Last Updated On December 29, 2020.
Nestled in Anthony Village, Lagos. Henrimoweta African Art Centre boasts of over 2,000 pieces in its collection. The gallery is situated at 7, Adebayo Mokuolu Street, Opposite Hotel Newcastle and is flanked by a lion statue (you can’t miss it).
Fun Fact: Did you know that Henrimoweta is officially the sixteenth art gallery I’ve visited in South-Western Nigeria?! Crazy right.
On the glorious Friday morning of my visit, I saw workers getting Henrimoweta in shape for the day. A little sweeping here, dusting there, and there was actually a full-blown store renovation happening underneath the whole scene.
That felt like an eye opener for me.
Shortly after introducing myself, I got a heartwarming welcome from Gideon who also kept me company during my tour of the gallery. He handled all my questions and shared some information about the African Arts on display.
Here’s why I loved the Henrimoweta African Art Centre.
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Without further ado, let’s get started.
#1. Ancient Relics
Founded by Mr Henri Moweta over twenty years ago, Henrimoweta African Art Centre accounts for a terrific collection of relics.
Visiting this gallery was my first time face-to-face with Nok and Ife Art. Now, art historians know how amazing that is and what’s best is many other indigenous relics are also showcased here.
It felt like a dream come true as I was finally in contact with something I only read about in books and saw in movies.
#2. Abstract Heaven
Typically spending a day on an art piece, Mr Henri Moweta’s most popular works stem from abstractions.
His paintings whether on small or large canvas mostly included conceptual shapes.
There was one of such works, a tall wood carving piece, African Mother. It reportedly cost millions of Naira and it was only an abstract!
The Henrimoweta African Art Centre opens your eyes to a world beyond realism. I love it!
#3. Art Classes
One of my favourite things about art galleries like El Carvar and Omolayo are the art classes. Like, this proofs that there’s a certain appreciation for “artsmanship” and Henri Moweta wants you to know a bit of his craft.
For kids, the summer art classes cost a 50,000 Naira fee and tutors pay specific attention to grooming the kids in what they love doing best whether painting, mosaic, sculpting etc.
Apart from signing up for classes, schools may book visits or excursions just so students can have an idea of what an art gallery is supposed to look and feel like.
#4. Artistic Innovations
Believe me when I say, Henrimoweta African Art Centre is where I discovered a whole lot of “new-art” and after visiting a chunk of art galleries in Lagos, It felt good to see something different from what I was used to.
There are odd-looking wood carvings, sack on board art, Benin bronze heads, metal sculptures, mat weaving, mosaic art, ivory tusks priced at 12,000 Naira each, some toothpick art and handcrafted candle stands (the cheapest item in the gallery – 5,000 Naira) and a nice bust figure carved from fibre glass.
And paintings. Ah! Acrylic oil pastel, oil painting impasto, mixed media, abstract and miniature paintings.
Everything’s wonderful here.
This gallery is set to take you on a complex art journey because of multiple collaborations with great indigenous artists like Hakim Ijedunola and Poni Anthony Ogunde.
Sometimes, pieces are bought off artists for display while others prefer a sales of return percentage.
Virtually every single piece had a price tag, another first for me.
#5. African Art Outlets
I visited the art centre in Anthony Village and I hear that there are two other centres situated in the highbrow Victoria Island cityscape.
The Anthony Village art centre is opposite Hotel Newcastle while the Victoria Island art centres are located at Block 1411, Adetokunbo, Ademola Street and Silverbird Gallery, 3rd Floor, Ahmadu Bello Way, respectively.
Art is life; it is beautiful, thrilling and adventurous. Every single art gallery crossed out of my itinerary backs this. And as for Henrimoweta African Art Centre, my botched ‘literary qualifications’ cannot do justice to this African wonder.
You need to see this for yourself.
In Other News…
Back in January of 2020, I had a crazy idea to visit seven art galleries in one whole day! My good friend, Leonard jumped on this and we created something really awesome!!!
Here’s the video from my Instagram if you’d like to watch. It’s fun, trust me.
I relate to the Henrimoweta African Art Centre, don’t you?
Oh, and when was the last time you visited an art gallery? Please share your response in the comments below.
Be honest ; )