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Baba Wagué Diakité presents his collection of art
Photos and Story by James Hill
Writer, illustrator, sculptor and ceramic artist Baba Wagué Diakité’s latest exhibition,”Balancing Moon and Earth,” is on display at the Northview Gallery, Sylvania Campus. It is a collection of the artist’s original book illustrations, ceramic sculpture, masks, and bogolanfini (mudcloth) tableaux. Wague’s work has been exhibited throughout the U.S. including the Craft and Folk Art Museum of Los Angeles and the New York Public Library. A recent book publication, “The Hunterman and the Crocodile,” was named a Coretta Scott King Honor Book.
Diakité was born in 1961 in Mali, West Africa. He spent his early childhood in Kassaro, a small agricultural village, tending sheep, working in the rice and peanut fields and stalking animals in the bush with his friends. He later moved to the town of Bamako where he enrolled in French school to complete his formal education. The artist came to the U.S. in 1985 and settled in Portland, where he began producing his highly acclaimed books and painted ceramic work, which remain infused with West African Folklore and the rich experiences of his rural childhood.
He is the founder of the Ko-Falen Cultural Center, in Bamako Mali, which promotes artistic and educational exchanges between citizens of the United States and Mali. Wague, his wife, the sculptor Ronna Nuenschwander and their two children currently share time between Portland and Bamako.
The Northview Gallery is located in Room 214, CT Building, Sylvania Campus. It is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, contact gallery curator Mark Smith at:firstname.lastname@example.org