27th Annual African Festival of the Arts

in Washington Park, Labor Day weekend

September 2 – 5 | 10 am - 10 pm

Annually during Labor Day Weekend, the Festival grounds in Chicago’s Washington Park come alive in a simulated African village. Attendees are transported across the Diaspora with interactive engagements, vibrant drumming, museum quality and collectible artifacts, colorful and rich handwoven fabric and textile, and other program spaces and Interactive spaces include: Drum & Afro-folk Village, Children and Family, African Heritage, African Spirituality, Wellness (Health) Village, Books and Authors, Fine Art, Film and Video, Food Court, Seniors and Quilting, Black Dolls (making and collecting - 2015) and the African Marketplace. 


2016 African Festival of the Arts 

Artist of the Year

Tunde Afolayan

Tunde has emerged amongst the ranks of contemporary African artists committed to embracing figurative expressionism. He received his formal training in art at the prestigious ‘Yaba Tech’ in Lagos-Nigeria, and attended graduate school at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO . 

He has taught art courses at Yaba Tech, National Louis University and Elizabeth City State University-North Carolina. Tunde is the recipient of numerous artist residencies across the United States . 

Celebration

Celebration

Exploring color as the basis of painting, Tunde infuses spiritualism and symbolism in his powerful lyrical expressions. His thematic compositions captured in vibrant colors allow figurative images to adopt expressive, abstract qualities as well as representational styles. Tunde’s spontaneous, energetic gestures create splashes, strokes, and heavily layered areas that reveal the confident control of his painting media for clarity of expressions. His color pallet tempered with strong and vibrant hues exemplifies his powerful traditional African roots and aesthetics.

Tunde’s paintings are included private and corporate collections throughout the world. His paintings have been exhibited in galleries and museums in Nigeria, Europe and the United States.

Artist Statement:

I believe in fervor and visual metaphors. The use of traditional symbolism, expressive imageries and vibrant colors in my paintings are prominently emphasized to elicit profound aesthetic responses and evoke critical dialogues. However, the use of vibrant colors is more than just a visual feast; they are intended to elevate human experience to a higher level of spiritual harmony...


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