UCA News

UCA hosts three collaborative artists-in-residence

CONWAY— The University of Central Arkansas brings together three artists for its final spring 2022 artist-in-residence. The Gasali Adeyamo, Akeem Ayanniyi and Sue Schroeder residency will be Tuesday, April 5, through Thursday, April 7, 2022.

Hosted by the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, these residencies will strive to promote healing from the uncertainties caused by COVID-19 in the last two years.

“Through the generosity of multiple state and regional grant agencies, we are able to bring Atlanta-based Core Dance in collaboration with Akeem and Gasali. Our community events, as a result, will focus on the healing power of the arts, needed especially now as we all grapple with the trauma of the pandemic,” Gayle Seymour, associate dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, said.

Adeyemo, Ayanniyi and Core Dance will present a community performance, “The Colors of Love/The Colors of Life”, Thursday, April 7, from 1:40-2:30 p.m. at the Harding Centennial Fountain on campus. In case of rain, the performance will be moved inside to the Student Center Ballroom, Room 205A.

For an interactive experience, Ayanniyi and Core Dance will showcase Planetary Dance, which holds a steady beat of drums for participants to run, walk or stand in a series of concentric circles, creating a moving mandala, for community renewal Wednesday, April 6 from 4-5 p.m. on Win Thompson Hall’s west side lawn.

Provided by Seymour, “The core issue of recovery from human trauma, according to researcher Bessel van der Kolk, is to feel vitally connected to other people through some sort of rhythmic engagement. Our events will be participatory and will feature music, movement, and patterned textiles. You won’t want to miss them.”

Schroeder, the artistic founding director of Atlanta-based Core Dance, is a leading arts activist and mentor. In more than 40 years of work in the arts, she has created 110 original dance works for theaters, museums, green spaces, architectural works, and water environments. As a contemporary artist and dance maker, Schroeder focuses on the creative process, movement research and exploration, and dance-making as a catalyst for social change.

Sue Schroeder, Artistic Director, Core Dance
Sue Schroeder, Artistic Director, Core Dance

Adeyemo and Ayanniyi will host two workshops on Adire cloth making and drumming Tuesday, April 5, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesday, April 6, from 6-8 p.m. in McAlister Hall, Room 311.

Adeyemo is a Nigeria-born, world-renowned indigo fiber artist known for his work in batik, tie-dye, and cassava paste resist methods. Beginning in 1990, he carried out six years of intensive training and teaching at the Nike Center for Arts and Culture in Osogbo, Nigeria. He has taught workshops at the World Batik Conference (Boston), Cross Culture Collaborative Inc. (Ghana), Snow Farm (Williamsburg), and the New Mexico Fiber Arts Center (Española).

Gasali Adeyemo Photo
Gasali Adeyemo

Ayanniyi, an acclaimed drum maker and drummer, is from the Western Nigerian town of Erin Oshun, near the historic art center of Oshogbo. Ayanniyi is the ninth-generation member of his family to play the traditional Yoruba talking drum, having performed since the age of five. His fame as an artist and performer has led him to tour much of Africa as well as Germany, Brazil, Sweden and the United States.

Akeem Ayanniyi
Akeem Ayanniyi

“They [Adeyemo and Ayanniyi] are gifted entrepreneurs and businessmen who have taken their high, sophisticated art and transformed it into a global business. They are really gifted at sharing how they have adopted an old form of art-making from their ancestors and turned it into quality pieces of expertise,” Trina Harlow, assistant professor of art and design, said.

To end their residencies, dinner and an informal conversation with the artists will take place Thursday evening from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in McCastlain Hall’s Fireplace Room.

This project is generously funded by Mid-America Arts Alliance, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the state arts agencies of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. Additional funding is provided by the Arkansas Arts Council, Delta Kappa Gamma Kappa State Education Foundation and the UCA Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. Ayanniyi and Adeyemo are supported by UCA Arts Fees through the Artists in Residence program administered by the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

For more information about the program, visit CAHSS artists-in-residence. All events are free and open to the public (no tickets required).

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