Last Updated On October 15, 2020.
“Visiting Art Galleries is pretty simple; search Google Maps, pick a convenient time and go without any money!” – Anonymous.
In September of 2019, I took a bus from Osogbo to the apex of yoruba culture – Ile-Ife. My itinerary for the journey was pretty basic: see an old friend, visit the Natural History Museum and Museum of Antiquities and Contemporary African Art in Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU). But then, everything changed after I unravelled a beauty perched on Ede Road.
Omidiran Art Gallery is located at 25, Ede Road, Along OAU, Ile-Ife, Osun state, Nigeria.
You’ll need to focus in order not to miss the gallery and if you’re a sucker for African Arts, I suggest you alight at the location instead of Ife Bus Park if you’re commuting.
You can also walk for about fifteen minutes to explore Ife street murals.
At Omidiran Art Gallery, a cool water fountain and a few artistic works encased in glassware are the first items that welcome casual visitors or art patrons.
Inside the gallery, the one-and-only person I saw was a beautiful lady who received arts and craft enthusiasts like myself.
Altogether, I spent about an hour in Omidiran Art Gallery, and I even managed to take some photos before the lady guide informed me that that wasn’t allowed.
Want to watch a quick video montage instead? Click below.
► If you need help promoting your content using videos, send a text to my WhatsApp.
Okay, so here are five awesome things nobody tells you about Omidiran Art Gallery.
I couldn’t help but enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of the Gallery. While I was in, slow and soothing music played in the background and haha, the music wasn’t “gbada gbodo” like my mum would say.
The air-con and gentle background music makes the interior of Omidiran Art Gallery relaxing.
2. SET UP
“Can you say for sure that every single artwork in this room is by one man?” I asked agog while anticipating a contrary response. Then surprisingly, the lady guide (let’s call her Funke) stylishly nodded.
Over 5,000 Artworks all by Mr Omidiran! That’s puzzling and incomprehensible at the same time!!
Some of these artworks are grouped into collections to create an all inclusive and aesthetically friendly art space.
Though, only Mr Omidiran’s works are exhibited in his Ile-Ife gallery, he occasionally discovers new works of art and caters for the mastery needs of future artists.
3. ART WORTHINESS
Throughout my time in the Gallery, Funke seemed very knowledgeable about Mr Omidiran and his many artworks.
And after a short stroll from the Ife Roundabout where I noticed a yoruba deity head, I was surprised again to see the same “olokun” in Omidiran Art Gallery, as if it was something common with Ile-Ife.
At the time of my visit, there was barely any space in the room… art was all over the place, on the walls, floors, beams, columns, everywhere!!!
In Odin’s voice, “Mr Omidiran is worthy.”
The sculpted heads in Omidiran Art Gallery looked eerily similar to the ones in Benin City and I’m most proud of that because y’know… I’m actually from Edo state.
Kindly Read: A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO VISITING EDO STATE, NIGERIA
Omidiran Art Gallery in a strange sort of way reminded me of Nike Art Gallery back in Lagos. And even though the total appearance was quite different from anything in Nike, the showcased works were somehow outstandingly similar.
Ha! Omidiran takes wood collage to a whole new level and let’s not even begin with his three dimensional artworks and bronze heads. Fantabulous!
Omidiran Art Gallery just like Nike isn’t located at one base alone, there are a few other branches situated in Gbagada Estate, Lagos and the Richland Washington States, USA.
If you’ve got the right amount, Omidiran Art Gallery can be yours for a short while.
Basically, “rentage” varies from photoshoot, videography sessions to small group meetings and many more.
Since the Gallery is endowed with a versatile art collection ranging from bust art up to motifs, it could add an electric touch to music video shoots.
Prices start at 5,000 Naira for every hour and Omidiran Art Gallery closes on weekdays by six p.m. and five p.m. on weekends.
BUT WAIT! WHO IS OMIDIRAN?
Full Name, Mr Omidiran Paul Gbolade. He is a graduate of the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) with a BA and MFA Holder from the Institution in the Arts Department.
Now, Mr Omidiran is a prolific artist with a lot of artworks under his belt, he immerses himself in his craft because according to Funke, the Ile-Ife icon is always working on something.
One of Mr Omidiran’s accomplishments asides art is lecturing Fine Artists in his alma mater. He discovered a unique painting technique in which the back of a mirror is cut and trimmed and he coined it mirror painting (subscribe, more on this later).
Today, I know that stopping by Omidiran Art Gallery actually made my Ife itinerary way better.
Mr Omidiran’s Gallery was some cities away from homelessness… sorry, where I stayed. It was such an awesome place to be.
Moments after, I finished my to-do list… and I found myself newly impressed by the beauty of Ile-Ife. Read about that experience here!
I hope with these few points of mine, I’ve been able to convince and not confuse you that Omidiran Art Gallery is definitely somewhere you should be?
Think about it, if thousands have visited this art masterpiece then what’s your excuse?
Let’s talk about art!