Announcing a Call to Artists for 2019
Appear in MAC’s Gallery schedule of monthly exhibits! Experienced and emerging artists living in Oregon or Washington (in the vicinity of Portland) are invited to submit group and solo proposals for shows.
For more information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are pleased to announce our guest juror, ceramic artist Baba Wagué Diakité. He was born in Bamako, Mali in West Africa. His mother gave him her father’s name of “Wagué”, which means “Man of Trust.” He spent his early childhood with his grandmother in the village of Kassaro where he tended his uncles’ sheep and helped in his grandmother’s rice and peanut fields. Later Wagué moved to Bamako to be with his mother and to get formal schooling. He maintains his best education came from stories that were told to him by his grandmother about animals and the First People. He grew up drawing first for his own pleasure, then for schoolwork and finally for part-time jobs. He learned about ceramics when he met American artist Ronna Neuenschwander. They moved to Portland in 1985. Here, he began to use clay as his canvas.
Wagué had his first solo exhibition in 1988 at the Jamison Thomas Gallery in Portland. He taught in the Oregon public school systems through the Art-in-Education and the Young Audiences program from 1989-2007. He has written several award-winning children’s books which have been published in numerous languages for worldwide distribution. He has traveled internationally for author visits and workshops including the Museum of African Art at University of Iowa, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Museum of African Art, and American International Schools in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Mali. He created a mural and other artwork for Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge in Orlando, Florida. Wagué and his wife, artist Ronna Neuenschwander, have collaborated artistically on a number of projects, including an animated film by Jim Blashfield entitled “My Dinner With the Devil Snake,” an award-winning documentary film by William Donker of their lives entitled “Don’t Paint Lizards on my Wall,” and numerous other art projects. They bi-annually return to Mali with their two daughters.
Wagué is founder and executive director of the Ko-Falen Cultural Center in Bamako, Mali which enables artists and travelers from other countries to live, meet, study and collaborate with artists of Mali. The Ko-Falen encourages cross-cultural exchanges through art, dance, music and ceremony to promote a greater understanding and respect between people. Ko-Falen also manages education programs for youth of artisans in Mali. Visit www.kofalen.org for more information.