BLACK ARTISTS UNITED
next - Yisa Akinbolaji
Yisa Akinbolaji has exhibited internationally since his first solo show at the National Museum at Onikan, in Lagos, Nigeria in 1984. Before immigrating to Winnipeg, Yisa was recognized as a leading Nigerian artist with inclusion in “Nigerian Artists: A Who's Who & Bibliography, 1993”, a publication of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Washington, D.C. In 2000, three years after Yisa arrived in Winnipeg, he was inducted to the membership of the Manitoba Society of Artists and voted as President the following year. Yisa, the Founder of Creative Foundation initiated Canadian Black Artists United to meet the yearnings of many great Black artists across Canada. He invited other artists: Xavier Mutshipayi and Bola Oriyomi. Yisa served on the board of the Manitoba Arts Council for 9 years with two reappointments. Yisa from Winnipeg is the first Black artist honoured to display his work at the Senate of Canada. In 2018, Yisa was accorded a recognition at the Manitoba legislative assembly for being a distinguished artist who is giving back to the community. Yisa's painting, "Wisdom Thread" is featured in the Government of Alberta department of Education’s Curriculum, since 2021. Yisa's news has twice made it into the Canadian Parliament’s Chamber in Ottawa: one on February 27, 2019, and the second on September 30, 2020, presented by Senator Bovey.
Featured artist of the month
Originally from Nigeria, Bola Oriyomi, has been performing as a one-person act since 1994. Her featured performances include storytelling, singing, theatre, drumming, and dancing. Bola is well versed in African folk tales and traditional culture. She has performed at various locations in Manitoba, Canada and around the globe. With a background in Theatre Arts and a Bachelor of Arts in Education, Yoruba also has a degree in History from the University of Winnipeg. In addition to her solo career, Bola is the founder of Ariya Africa Cultural Group, a contemporary African dance troupe. Bola’s storytelling has been featured on CBC Radio on several TV stations. She currently has two published collections of African folk tales and continues to perform all over the globe sharing traditional African stories, songs, and culture. A storyteller, Bola Oriyomi (nee Olukoju) has also authored books on African Folklore, the recent is AKAYE launced in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 2022.