The Immigrant Council for Arts Innovation is pleased to announce that the paintings of Ogwiji Ighoche, a local painter and sculptor, will be on exhibit at Calgary’s Central Library for the next month, starting on Tuesday, November 3rd. Curated by ICAI Founder and Director, Toyin Oladele, the exhibit focuses on Ighoche’s love for the weather and people of Calgary.
Ighoche, who has an Honours Degree in Fine Arts (Painting), was inspired to paint these scenes because of the contrast he observed between weather in Canada and the weather found in his home country of Nigeria. While Ighoche said that the weather in Nigeria is characterized by excessive heat, tinges of rain and a dry and dusty landscape, he immediately fell in love with snow upon his arrival in Calgary.
“The beautiful white snow covering the streets and trees was an amazing sight for me, one that I never imagined I would experience,” said Ighoche.
“I enjoyed the feeling of it in my hands and under the soles of my shoes. I could not help but immediately put what I had seen on paper.”
While Ighoche was immediately taken by how beautiful Calgary is during the winter months, it was the people of Calgary who soon became a central theme in his paintings.
“I admired the tenacity of Calgarians as they went about their daily lives, despite the extreme weather conditions,” said Ighoche.
“From clearing snow on their front yards and their cars every morning, to going about their everyday business, dressed in the heaviest of coats to keep warm, they still managed to keep a smile on their faces.”
As the months passed by, regardless of the season, Ighoche found himself constantly in awe of the beauty that surrounded him.
“Immediately after winter, flowers and trees began to spring up so beautifully, as if the snows of winter had been preserving them for a purpose,” said Ighoche.
“Then all of a sudden, through my studio window, I saw the green color of leaves disappearing, turning into yellow, then orange colors became visible, giving the leaves part of their fall splendour. All of this beauty stroked my imagination and kept me painting.”
According to Oladele, this exhibition is especially important because it is the first of what she hopes will be many exhibitions at the Central Library.
“I am very proud that we finally got a spot for a one month long exhibition,” said Oladele
“Our partnership with the Calgary Library has been an amazing one and we really appreciate their support. I am excited for Ighoche; this is the first time ICAI is presenting an artist for a one month exhibition and I am glad that we were presented with this opportunity to display his works there. I know it is the beginning of greater opportunities for him.”
According to Ighoche, as an artist, the opportunity to have his work on exhibit at the Central Library is a great privilege.
“The library is not just a place of learning; it is also a good place for site seeing for great numbers of Canadians and international visitors, so I feel elated and most excited to display my art in its premises,” said Ighoche.
“It happens to be one of the most beautiful buildings I have seen and been in and to have my ideas and creative concepts within my paintings displayed in such a beautiful and super functional place is the best thing I can ask for as an artist.”
By Marc LeBoeuf