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U.N. Arts Ambassador visits Delaware Valley College

Oct 10, 2014

Ibi Alao visits DelVal

Credit: Delaware Valley College. United Nations Arts Ambassador Ibiyinka Alao visits Delaware Valley College to talk about opportunities to collaborate with DelVal on future events. From top left: Assistant Professor of History and Policy Studies Dr. Craig Stutman, Associate Professor of History and Academic Co-Director of Graduate Policy Studies Dr. David Snyder, United Nations Arts Ambassador Ibiyinka Alao, Professor of Music and Department Chair of Liberal Arts Dr. Jack Schmidt, Assistant Professor of Liberal Arts Dr. Jay Su, Coordinator of Experiential Learning Deanna Parkton, Students for Diversity and Minority Relations Council President Tia Taylor '15, and Students for Diversity Advisor and Office Coordinator of The Center for Student Professional Development Priscilla Jackson.

Ibiyinka Alao, winner of the prestigious United Nations Award in Art and Art Ambassador for Nigeria, visited Delaware Valley College Thursday, Oct. 9 to discuss opportunities for art-focused events for the College’s students as well as the surrounding community. He met with DelVal student Tia Taylor ’15, who is president of Students for Diversity and Minority Relations Council, as well as faculty, staff and administrators.

Alao shared examples of his work with the group and talked about the meaning behind his paintings. He discussed coming to the College in the future to provide a presentation on his work and workshops for students. Alao describes art as “frozen music” and said that artists create work to fill “a hole in their hearts.” He visited DelVal to discuss using art as a way to connect people from different cultures.

"I draw, paint and write about whatever I'm able to find, feel and sometimes understand,” said Alao of his work. “I feel that it is healthier to look out at the world through a window than through a mirror. Otherwise, all you see is yourself and whatever is behind you."

Alao was shy as a teenager and his teachers taught him to put things he couldn’t say into paintings. He said that educators have a to be aware that students’ weaknesses can become strengths.

Alao was in Doylestown to speak with the Doylestown Rotary Club and reached out to the College to offer to visit. DelVal is in the process of planning to have him back to do a larger campus-wide and community presentation.