UNN Arts professor, El Anatsui, honoured by Alma-mater in Ghana

Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - Prof. El Anatsui, the globally-celebrated Ghanaian Sculptor and Emeritus Professor in Sculpture at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), has added an honorary Doctor of Letters award by the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, (KNUST), Ghana, to his bag full of honours.

The KNUST honorary doctorate was given at its recent 2017 Special Congregation graduating ceremony of the university’s post-graduate school in Kumasi, Ghana. El Anatsui is a graduate of KNUST's College of Arts, and in 1969 was the best graduating student from its post-graduate school.

The distinguished alumnus was honoured for creating art that is globally acknowledged as encompassing a panorama of critical observations, while being diverse in his choice of tools and creative processes. In addition, the uniqueness of Anatsui’s art lies in its ability to transform seemingly insignificant objects into truly monumental sculptures which, in pattern and symbolism, are reminiscent of a plethora of African textile patterns, trans-regional networks and experiences.

According to Mrs. Thérèse Nweke, the Head, Media & Communications at the ANATSUI ART INITIATIVE (AAI), Lagos, the Ghanaian-born intellectual, who is based in Nigeria, has for over four decades taught and inspired a generation of artists nationally, regionally, continentally and internationally.

Among his former students are art professors and highly-respected artists in their own right, within and outside the African continent.

Other KNUST doctoral awardees at the recent ceremony were Dr. Thomas Mensa, an engineer; Dr. Kofi Koduah Sarpong, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation; Dr. Leticia Eva Obeng, a scientist; and Ms. Reeta Roy, a philanthropist and the President and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation.

Mrs. Nweke said El Anatsui is a recipient of some of the world’s most prestigious art awards and prizes, honorary doctorates, art accolades and memberships. These include the Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement Award; Japan’s International Arts Award, the Praemium Imperiale, (the Nobel Prize in Art); the Lorenzo il Magnifico Lifetime Achievement Award; the Charles Wollaston Prize from Britain’s Royal Society of Arts (RSA); Honorary Royal Academician of the RSA; and inductee of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Al Anatsui is also a Founding Member and Fellow for the Forum of African Arts, and a Fellow of the Panafrican Survey of Artists. Among the universities that have awarded him honorary doctorates are Harvard University and the University of Cape Town (UCT). UCT is South Africa’s most prestigious university, and according to The Times Higher Education World University Ranking, 2018, is Africa’s highest ranking university.

The sculptures of El Anatsui are found in more than 50 of the world’s major museums, respected international art galleries and auction houses. A few of these include the British Museum, London; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York; the Guggenheim, Abu Dhabi; NY’s Museum of Modern Art; the Osaka Foundation of Culture, Japan; the World Bank Art Collection, Washington; and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle.

Only recently, he was honoured with the most internationally-prestigious award in art – the Japan’s Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award, according to a statement unveiled recently in New York, US, by The Japan Art Association at the famous Juilliard School.
-0- PANA VAO 4Dec2017

04 december 2017 15:40:35




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