The Mmofra Art Exhibition Series showcases works inspired by childhood themes. Inaugurated in 1998, these became highly anticipated and well-attended events in the cultural calendar in Accra through 2002. Featuring some of the best known artists and artisans in Ghana, the exhibitions have helped greatly to publicize our work. Each of these artists has generously donated to us part of the proceeds from the sale of their exhibited works.
1998: “The Ghanaian Child,” Glen Turner
Glen Turner headlined Mmofra Foundation’s first show in the Art Exhibition series, focusing on the theme of “The Ghanaian Child.” Glen himself began painting as a child, and has become one of Ghana’s most recognized auto-didactic artists, with exhibitions in Accra and abroad in New York, Paris, London and Bologna. His colorful artworks draw upon Ghanaian cultural elements, and he often emphasizes the need to seek inspiration from Africa’s visual heritage. These paintings encourage Ghanaian children to explore the world of art, replicating Glen’s own first experience of painting: “For me, basically it was magic.”
1999: “Children Next Door,” Victor Butler
Victor Butler is a modern Renaissance man, blending talents in fields from information technology to interior design, painting, and sculpture. He has been recognized as one of Ghana’s leading artists, with exhibitions in Ghana, France, Canada, England, and the USA.
“Children Next Door” featured a selection of drawings and paintings seeking to portray the “neighbourly” relationship between adults and children. In Victor’s own words: “Children invariably make their presence known…and take a particular interest in the presence of those around them. The underlying factor in being a ‘good neighbour’ is in identifying with the child within. We have lived ‘next door’ before.”
2000: “Colours of Life,” Larry Otoo
For our third exhibition, painter Larry Otoo showcased a collection of works entitled “Colours of Life.” Mr. Otoo has a strong connection with Mmofra Foundation and its goals, having served on the Ghana National Commission on Children. His vibrant paintings have an enthusiastic international following, and have been featured as UNICEF greeting cards. Larry’s artistic process blends innovative abstract techniques with the desire to retain Ghanaian cultural influences: “Each time I pick up the brush to paint, I have a strong feeling that an obligation has been placed on me to record and preserve our tradition visually.”
Akua Banchi Eghagha, Tena Kyiamah, and Kati Torda Dagadu
We were honoured to celebrate three artists for the 2001 Mmofra Foundation Art Exhibition. Akua Banchi Eghagha, Tena Kyiamah, and Kati Torda Dagadu combined their talents to form the “Legends” exhibition, featuring painting, batik, and beadwork.
Akua Banchi Eghagha has enjoyed a varied career in teaching, art and business, balancing art education with a batik production business. Her paintings in the “Legends” exhibition focused on themes of family life, as well as the depiction of children at play and illustration of Ghanaian proverbial motifs.
Tena Kyiamah’s professional background in textile design and interior decoration led her to explore batik as an artistic medium. Since 1979, she has exhibited her batik art both in Ghana and internationally at shows in Zambia, England, Bulgaria, and Korea. Tena’s portraits of women and natural landscapes combine simplicity and detail.
Kati Torda Dagadu has made her home in Ghana after moving from Hungary in 1979. Fascinated by Ghana’s bead culture, she has established herself as an intellectual and artistic authority on the subject, and played a key role in founding the Ghana Bead Society. Her internationally acclaimed beadwork draws strongly on Ghanaian cultural sources, with bold and eclectic elements.