Happy Creativity Thursday! Celebrating the Artwork of Victor Ekpuk at Morton Fine Art in DC

Artist Victor Ekpuk and friend at Morton Fine Art exhibition on 9/13
Artist Victor Ekpuk and friend at Morton Fine Art exhibition on 9/13

Happy Creativity Thursday!

Today’s blog celebrates the artwork of Nigerian contemporary artist Victor Ekpuk. Last weekend, I started my Autumn Artist Weekends with a visit to Morton Fine Art to see a solo exhibition of Ekpuk’s artwork, “Reminiscences and Current Musings.”

Victor Ekpuk chatting with people at Morton Fine Art exhibition on 9/13
Victor Ekpuk chatting with people at Morton Fine Art exhibition on 9/13

My favorite piece in the exhibition is Idaresit (Joyful Heart). See photo below.

Idaresit (Joyful Heart) by Victor Ekpuk,  2004 - Photo Credit: Victor Ekpuk/Morton Fine Art
Idaresit (Joyful Heart) by Victor Ekpuk, 2004 – Photo Credit: Victor Ekpuk/Morton Fine Art

I discovered Ekpuk’s work this summer during one of my visits to Morton Fine Art. I was immediately drawn to his use of nsibidi “traditional” Nigerian graphic symbols and writing systems in his work. The symbols refer to abstract concepts, actions, or things. When they are used, they facilitate communication among peoples speaking different languages. Nsibidi is indigenous to the Ejagham peoples of southeastern Nigeria and southwestern Cameroon in the Cross River region. Ibibio, Efik and Igbo people also use it. Click here to read more about the meaning of nsibidi.

Victor Ekpuk's artwork
Victor Ekpuk’s artwork

I love how Ekpuk’s work incorporates aspects of his ancestry. It makes me think that the spirit of his ancestors are embedded into his artwork. The placement of the nsibidi symbols in his works creates soulful, lyrical poetry that speaks silently to my spirit. Perhaps that’s why the poet in me feels so connected to his work!

Victor Ekpuk artwork at Morton Fine Art
Victor Ekpuk artwork at Morton Fine Art

If you are in the D.C. area, I encourage you to visit the exhibition at Morton Fine Art. It ends October 8.  The Artist Talk will be held on Saturday, September 28 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Hope to see you there!

Nurturing My Creative Spirit in April with Creating Time by Marney K. Makridakis

Photo Credit: Springtime in Crystal City by Ananda Leeke (2012)

Last month I made several creative commitments after I returned from the BlissDom 2012 Conference in Nashville.  See below.

  • To embrace my visual voice with digital photographs and videos that record authentic moments and tell stories.
  • To affirm my visual voice by sharing what I create on my blog, Animoto, Facebook, Flickr, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, and YouTube.
  • To nurture my creative spirit weekly with journaling, artist dates, and reading time (articles, blogs, books, and online creative communities).
  • To affirm, fully claim, and respect my creative journey as an artist in a professional manner.
  • To seek and pursue ways to expand my professional career as an artist.
  • To respect and treat my creativity as a business.
Photo Credit: Ananda Leeke's One Drop of Black Blood painting taken by photographer Leigh Mosley - www.leighmosley.com
Photo Credit: Hamiltonian Gallery - http://www.hamiltonianartists.org

Here’s the good news!  I was able to take action on all of my new commitments.

  • I started carrying my digital camera with me every day.  That helped me capture my favorite Springtime moments.
  • I was able to share my digital photos on my blog, Facebook, Flickr, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr.  It felt great to receive positive feedback from my social media friends.
  • I created three videos with Animoto that featured my photos from BlissDom and artwork.  The videos were posted on my blog, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Tumblr, and YouTube.  Posting the videos helped me see the value in sharing my work with others. It also gave me much needed feedback.
  • I started reading Kelly Rae Roberts’ book,  Taking Flight: Inspiration And Techniques To Give Your Creative Spirit Wings.  The book’s journaling exercises helped me get in touch with my creative spirit. I also took a walking tour of galleries in my neighborhood:  Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, Morton Fine Art Gallery, and Hamiltonian Gallery.  Seeing new art created by a diverse group of artists was inspiring.
  • I took a HUGE leap of faith to expand my professional career as an artist when I  submitted my application to the Hamiltonian Fellowship Program in DC.  The application process required me to write an artist statement and artist CV, and prepare a digital portfolio of ten pieces of artwork (see photo above of one of my paintings that was included in my digital portfolio).  After I finished my application, I decided to post my artist statement and CV on my web site.  Doing that helped me affirm my professional career as an artist and respect and treat my creativity as a business.

This month I am using Marney K. Makridakis’ new book, Creating Time: Using Creativity to Reinvent the Clock and Reclaim Your Life, to nurture my creative spirit as I move through my Digital Sisterhood book writing journey and take small steps each week to embrace my visual voice.  FYI – I am also reviewing Makridakis’ book at her request.  Her PR team sent me a free copy to review a few weeks ago.

Photo Credit: Artella.com

What’s going on with your creative spirit?

How are you nurturing your creative spirit this month?

Have you made any creative commitments this year?