Collection > Akunyili, Njideka

(Nigerian artist)

My art addresses my internal tension between my deep love for Nigeria, my country of birth, and my strong appreciation for Western culture, which has profoundly influenced both my life and my art. I use my art as a way to negotiate my seemingly contradictory loyalties to both my cherished Nigerian culture that is currently eroding and to my white American husband. Most of the Nigerian traditions I experienced growing up are quickly disappearing due to the permeation of Western culture and the ensuing opinion that being ''too Nigerian'' is uncool. I feel dismayed by Nigerians' unquestioningly valuing anything Western as superior however, my awareness of this problem does not exempt me from it - indeed, I question whether this mentality played a part in my falling in love with my husband. My art serves as a vehicle through which I explore my conflicted allegiance to two separate cultures.


YALE UNIVERSITY, New Haven, CT - 2011 Candidate - MFA Painting

PENNSYLVANIA ACADEMY OF THE FINE ARTS, Philadelphia, PA 2005 - 2009 Post Baccalaureate certificate, August 2006

SWARTHMORE COLLEGE, Swarthmore, PA 2000 - 2004 Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Studio Art and Biology


The Mindel Capland Kleinbard Award, PAFA, 2009 The Coverley-Smith Prize, Woodmere Art Museum, 2009 Frank C. Wright Jr. Scholarship, American Artists Professional League NY, 2008 Fellowship Juried Prize, PAFA, 2008 Charles Toppan Curriculum drawing prize, PAFA, 2008 Mabel Wilson Woodrow Award, PAFA, 2008 Don Sabath Award – Special Notice, PAFA, 2008 Mary-Rowe Memorial jury prize, Off The Wall gallery Philadelphia, 2007 Susan H. MacDowell Eakins painting prize, PAFA, 2007 Robert T. Wickersham memorial purchase prize in lithography, PAFA, 2007 Huldah Bender Kerner Scholarship, PAFA, 2007 Benjamin West prize for figure painting, PAFA, 2007, 2009 Academy merit scholarship, PAFA, 2006-2009 Dean's Award 2004, Swarthmore College, 2004 Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, (2002-present) Jonathan Altman Art Grant, Swarthmore College, 2003


Yale University 1st Year Graduate Show, New Haven CT, 2009 Contemporary Voices: 69th Annual Juried Exhibition, Woodmere Art Museum PA, 2009 Fall Show, Off the Wall gallery Philadelphia, 2008 Students-only National Juried Exhibition, Off the Wall gallery Philadelphia, 2007 National Juried Competition Show, Bowery gallery NY, 2007 Mainline Arts Center Works on Paper, 2007 Annual Student Exhibition, PAFA, 2007, 2008, 2009 144th Annual Exhibition of Small Oil Paintings, Philadelphia Sketch Club, 2007 Certificate Students' Juried Show, PAFA, 2006, 2008 Pure Gallery Group Show, Harrisburg PA, 2006 All Campus Juried Show, PAFA, 2006, Spring 2008, Fall 2008 Graduate Students' Juried Show, PAFA, 2005 Senior Exhibition, Swarthmore College, 2004 One Man Student Show at the Kaori Kitao Gallery, Swarthmore College, 2002


Community College of Philadelphia Swarthmore College Dean's office Swarthmore College Art Department PAFA Print Department Archives


Tammaro, Tina, ''Turning Students into Artists at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts,'' American Artist Drawing, Spring 2008, Pp. 20, 21, 24.

Njideka Akunyili
Mimetic Gestures
Mixed - Oil with Paper, Lace and Fabric Collage on Canvas
84 x 67 inches
Njideka Akuinyili
Mixed Media (Acrylic, Oil, Xerox transfers) and Collage on Paper
65 x 44.5 inches