Our History

Founder, Obafemi Ogunleye, lecturing at 'Reviving Benin' exhibition. St. Mary's, University. 2015.

Founder, Obafemi Ogunleye, lecturing at ‘Reviving Benin’ exhibition. St. Mary’s, University. 2015.

Our History

Òlàjú Art Group was founded by Obafemi Ogunleye in 2015. The organization originally began with a focus on curating works from artists to be provided as traveling exhibitions at college campuses across San Antonio, TX for cultural and educational purposes. The first exhibition, ‘Reviving Benin’, was held at St. Mary’s University and featured a selection of photographs from the Ouidah “Voodoo Festival” captured by Nigerian photographer Nseabasi Akpan.

The exhibition was accompanied with a lecture on the topic by Obafemi Ogunleye aimed at demystifying the misconceptions regarding traditional African religion. The Reviving Benin series went on to be featured at multiple venues throughout the city, particularly the University of Texas at San Antonio, and select San Antonio Public libraries. After touring the Reviving Benin series for one year, Obafemi began searching for additional works from artists dealing with a wider range of issues to add to the Òlàjú Collection.

In order to create the types of work and experiences that we hope to engage with, we have established a division for special projects. Our flagship program is the African Market Festival, which is a one-day celebration of contemporary African arts and culture that takes place annually in San Antonio, TX. In addition to the Festival, we partner with local, national, and international organizations to develop customized programming.

 

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