By Annie Houston, Contributing Writer | Photos by Annie Houston
“I feel the city is undergoing a renewal. Life is returning to Detroit. There is an energy of change, of hope. The city lay dormant for a number of years. Now I feel it blossoming. Detroit is ready to share with the world all that it has to offer.”
Nigerian born artist Timothy Orikri, has a huge love for Detroit and its people, and calls it his adopted home. A prolific painter, poet, songwriter, musician and more – he shares his zest for life, his faith and hope, in the many forms his artistry takes him.
Orikri has a ready smile and sometimes, an impish grin. His energy and exuberance is evident in everything he does. When he speaks, he uses his whole body to express his thoughts and emotions. The same goes for his artwork. He often paints along with music, matching the brushstrokes to the rhythm and format. Using wide, broad strokes or small circles and intricate squares, the colors and vibrancy of his work are his trademark and stand out even in pictures. They are delicious to look at. But up close and personal – it’s a whole other experience!
The emotion and passion Orikri imbues in his works seeps from his paintings and reaches out to you. It moves some to tears, others to inspiration. Some get lost in thought and meditation. The exaggerated, uplifting colors speak of love, happiness and the peaceful celebration of life. Some have said a particular painting helped them get through bad times. Some have even claimed to be healed! These are remarkable works that have to be experienced in person for the full effect they offer. Even the more pensive poses and somber colored works speak of hope and renewal.
As a mixed media artist, Orikri uses recycled materials such as teabags, toothpicks, cork, straws, corrugated paper, matchsticks, yarn, buttons, feathers and clothespins making them useful once again. He intricately weaves his canvases and paintings on unconventional surfaces like vinyl, metal and tree bark, sometimes making changes to the paint for his own unique touch. Symbolism is often used to add new depths of meaning to his creations.
An example of his dedication and discipline is evident in his Detroit Inspired Collection. Orikri spent a
painstaking long 80 hours to create carefully laid lines and objects as the basis for his significant work entitled, Fisher Building. His pieces often take on a 3D quality giving the viewer multiple platforms to experience and assimilate.
Orikri, received the Spirit of Detroit Award for his humanitarianism and use of art to uplift the city. Describing himself as “an apprentice in training” and a “colorist in the making,” he sometimes donates his time to work with sick children and the elderly for therapy to boost self-esteem and creative art. He revels in the pride and sense of accomplishment they experience from his class.
Affirmations, on 9 Mile in Ferndale, recently hosted a longstanding exhibit of Orikri’s work that ran all summer. Orikri also did a live painting event at the Fox Theater for TedXDetroit15 on October 8th where he painted and completed a large circular canvas as well as a huge 4 panel painting (titled M- 12 or M-Dodecagon) representing the history and growth of Detroit.
There are currently works on display with, “I Hear Music” at the Liberal Arts Gallery from October 2 – 30, 2015. A meet and greet with the artist happens October 17th, 2015 from 6-9 pm. Closing reception will be October 30, 2015 from 6-9 pm. Liberal Arts Gallery is located at 3361 Gratiot Ave, Detroit MI 48207 (313) 925-9578
On October 24th, Orikri will participate in a live art experience where guests contribute to a large mosaic of color at Colorosity: The Annual Science Soirée Sat., October 24, 2015 from 6:00pm – 11:00pm at the Michigan Science Center. For more tickets and more information about the event, contact: 313.577.8400, ext. 442 or Events@Mi- Sci.org, or www.mi-sci.org/events/colorosity-the- annual-science-soiree/
“50 Shades of Harmony” will feature fifty astounding works in celebration of the artist’s 50th Birthday this November 2015. A date, time and place will be announced shortly and on the website listed below.
Additional information, including videos, pics and upcoming events can be found at: TimothyOrikri.com and Art by Timothy Orikri on Facebook
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