featuring ACI Artist Leader Stephen Hamilton
at the National Museum for Afro American Artists
In collaboration with The National Center of Afro-American Artists, Arts Connect International was proud to support ACI Artist Leader Stephen Hamilton’s for his first solo museum show, “Black Gods Live”, comprised of works from his international residency in Nigeria at the Nike Centre for Art & Culture. As a resident artist, he was able to intensively explore African spiritual and philosophical ideas as well as traditional skills such as Adire indigo dyeing, beading, weaving and wood carving during nearly a year’s stay in Nigeria. Hamilton’s burning interest in Yoruba thought and practice led him to immerse himself in learning about traditions from Ifa divination to the Sixteen Cowries (Merindingogun) to Oriki praise poetry. In the faces of the elders of the traditional village, he came to see the Yoruba Orishas manifested daily. He saw that they were the priestesses and priests of a potent system of beliefs, aesthetics, sacred places and practices. These elders are the stewards of a vibrant contemporary cultural and spiritual community that exists both in African and beyond in the Diaspora.