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Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


FGCU Presents "Visions of True Colours" Exhibit by Nigerian Artist Ibiyinka Olufemi Alao Feb. 26

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University invites the public to a reception and presentation of a mini-exhibition of original paintings by Ibiyinka Olufemi Alao, "Visions of True Colours," 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 26 in Sugden Welcome Center as part of FGCU's Black History Month celebration. FGCU Interim President Richard Pegnetter offers a special welcome. The exhibit shows at noon each day through Friday, March 2.

Alao is Nigeria's special envoy on diversity and culture. He represented his country by winning first place in the United Nations International Art Competition for "Girls and a Greener Environment," chronicling the life of a child from infancy to adulthood and the values she acquires along the paths of life.

Alao's perspective is from the traditional African viewpoint. He was trained as an architect at the University of Ile-Ife Nigeria. However, he saw life in "color" and "color" as a language. This unique perspective of life allowed him to depict, in a clear and elaborate manner, what he had a hard time articulating. The empty surface became a vehicle for bringing his thoughts to life and giving his opinion a voice.

"Wisdom is what we have when we realize that vanity is not a vice after all, and that emptiness is an opportunity to fill. What really makes us artists is a void in our heart that is the size of the universe without us," said Alao.

Aloa's paintings have received worldwide recognition. His paintings are currently on tour in the United States. In between exhibitions he gives open lectures at universities and sets up workshops in community centers across the country. As Nigeria's art ambassador, he is available for speaking engagements, panel discussions, workshops and exhibitions.

The presentation is sponsored by the FGCU Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance, EEO-Diversity Advisory Committee, Office of Global Initiatives and International Services, Office of Extended Programs and Renaissance Academy, and Fort Myers Dunbar Festival Committee.

For more information, media representatives should contact director of Institutional Equity and Compliance Cheryl Seals-Gonzalez at (239) 590-7406 or

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