An Overview Of West Africa’s Largest Art Gallery
About Nike Art Foundation
The Nike Art Foundation of Nigeria is the sole initiative of Chief (Mrs.) Nike Okundaye with the principal objective of using it to develop and enhance our cultural heritage. She decided to use this initiative as a tool of creating awareness amongst our youths to embrace our culture instead of coping negative foreign culture. In her humble vision, Nike Okundaye also took this path as a way of reaching out to the rural women and the youths of this country and so that she can provide them with the necessary unique platforms for developing their capacities to earn decent living through the art.
In 2007, Nike Okundaye founded a charity-Non profit organisation, the Nike Art & Culture Foundation of Nigeria with some eminent Nigerians as members of the Board of Trustees in order to fulfil her dream of empowering the neglected rural women and the youth of this country through the art. What came to her mind here was an art training centre which she established at Osogbo where presently, training in all forms of art is offered free of charged to Nigerian.
Also in 2007, Nike Okundaye established the Nike Art Gallery under her Foundation to provide a unique environment for the display of art works produced at the training centre by the students so that the principal objectives of her Foundation can be met. The Nike Art Gallery undoubtedly has grown to be the biggest reservoir of indigenous Nigerian artworks collection in Nigeria and currently the largest privately owned art gallery in Africa. Since its incorporation in 2007, the gallery now has four branches in Nigeria: in Lagos, Abuja, Osogbo and Ogidi-Ijumu in Kogi State.
The Nike Art Gallery in Lagos is the largest with four floors of artworks of different descriptions such as paintings in different media, batik and Adire fabrics, embroidery, appliqué, bead works, pen & ink drawing on paper and on canvas, aluminium & copper works and sculptures also in deferent media, all set out in the most conducive climactic condition. In fact, the Lagos Nike Art Gallery is a hub for art lovers, art collectors and visiting tourists in Nigeria. A mixed grill of ethnic, traditional and contemporary artworks are found in all the branches of Nike Art Galleries in Nigeria.
Nike is also the Owner/Curator of the Nike Art Galleries at Lagos, Osogbo, Ogidi-Ijumu and Abuja. In 1996, Nike established a textile (Aso-Oke) weaving center at Ogidi-Ijumu near Kabba in Kogi State for the women of the village, employing and empowering more than 200 women in the weaving center.
In June 2002, Nike established an Art and Culture research center at Piwoyi village, FCT Abuja with an art gallery and a textile museum, the first of its kind in Nigeria which will provide functional platform for research into Nigerian traditional textile industry in the Federal Capital Territory area of Abuja. In furtherance of these noble endeavors, Nike is currently the managing director and founder of the following organizations in Nigeria; “Nike Art Productions Limited” which she incorporated in 1994, “Nike Art Gallery Limited” which she incorporated in 2007 and the “Nike Research Centre for Art and Culture Limited” which she incorporated in 2007. Also in 2007, Nike founded the “Nike Art and Culture Foundation” with some notable eminent Nigerians as trustees, with the main aims and objectives of fostering Nigerian cultural heritage.