OTTERBURNE, MB – When our campus re-opens, and you walk through the front entrance of the Hanna Building, you’ll notice a colorful art piece on the wall. It was commissioned to Winnipeg artist, Yisa Akinbolaji, to help our Prov community commemorate the Impact 2020 campaign for years to come. Raising more than $14.7 million in a five-year campaign, Impact 2020 is recognized as our most ambitious and successful fundraising initiative to date.
Samantha Groenendijk, VP External Relations, has this to say about the eye-catching art piece. “We’re so excited to bring to you the work of Yisa Akinbolaji. This is going to tell the story of Impact 2020 into the future. Having a work like this on our campus allows both our internal and external communities to come together, remember the story and remember the impact. Our students are going to have the opportunity to walk past this day in and day out and remember the work that has been done because of this campaign.”
The artwork is made up of three 36” x 78” panels and fills a 9 ft x 6.5 ft canvas. It is displayed in a central location on-campus where students come to take classes and enjoy a Pilots’ game in the nearby gymnasium.
Akinbolaji is a Nigerian Canadian artist and world-renowned for his work. He’s created pieces for private and public collections including the Senate of Canada, Province of Manitoba, University of Dakota, Great West Life, and Ogunnubi Architectural Firm (Lagos). He’s known for his distinctive and innovative painting techniques.
The work of art that Akinbolaji created for Providence shows a visual narrative of the Impact 2020 journey. It beautifully depicts our Otterburne campus and includes the iconic belltower. It shows the interplay of academics and spiritual life. It highlights different programs and showcases students – students at study and in classes, as well as students playing sports, making music, and graduating.
“I am pleased that my work is included in Impact 2020. Once I was a student. And once I was an art professor. So, I understand an environment where you want to learn so that you are equipped for a better future. You want an atmosphere that makes you feel happy, welcome, and joyful. That’s what I have represented in this piece,” explains Akinbolaji.
To heighten visual interest, the artist didn’t limit the project to one medium. Instead, he showcased and merged multiple media into the piece, making it an interesting balance of elements. You’ll see a hint of Akinbolaji’s painting technique, combined with screen/printmaking process, digital art, mosaic tiles, found objects, such as computer parts and a discarded guitar and so much more. The art piece is reinforced so that people can safely touch it for a more tactile experience.
Akinbolaji says every art piece he creates is very important to him. “I always pay great attention to the details. I use all my expertise in sculpture, in textile, in painting, in print making, and in digital. I’ve combined everything in this piece so that, when you come and look at the work, you’ll see so many elements. And when you come back the following day,..the following week,…the following year, you’ll find something new. So, to me, it is a contribution to humanity and to the institution. Not just for now, but for many, many years to come.”
You can watch a two-minute ‘Art in the Making’ video here and/or click through photos in the slideshow provided below.