26th Harmattan Workshop beckons artists to bask in creativity

The Bruce Onobrakpeya Foundation is gearing up for its 26th Harmattan Workshop, scheduled to take place from 11th to 27th February 2024 at the Onobrak Art Centre in Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.

With the theme: “Folklore – Folktales, Folk Art, Myths, and Legends,” this year’s workshop promises a captivating exploration of folklore, delving into the rich tapestry of folktales, folk art, myths and legends. Artists and enthusiasts from diverse backgrounds are expected to gather for an immersive experience in various artistic mediums.

The workshop, according to the foundation, will encompass a wide range of artistic disciplines, including painting/mixed media, drawing, metal construction, leather craft, printmaking, stone carving, textiles, fashion design, photography, machine knitting, jewellery, computer graphics, ceramics/pottery and wood carving.

International artists are also invited to join the creative congregation to enrich the cultural exchange and foster a global perspective on folklore-inspired art.

Bruce Onobrakpeya

Registration details including fees about the workshop directed by Mr. Sam Ovraiti, can be found at the foundation’s website: https://bofoundng.com.

Nestled amidst the tranquillity of Agbarha-Otor, Delta State, Nigeria lies a haven for artistic souls: The Harmattan Workshops. 

Founded by renowned Nigerian artist Bruce Onobrakpeya, this unique programme offers much more than just skill development; it’s an immersive experience that ignites inspiration and fosters a vibrant community of creators.

Imagine escaping the city’s clamour and stepping into an environment pulsating with creative energy. The Harmattan Workshops provide just that, with dedicated studios and a supportive atmosphere that nurtures artistic exploration. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a budding talent, the workshops cater to diverse skill levels and interests.

But the learning extends beyond technical expertise. The programme boasts a distinguished faculty drawn from academia, the creative industry, and various professional spheres. This rich tapestry of perspectives ensures that participants, including members of the local indigenous community, gain not just artistic skills but also valuable insights for socio-economic empowerment.

A testament to the workshop’s commitment to intellectual enrichment is the Janet Stanley library. Brimming with books donated by renowned bibliophiles and researchers, it serves as a treasure trove of knowledge readily accessible to all participants and research students.

And when it’s time for a break, the Ibru Ecumenical Centre offers a serene space for recreation and spiritual reflection. 

In an interview, Onobrakpeya sheds light on the workshop’s dynamic learning approach. He emphasises the importance of interactive sessions featuring guest speakers and open discussions that delve into the very essence of art and its far-reaching impact on our lives.

“Those discussions are pertinent to art and we find them very useful,” says Onobrakpeya. “They touch every aspect of our lives, which actually brings out… something that is taking us higher.”

Panellists, he says, are carefully chosen for each workshop, engaging in enlightening lectures and discussions. Evenings see deep dives into critical issues, fostering an environment where ideas flourish and perspectives evolve.

Onobrakpeya emphasised the relevance of these discussions to art, touching on various aspects of life and propelling participants to new heights. The ultimate goal, he says, is to make the workshops a year-round hub of activity. The workshops remain open even in August, a month reserved for professionals, welcoming observers and catering to the needs of professionals, solidifying their status as a thriving hub for artistic and intellectual exchange.

But the Harmattan Workshops aren’t just about fleeting encounters; they aim to foster lasting connections and a sense of belonging. The programme extends beyond the annual workshop, offering residencies and year-round activities.

So, for the artist yearning to refine their craft, a creative spirit seeking to expand horizons, or simply someone who appreciates the transformative power of art, the Harmattan Workshops beckons, a world of inspiration, collaboration and endless possibilities. Let your creativity take flight amidst the tranquillity of Agbarha-Otor, where the Harmattan winds whisper tales of artistic enchantment.


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