Colourist Ovraiti shows oil and acrylic paintings with heavy textures, fusing clear influences of Picasso with the colours and light of the French impressionists and his own inimitable touch. Being among the seasoned, most influential painters in Nigeria today, his works radiate a universal beauty with no need for any narrative.
“Time has come for African artist to live above the stigma and mould that have been handed down to them by pedagogical considerations based on the past. We can no longer pretend to be our fore‐fathers, we are us in the now. Our generation and our experiences in color and form, and contemporary creativity must be recorded in history.”⠀
Sam Ovraiti, born in 1961 in Zaria Kaduna State, holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) and a Master of Fine Arts Degree (MFA) from Auchi Polytechnic and the University of Benin respectively and lives and runs his artist studio in Lagos. He was committed as a lecturer and was instrumental in the training of young artists in Auchi Polytechnic from 1985 – 1993. He is a deep and philosophical artist with passion in artistic research and experimentation, especially with colours and light. This aspect has been heightened by his long-term relationship with Professor Dr Bruce Onobrakpeya and the well known Harmattan Workshop, of which he currently is the artistic director.
Sam is a very well recognised and influential artist in the contemporary art space in Nigeria, not only known as the most expressive watercolourist and a leading master in colours and light, but also through his regular artist talks, the Harmattan workshop and his ongoing mentoring of many artists. His efforts in the area of watercolour and chalk pastel in the 1980’s popularized both materials as an acceptable painting medium within the art community in Nigeria and he is also very well recognized for his later oils and acrylics.
Sam has been honoured with several academic awards and national prizes. His paintings are well received all over the world and he has participated in many solo and group exhibitions in Nigeria and abroad. Last year, he was honoured with a grand retrospective solo exhibition at Alexis Gallery in Lagos and at this moment his work is featured in the National museum in Lagos.
Africa Now, OpenArtExchange, Schiedam, the Netherlands
October Rain, Resilience, National museum, Lagos
Sam Ovraiti: Retrospective of 36 years romance with the language of colours, Alexis Gallery, Lagos, Nigeria
Moremi, a view from the masters, Alexis Gallery, Lagos, Nigeria
An exhibition of masters of contemporary art, Alexis Gallery, Lagos, Nigeria
Harmattan Workshop Results, Alexis gallery, V.I Lagos, Nigeria
Infinite TreasuresTerra culture,V.I lagos
Harmattan Workshop Results, Lagos
Court of Arbitration complex, V.I lagos
The Bloom 1, Alexis gallery, V.I Lagos
Infinite Treasures 2, Terra culture, V.I Lagos
A new order, Terra culture, , V.I Lagos.
SNA Master Artist Award 2018 (equivalent to best national artist of the year)
Nike Centre Award for Painter of the Year
Chrisland Groups of Schools Art Legend Award
Outstanding Ambassador of the Auchi School at the 7th Auchi Arts Convention
Auchi Polytechnic Merit Award for OUTSTANDING ALUMNI
Guinness Top Three Award for Contemporary Artist in Nigeria
Scholarship to Fine Art Students at Auchi Polytechnic by the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Lannon Walker
Auchi Leo Club’s Recognition of philanthropic contributions
P.M. JAM Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi’s Award for Patron of the Year
Jaycees Auchi’s Award for Service to the Community
Mobil Producing Winner of National Painting Competition
Auchi Polytechnic Rector’s Certificate of Excellence for Best Graduating Student in Painting
Auchi Polytechnic Fasuyi Price for Best Student in Painting
79 Numerous Awards and Fine Art Prizes at Secondary School Level
Currently: Artistic Director of the Harmattan Workshops
1985 – 1993: lecturer in painting, drawing and illustration at the Federal polytechnic, Auchi
He is member of the following associations:
National Gallery for Art and Craft, Iganmu, Lagos, Nigeria
Texaco Overseas, Lagos, Nigeria
Mobil Producing, Lagos, Nigeria
Punch Newspaper, Lagos, Nigeria
Conoco Energies, Lagos, Nigeria
Ocean Energy, Lagos, Nigeria
Guinness Nigeria plc, Lagos, Nigeria