HONOUR came the way of Nigerian artist, Kunle Adewale, in Cincinnati, Ohio, the United States of America earlier this month when Mayor John Cranley proclaimed August 2, 2019, the ‘Kunle Adewale Day.’
The Fine Art graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife was honoured for his efforts as the first International Artist in Residence of the Eyes of the Artists Foundation based in the city.
During his time in Cincinnati, Adewale had artist talks with students and professionals, had art sessions with patients, healthcare workers and other teaching artists in the community. Some of the community partners involved in the global exchange included Cincinnati Arts Association’s Arts in Healing, Center for Closing the Health Gap, New American Art Gallery II and New Prospect Summit Center.
Annie Ruth, also an international artist in the US and the founder and creative director of Eyes of the Artists Foundation, hosted Adewale. “Our city was incredibly blessed by Kunle’s visit to Cincinnati. We learned so much from his interaction with the community. Exposing our youth to a dynamic artist was transformative for them.
We are looking forward to more cultural and arts in medicine exchanges in the future,” said Ruth.
In Cincinnati, Adewale also met with the city’s Health Commissioner, visited some of Cincinnati’s leading galleries, historical museums and cultural centres. He also connected with local people through site visits, collaborations, and shadowing experiences.
Speaking on the honour, Adewale said “it is very humbling for me considering days of my little beginning and years of unwavering dedication and commitments to therapeutic community art engagements across the world. Being recognized and having August 2 proclaimed ‘Kunle Adewale Day’ is a testament to my passion for development work, and my civic engagements through the arts.
“‘Kunle Adewale Day’ is dedicated to serving to humanity through creative engagements in communities across Cincinnati, Ohio and Nigeria. A day like this is a reminder of being part of a greater good and opportunity to make the world a better place. I’m grateful to the people of Cincinnati, Eyes of the Artists Foundation, Cincinnati Arts Association and Arts in Healing for providing me with this privilege and prestige.”
Adewale is the founder of Tender Arts Nigeria, a non-profit that positively impacts children, youth and adults with a focus on therapeutic art programs, art education, talent development and community development. He is also the pioneer of Arts in Medicine project and has extensive expertise in Arts in Healing.
Adewale is also an innovative agent of change and creativity, making great strides in expanding the impact and value of arts around the world. His arts outreach has extended to those suffering from debilitating illness and developmental challenges. He uses his art for cultural diplomacy, uniting individuals and communities divided by trauma.