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Oklahoma State University Museum of Art Presents "Wakati: Time Shapes African Art"

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Representing an expansive range of materials, methods, and rituals, this exhibition highlights a selection of objects exploring the passage of time in African art.

Wákàtí, a West African concept among the Yoruba, refers to time as it unfolds and marks its passage with signs of change. Showcasing works from the both the OSU Museum of Art collection and a private collectionWákàtí presents traditional and contemporary African art side by side, highlighting the seamless transition of time as a natural flow uniting images from ancient to current practices. The works illuminate the continuities, transformations, variations, and innovative experiments defining artistic masterpieces of Africa as Pabambarì. An exclamatory expression, Pabambarì conveys in one word the sensation of amazement, awe, and speechlessness packed within a profound aesthetic experience. This exhibition shows that time alone tests the intensity of this aesthetic reality.

Wákàtí represents a cultural crossroads of reinterpretation as the exhibition narrates a story beginning in Africa – with a second life in the Americas. Throughout the gallery, the works of living artists interact with ancestral images from Dogon, Ashanti, Yaka, and other indigenous tribes.

With works including painting, sculpture, ceramics, photographs, performance, and installation arts, the exhibition presents the relationship between the shaping of styles from different eras and various regions of Africa.

Wákàtí: Time Shapes African Art is on view from Sept. 21, 2015 – Jan. 16, 2016. It is organized by the OSU Museum of Art and curated by Moyo Okediji, Ph.D., Professor of Art History at the University of Texas. The exhibition and events below are free and open to the public.

Guest lecture: Visiting Artist AKIRASH

Monday, Sept. 21, 5:30 pm
As part of the Mary Ann and Ken Fergeson Visiting Artist Program, Olaniyi R. Akindiya (AKIRASH) has been invited to the OSU Museum of Art in conjunction with Wákàtí. An artist in the exhibition, he will speak about his installation and performance art on Sept. 21. Learn more about him at

Performance: Batetele/Libation by Visiting Artist AKIRASH
Tuesday, Sept. 29, 6 pm
AKIRASH will perform two traditional African rituals with the help of student and community volunteers. The performance will take place at 6 pm outside of the museum.

Opening Reception
Wednesday, Oct. 7, 5 – 8 pm
The reception will feature a Gallery Talk with Curator Moyo Okediji at 5:30. A special performance by Visiting Artist Denenge Akpem will follow.  

As part of the Mary Ann and Ken Fergeson Visiting Artist Program, Denenge Akpem has also been invited to the OSU Museum of Art to create an installation piece for Wákàtí. She will install her work in the exhibition from Oct. 3 through Oct. 6. Learn more about her at


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