'Feminine Power and Spirituality' exhibit on display

Exhibit by Chicago artist Dayo Laoye on display Feb. 4-28

"Feminine Power and Spirituality," an exhibit of art by Chicago artist Dayo Laoye, will be on display in Luther College's Center for Faith and Life Feb. 4-28.

The exhibit, coinciding with Luther's Black History Symposium Feb. 11-12, is open to the public with no charge for admission.

The 30 pieces in the exhibition represent Laoye's recent focus on the continuity of African traditions in the northern hemisphere.

"My work, speaks to beauty, spirituality and political power of women!" said Laoye.

He was born to the royal family of Oba Adetoyese Laoye, The Timi of Ede, Nigeria. This timi, or Yoruba king, toured Europe in the 1960's with the traditional Yoruba talking drum and instilled in Laoye a strong belief and conviction for the traditional Yoruba culture and values.

With the support of his parents, Laoye spent his childhood pursuing a strong interest in art and drawing. He recalls this memory of his youth in Nigeria, "I can remember vividly drawing things that I saw on TV such as the 'Flintstones,' cowboys and Indians on horseback, and of course soldiers in their uniforms. While my friends in the neighborhood rode bicycles or played ball, I was always sitting in a corner drawing. Although this made me a 'good boy' to my parents, it affected my sports and leisure life and how I related with my other young friends."

Laoye later worked on portraiture using his fellow students, teachers and special guests to the school as his models. After graduating from Yaba College of Technology's School of Fine Art, he worked for the Nigerian Television Authority, as a graphic artist for various advertising agencies and as a political cartoonist for two national newspapers.

In 1988, while studying at Howard University in Washington, D.C., he became acquainted with contemporary African-American art and was intrigued to find a link to the past. It was during this time that Laoye began to explore the meaning of the Yoruba tradition.

He is currently working on a series of paintings called "The People's Choice," which are inspired by America's current political process. He is also working on a series of paintings titled "Negritude," which celebrate the diversity of beauty in the African-American culture.

Laoye has been exhibiting for the last 25 years and has a studio on Chicago's south side.

More information on exhibits and the Fine Arts Collection at Luther is available at: https://www.luther.edu/galleries/.

Yoruba, Drummers, oil canvas