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Olanrewaju (Lanré) Tejuoso talks of his sculptural community project

Olanrewaju (Lanré) Tejuoso is known for his work with repurposed materials. In his native Nigeria his materials are far different than what he found in Philadelphia. He and teammate Grimaldi Baez tell the story of discovering the perfect raw material for his new sculpture here -- bright-colored Vlisco fabric, used in African fashions and featured in the PMA's recent "Creative Africa" show. We can't wait to see this sculpture! - Artblog Editor

Lanré, artist, Village of Arts and Humanities
Village of Arts and Humanities residency Spaces artist Lanré. Photo by Jared Gruenwald, courtesy of the Village
Grimaldi Baez, artist, Village of Arts and Humanities
Grimaldi Baez, Lanré’s team member, at the Village of Arts and Humanities. Photo courtesy of the Village

Artist Olanrewaju (Lanré) Tejuoso, who is from Nigeria, is completing a 7-month residency at the Village of Arts and Humanities’ SPACES program. Lanré is one of two two international artists visiting the North Philadelphia community this year. Kwasi Ohene-Ayeh, who is from Ghana, is the other, and we interviewed both artists recently. (Here is the interview with Kwasi.) This week, the artists are preparing for their projects’ culminating exhibition and Open Mic session, which happens Friday, Dec. 9, 6PM – 10 PM, with the Open Mic at 7PM.

Lanré, who is Yoruba, works with recycled materials and his art communicates a message about our fragile globe being overwhelmed by waste. His sculptures are labor intensive, and here in Philadelphia he worked with North Philadelphia community members in “sewing circles” to fabricate the individual components (he refers to them as “bricks” to build something bigger) that will go into his new sculpture, which debuts on Friday. The piece is a memorial to loss, which is experienced in a personal way by all. Grimaldi explains the connection between the African artist and the community in North Philadelphia, many of whom have ancestral roots in Africa and in the Caribbean.

The podcast took place on Nov. 30 and is 34 minutes of really interesting conversation by Lanré and Grimaldi.

Thank you to The Galleries at Moore TGMR radio project for making this podcast possible, and especially to Matt Kalasky for inviting Artblog to participate in the Moore radio project. Listen to the interview with Lanré and Grimaldi at the TGMR site here.