’s works.

The second book entitled Bruce Onobrakpeya: Portfolio of Art and Literature on the other hand is a compendium of pictures and extracts of literary works by Bruce Onobrakpeya.  The artworks in the portfolio are illustrations or visual interpretations of poems, short stories and folk songs by various African authors mainly of Nigerian descent, as well as some of the writings and translations of the artist himself. These illustrations are an important way of reaching a wider audience through portfolio sets that can be circulated like books, but have the added advantage of having detachable contents  that can be taken out of the case and exhibited on walls like free standing pictures especially for use for  art collectors, museums and libraries all around the world.

Art collectors, bibliophiles, the reading public including children will find the compendium educational and entertaining, and more importantly, an indispensable pictorial and visual representation of works of literary giants like Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Cyprian Ekwensi and Tanure Ojaide who are a few of the writers, whose works have been very successfully illustrated by the artist Prof. Bruce Onobrakpeya. Portfolio of Art and Literature has a limited edition of just 75 copies, and  covers a period of works done by the artist from 1960 to date.

Dr.Richard Singletary, author of the book Onobrakpeya, had his first to visit to Africa in Liberia in 1964 as a Peace Corp member.  He has since visited West Africa several times especially for his research work. He clearly is a multi facetted person, given his diverse interests, amongst others he is the initiator of the hugely successful Richard Singletary Gallery of African Art, home to works of African antiques and the noted American artist Charles Sibley in Norfolk Virginia. He was also one of the Guest Presenters and Speakers at the International symposium Smithsonian National Musuem of African Art:Nigerian Contemporary Art with reference to the Nsukka Group of Artists in 1997. He began to study the art of West Africa and that of Delta and other surrounding areas of Nigeria in 1994. He received a Master of Music degree from Norfolk State University, and another Master of Arts degree from Old Dominion University. A Bachelor of Teaching degree in art and performance from Winston-Salem State University, and a Bachelor in Art History at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He is a recipient of the Commonwealth Graduate Fellowship and Bernice Gordon Art History Fellowship in 1997 and 1998 respectively. He has also studied French at the French School at Middlebury, Vermont, and French, German, Italian, Russian, Chinese and Japanese at Old Dominion Universities, Norfolk, Virginia.


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