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Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State University Museum of Art Presents "Wakati: Time Shapes African Art"

(STILLWATER, Okla., August 27, 2015)  Representing an expansive range of materials, methods, and rituals, this exhibition highlights a selection of objects exploring the passage of time in African art.

Wákàtí, a West African concept among the Yoruba, refers to time as it unfolds and marks its passage with signs of change. Showcasing works from the both the OSU Museum of Art collection and a private collection, Wákàtí presents traditional and contemporary African art side by side, highlighting the seamless transition of time as a natural flow uniting images from ancient to current practices. The works illuminate the continuities, transformations, variations, and innovative experiments defining artistic masterpieces of Africa as Pabambarì. An exclamatory expression, Pabambarì conveys in one word the sensation of amazement, awe, and speechlessness packed within a profound aesthetic experience. This exhibition shows that time alone tests the intensity of this aesthetic reality.

Wákàtí represents a cultural crossroads of reinterpretation as the exhibition narrates a story beginning in Africa – with a second life in the Americas. Throughout the gallery, the works of living artists interact with ancestral images from Dogon, Ashanti, Yaka, and other indigenous tribes.

With works including painting, sculpture, ceramics, photographs, performance, and installation arts, the exhibition presents the relationship between the shaping of styles from different eras and various regions of Africa.

Wákàtí: Time Shapes African Art is on view from Sept. 21, 2015 – Jan. 16, 2016. It is organized by the OSU Museum of Art and curated by Moyo Okediji, Ph.D., Professor of Art History at the University of Texas. The exhibition and events below are free and open to the public.

Guest lecture: Visiting Artist AKIRASH
Monday, Sept. 21, 5:30 pm

As part of the Mary Ann and Ken Fergeson Visiting Artist Program, Olaniyi R. Akindiya (AKIRASH) has been invited to the OSU Museum of Art in conjunction with Wákàtí. An artist in the exhibition, he will speak about his installation and performance art on Sept. 21. Learn more about him at

Performance: Batetele/Libation by Visiting Artist AKIRASH
Tuesday, Sept. 29, 6 pm
AKIRASH will perform two traditional African rituals with the help of student and community volunteers. The performance will take place at 6 pm outside of the museum.

Opening Reception
Wednesday, Oct. 7, 5 – 8 pm

The reception will feature a Gallery Talk with Curator Moyo Okediji at 5:30. A special performance by Visiting Artist Denenge Akpem will follow.  

As part of the Mary Ann and Ken Fergeson Visiting Artist Program, Denenge Akpem has also been invited to the OSU Museum of Art to create an installation piece for Wákàtí. She will install her work in the exhibition from Oct. 3 through Oct. 6. Learn more about her at

About the OSU Museum of Art
Exhibitions and programs at the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art are sponsored by OSU Founding Patrons, OSU/A&M Board of Regents, OSU Foundation, and the Oklahoma Arts Council. For more information about the OSU Museum of Art, visit or call 405-744-2780. 

Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant university that prepares students for success. OSU is America’s Brightest Orange. Through leadership and service, OSU is preparing students for a bright future and building a brighter world for all. As Oklahoma’s only university with a statewide presence, OSU improves the lives of people in Oklahoma, the nation, and the world through integrated, high-quality teaching, research, and outreach. As America’s Healthiest Campus, OSU is committed to the health and well-being of its students, employees and the community. OSU has more than 36,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 25,000 on its combined Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, with students from all 50 states and around 120 nations. Established in 1890, OSU has graduated around 255,000 students to serve the state of Oklahoma, the nation and the world.​