In Nigeria’s bid to strengthen and deepen the burgeoning cultural diplomacy with the United States of America, the Art Exhibition titled “Nigeria Speaks” became an undeniable iconic moment in history with the passing of the resolution by the Senate of the State of Georgia declaring May 25th “Nigeria’s Art and Culture Day”.
The Consulate General of Nigeria in Atlanta, Georgia, in partnership with Nike Art Gallery, Lagos, Nigeria, proudly hosted the first edition of the “Nigeria Speaks” Art Exhibition, in Atlanta on 25th of May 2022. The exhibition showcased the wide breadth and richness of Nigerian culture, arts, creativity, literature, languages, and other forms of expression.
The exhibition mainly featured the work of Chief Nike, the proprietress of Nike Art Gallery in Lagos, Nigeria, and her associates. Chief Nike is a leading art expressionist, and one of the foremost personalities in the development of African arts and crafts. As an accomplished artist, she has continued to be a trailblazer in opening frontiers for the development of Nigerian art, galleries, as well as promotion of Nigerian textiles, especially “Adire” which is indigenous to the south west of Nigeria. Her gallery in Lagos, Nigeria, which has over 8,000 pieces of art, is one of the largest of its kind in Africa.
In attendance were government officials, public and private sector dignitaries including; Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, Amb. Prof. M. T. Bande, Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States, Amb. (Dr.) Uzoma Emenike; Consul General of the Consulate General of Nigeria, New York, Amb. Lot Peter Egopija; Director General of National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism, Alh. Nura Sani Kangiwa; Executive Secretary/CEO of National Institute for Cultural Orientation, Alh. Ado M. Yahuza; Representative of the Governor of Georgia/Director, International Relations for the State of Georgia and Chief of Protocol for the Georgia State Consular Corps, Mr. Nico Wijnberg; Representative of the Mayor of Atlanta & Director of International Affairs, Ms. Vanessa Ibarra; Representative of the United States Ambassador to Nigeria/CDC Country Director, Dr. Omotayo Bolu; Georgia State Senator, Senator Donzella James; Commissioner of Cobb County, Lisa Cupid; Dean of the Atlanta Consular Corps, Consul General of Mexico, Amb. Javier Diaz de Leon; President and CEO of World Trade Center Atlanta, Mr. Max Sutherland; President of the World Affairs Council in Atlanta, Rickey Bovington; CEO of Allen Family Investments and Project Owner/Developer of New Black Wall Street Market, Mr. Lecester “Bill” Allen; Curator of African Art for the High Museum of Atlanta, Ms. Lauren Tate Baeza; Morehouse College Professor David Morrow and Glee Club Choir; Professor Emeritus, Augustine Esogbue and many friends of Nigeria and the Nigerian Community.