Local artist Edward Oluokun’s artwork will be on display in the Class of 1970 Cafe until November 19, 2013 in an exhibit called The Link. This exhibit includes paintings that reflect various traditions involving musical instruments in Yoruba culture. Accompanying the paintings are writings by Mr. Oluokun highlighting the connections between African music and culture and the spread of this culture throughout the world. Artwork, history, and cultural commentary are combined in this exhibition to create a visually beautiful and intellectually thought-provoking presentation.
Edward Oluwole Oluokun was born in Ogbomoso, Nigeria, 1961. He studied fine art at the Polytechnic, Ibadan. He was a practicing artist until 1999 when he was called into a full-time Christian preaching ministry. In 2002, Ed moved to Memphis to pursue a master’s degree in divinity at Mid America Baptist Theological Seminary, where he graduated May 2005. Additionally, he earned a master of arts in English from the University of Memphis, TN.
As a toddler, Ed made music as he beat on cans and bottles. He realized his talent in playing African percussions at age 6; at nine years, he already formed his own local ensemble. He was a delight to watch as he entertained his musical fans at a very early phase of his life. He is passionate about drumming, drawing, and painting. He particularly enjoys painting musical sceneries and instruments. Ed performed at Memphis Music Heritage 2009. He also taught drumming and presented workshops at the Community School of Music, University of Memphis. Since arriving in Worcester, he has facilitated drum circle at Union Music center, Worcester; performed in a multicultural show at Mechanics Hall; and has led kids at Seven Hills Charter School in drumming performances and events in and around Worcester.
About the photo:
READY FOR THE DURBAR
“Durbar is the term for royal processions and entertainments, which is common in the North African Hausa culture. Music is an essential part of Durbar. Unlike the royal ensemble in the south west, the Hausa royal ensemble is often clad in uniforms. Furthermore, the ensemble consists of singers, pipers, drummers, dancers, and horse riders. The ensemble often leads the procession, followed by an army of horse riders, and then followed by the king, who is arrayed in his flowing robe, as he rides on a horse.
Durbar often marks a historical event or a national celebration. It sometimes signifies the climax of the coronation of a new monarch. It is an occasion for the king to show off his wealth by the number of well- fed horses, strong army of men dancing and jockeying.” – Edward Oluokun