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DC Native Sculptor Showcases 32-Year Public Art Career

August 26, 2013

Bowie State University Brings Nationally Acclaimed Artist to the Region

(Bowie, Md.) – August 26, 2013 – A Bowie State University art exhibition showcasing the sculptures of Washington, D.C. native Ayokunle Odeleye will detail how he produced monumental structures that have defined communities across the country over his 32-year public art career.

“Ayokunle Odeleye: 32 Years of Public Art,” co-presented by the Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council, will run Sept. 12 – Oct. 31 in the Gallery of Art in the Fine and Performing Arts Center.

Miniature models of Odeleye’s public sculptures made of wood, bronze, stainless steel and aluminum will be the centerpieces of the exhibition. Drawings and photographs will reveal his perspective on the process to design, construct and install his pieces in public spaces. By collaborating with architects, engineers, and community representatives, he creates “contemporary architectural markers of community identity,” Odeleye said.

Gallery Director Clayton Lang said the exhibition will give BSU students insights into becoming a successful public artist. “The public art arena is lucrative, but difficult to navigate, and he’s obviously figured it out,” Lang said. “You couldn’t find a better role model for our students and aspiring artists than Ayokunle Odeleye in this specialized field.”

Odeleye has completed more than 20 public art commissions, including “The Three Guardians,” stainless steel sculptures stationed at the entrance of the Bunker Hill Fire Department in Prince George’s County, Md. “The Guide” is a 25-foot-high, welded steel figure marking the grounds at Baltimore City College high school for nearly 20 years, becoming a community landmark. His most recent commissioned piece is a bronze bust of famed civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois for Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Ga.

As part of the exhibition’s opening reception, art lovers will hear from Odeleye about his experience in public art on Tuesday, Sept. 17. A panel discussion on Wednesday, Oct. 30 will engage award-winning local artists in sharing their experiences in public art and images of their work.

“Public art speaks to a collective reality. This exhibit is a unique opportunity to explore the intentions of public art from the artist’s personal journey to a broader conversation around community and creative place,” said Rhonda Dallas, executive director of the Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council.

The exhibition events are:

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