"Out Of Africa" – billed as an emergency of works from contemporary Africa – will begin nearly a monthlong run with an opening night reception on April 25th.
Presented by ANF Architects in conjunction with the Art Village Gallery, the show features the artwork of Ephraim Urevbu and Zeinu Mudeser.
The opening night reception will be from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at ANF Architects, 1500 Union Ave. The show runs through May 22nd.
Urevbu, who sprouted from impoverished beginnings in Warri, Nigeria, now lives above the Art Village Gallery. As a child, he spent his days going to school and working with his mother at her timber shed to help make ends meet. Any additional time was spent doing odd jobs to buy art supplies.
After his talents became noticed, he gained entrance to one of Nigeria's elite high schools and later went to University. After graduation he worked for a national television network, theater, and dappled in graphic design. Then he made the difficult decision to move to America, enrolling at the Memphis College of Art.
He encountered several layers of frustration with the transition to the U.S., eventually working his way beyond the frustration and learning a valuable lesson – everyone struggles. After a transfer to Memphis State University, he earned his BA and MBA degrees.
With 20-plus as a Memphis artist, his career speaks for itself. The website that sketches his journey relays that his mission is "to revitalize the city of Memphis as a whole, shaping its future through the arts and deploying his creative energies to change not only how the residents of the city experience their culture, but also visitors."
The president and founder of the South Main Arts Association, he has been a stalwart in the effort to "create a place for the arts in downtown Memphis."
The Art Village Gallery is a restoration project that has become his office, home and community. Urevbu bought the building, which now is a combination gallery, interior design studio, framing shop and photography studio.
A classically-trained artist, Zeinu Mudeser was born in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. After art school, he worked as a cartoonist and illustrator for various monthly magazines. In 2000, he moved to the U.S.
"I'm always trying to find shape or form by breaking down the existing shapes, forms and colors 'till my inner necessity tells me to stop,'" says Medeser in the online narrative that outlines his artistic journey.
(To read more about Urevbu and Mudeser and Nubia and Ludigo – two other artists whose works will be in the show – visit http://www.artvillagegallery.com/artists1.)