CHUKUEGGU, Sylvester Agu Opara

Birth: 1915, in Umuamadi Ngurunweke, Mbaise Division, Imo State. Training: Self-taught; associated with Kenneth Murray's school, Umuahia; influenced by the Ibibio carvers of Ikot Ekpene; refresher course, British Council, Western Province (Nigeria), 1948. Profile: Full name, Sylvester Aggu Opara Chukueggu; also referred to as Cukuegu; father of sculptors Chief Silver Chukueggu and Chinedu Chukueggu; referred to as the Father of the Contemporary Mbaise School; school teacher, Umuahia and Mbaise, 1937-1940; carved and taught in Owerri and Onitsha Provinces, 1946-1948; at St. Charles' Teacher Training College, Onitsha; also at Stella Maris College, Port Harcourt; worked with British Council director, 1948; director, Mbari Art Centre, Eke-Nguru; lives and works in Aboh Mbaise; renovated numerous Mbari houses in Imo and Anambra States and executed portraits and statues of many notables in Mbaise towns and Anambra State as private commissions; founder and president, Mbaise Arts Association. Solo Exhibitions Freetown, Sierra Leone, under The Cottonwood Tree, 1943. Umuahia and Enugu, 1950. Shell BP, Port Harcourt, 1957. British Council, Enugu, Kano, Jos, 1957. Group Exhibitions "Nigerian Art Exhibition," British Council, Lagos, 1948. Independence Exhibition, Lagos, September 30-October 2, 1960. "Exhibition of Wood Carvings from Mbaise," Continuing Education Centre, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, March 11-21, 1971. "Exhibition of Sculptures at the Hotel Presidential, Enugu," Enugu, September 30October 4, 1972. FESTAC '77, Lagos, 1977. "East Zonal Exhibition: Society of Nigerian Artists," Institute of African Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, October 25-28, 1978. "An Open Space Exhibitionof Sculptures in Memory of LongJohn Ngalome Mbazuigwe II," Culture Division Quadrangle, Owerri, June 11-15, 1979. "Treasures of Asele Institute," Italian Cultural Institute, Lagos, December 10-23, 1988. Commissions Mbari shrine, Ikenegbu Layout, Owerri, for Imo State Government, 1976-1977. Mbari shrine, sponsored by Owerri Government, 1978. The Cenotaph, Aboh Mbaise LocalGovernment Area Headquarters, for Aboh Mbaise ex-servicemen, 1986-1987. Mbari shrine, Museum of Traditional Nigerian Architecture, Jos, for Federal Government of Nigeria, 1979-1980. Writings by the Artist "History of the Kemalu Juju," Nigeria Magazine (Lagos) no. 39:252-253, 1952. illus. Awards & Honors Received twenty certificates of merit, eighteen silver medals and six silver cups during festivals of art competitions, 1952-1966;awarded chieftancy title of "Dulu Omenka" (master craftsman) of Mbaise for contributions to the development of contemporaryart of Mbaise, 1963;title of "Onyirima" as the Mbari of Imo State, 1984; Fellow, Asele Institute, Nimo, 1985. Public Collections Asele Institute, Nimo. Bibliography Exhibition of Wood Carvings from Mbaise; [held at the Continuing Education Centre, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, March11-21,1971, sponsored by the Association of Fine Arts Students, Nsukka] / foreword by Chike Aniakor. [Nsukka: University of Nigeria, 1971].6pp. Exhibition of Sculptures at the Hotel Presidential, Enugu, 30 September-4 October 1972; [organized by Mbari Traditional Art Centre, Eke-Nguru, Mbaise, East Central State]. Enugu: Printed by Government Printer, 1972. 24pp. illus. An Open Space Exhibition of Sculptures in Memory of Long John Ngalome Mbazuigwe II, llth-15th June 1979; [held at the Culture DivisionQuadrangle, Owerri]. [Owerri: Ministry of Education and Information, 1979], [15]pp. Cole, Herbert M. 'The Survivaland Impact ofIgboMbari," African Arts (Los Angeles) 21(2):54-65 and 96, February 1988. illus. (some color).
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