Nigerian artist shares teachings at Springfield school

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A famous artist from Nigeria is visiting the Ozarks, spending much of his time teaching students at one Springfield school.

Ibiyinka Alao is Nigeria's Ambassador of Art. Though he still calls Nigeria his home, he spends a lot of time in the U.S., and some may remember his visit to the Springfield Art Museum in 2017.

Alao visited St Joseph Catholic Academy then as well, and the school invited him back. This time, they're hosting his three-week visit to the Ozarks.

Ibiyinka is not only a painter, but a storyteller with an award-winning childrens book called "Ibi's Fireflies." He also shares his faith in his stories.
Ibi, as the students call him, is working with the students on creating their own paintings, creative writing, even singing and dancing.

His lessons fit well with the school's new fine arts focus. They're preparing a school musical to put on for the public next week. One thing he's teaching the students is that they can tell the same story in multiple different forms of art.

"I described it to them as art is frozen music and that music, you can think of it as the liquid form of the solid art or architecture, and writing is the vapor," said Alao.

Alao is also sharing his art with the community while he's here . He's holding a workshop Thursday evening at Saint Joseph Catholic Academy. Those who attend will get to paint their own masterpiece.

Tonight's art workshop with Ibiyinka Alao is at Saint Joseph Catholic Academy, 515 West Scott Street, Springfield from 6:30 to 9PM. The fee is $15 per person. RSVP 417-866-0667.

Saturday, there will be a showcase of art by Ibiyinka and SJCA students, combined with the school's annual Beer and BBQ fundraiser. The public is also invited to Monday's School Musical. More details can be found on the St Joseph Catholic Academy Facebook page here: