Eugene Ofori Agyei (1993) is a ceramic sculptural artist and educator originally from Ghana. He graduated from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana with a BA in Industrial Art, majoring in Ceramics in 2018. Eugene is the 2020/2021 recipient of the University of Florida Grinter Fellowship award and 2022 Artaxis Fellowship. He has exhibited his work internationally and nationally in Turkey, Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art (FL), GFAA Gallery (FL), Coco Hunday (FL), Alvarez Gallery (CT), 4most SAAH Gallery (FL), Watershed Center Gallery (ME), Grizzly Grizzly Gallery (PA), Taylor Hall Gallery (DE) among others. He was the 2021 Zenobia awardee at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts and received Best of Show from The In Art Gallery’s social change and open theme exhibition. Agyei is also the recipient of the 2022 NCECA Graduate Student Fellowship and the 2022 NCECA Multicultural Fellowship award.
“My hybrid memories are without voice yet want to be heard. In my sculptural work, I reveal unspoken stories of beauty, migration and my cultural history. These stories encompass the architectural, geographical, cultural, and social spaces encountered as people of the diaspora. Intrinsic to my work is the love of materials which are utilized to create complex visual and tactile layers as well as layered associations and meanings. I grew up in a society where braids and ways of dressing connote beauty and status identification.
“Through my studio practice, I explore my hybrid psychological experience of spaces between Ghana and the US, using clay, colorful yarns, and African fabric. The clay forms are intuitively built and the fabric is intricately wrapped around the abstract clay forms and stitched together symbolizing the processes and transculturation of identity formation. The fabric is cut and pasted in a collage-like manner using adhesives to dress and protect the body of the clay form. Strands of yarns are passed through perforated holes, flow downward and are braided to epitomize the blending of cultures that I experience, connections between my home country and America.
“I want the viewer to see my work and to question the intricacies of decision making, and to start reflecting on their own story of hybridity.”