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Oke in class 2022

Manchester University hosts joyful ‘In the Garden’ exhibit

Poppies II OkeA jubilant exhibit at Manchester University invites visitors to join Ejenobo Oke in her garden of art.
“In the Garden” is showing through April 7.

It is in Gallery G on the second floor of the Jo Young Switzer Center on the North Manchester campus.

“If you’ve ever seen my flower gardens, you would understand the word ‘chaos.’ I am terrible at planning layouts, deciding which plants go where. Height, texture, color, direct sun, partial shade—I understand these are things to consider, but things get away from me,” she said.

“In this body of work, I chose to revel in those feelings about the gardens that I love so much. It is not a cohesive, well-planned-out, powerful collection of art to be analyzed and pored over. Rather, like my gardens, the works are the bits and pieces, the plants and characters that fascinate and comfort me,” Oke said. “I get caught up in the escape, the joy, the quiet peace when I can just be present in those garden spaces.

From the realistic to the fantastical, her imagination and love for the garden come together in this exhibit. 

The Dollhouse OkeOke is an associate professor of art at Manchester. Her works range from loom-controlled weavings to batik quilts to sculptures that incorporate ceramics, paper, felt and basketry materials.

A Nigerian-American, Oke received her B.A. in Art from Manchester in 1997 and her Master of Fine Arts. in visual studies from Norfolk State University and Old Dominion University in 2001.

She returned to Manchester in 2006, and currently teaches courses in studio art and art history. Oke also served as the director of galleries at Manchester for more than 10 years.

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Ejenobo Oke can be reached at 
The arts at Manchester

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November 2022