Abdala Faye showing

Abdala Faye speaks with guest at the reception

Photo courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing


Kate Nuernberger and her daughter Alice check out Faye's "La Paim Dans" painting

Photo courtesy of: Univesity Communications and Marketing


Abdala Faye's "Empty"

Photo courtesy of: University Communication and Marketing

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'Exile in Poverty' exhibit features globetrotting artist

Abdala Faye dedicated to his lifelong passion

At the age of 12, Abdala Faye had his first art showing in Paris and successfully sold all his paintings. And last week, his lifelong journey as an artist brought him to Ohio University.

On Jan. 21, Faye hosted his "Exile in Poverty" gallery exhibit reception in the Multicultural Center Art Gallery as part of Ohio University's weeklong celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In addition to greeting guests at the reception, Faye conducted a 15-minute hand drumming session – his second passion behind art.

Faye is a full-time artist, whose paintings have been displayed in exhibits around the world, including Brazil, France, Belgium, Germany, Senegal and the United States. He is also the co-founder of Art Express, a program that aids those with disabilities by means of art experimentation regardless of economical status.

"Art is life. I'm an extremely observant person and my surrounding environment affects me.

Everything from my life, my dreams, even social events, give me inspiration for my art," Faye said.

Although Faye has showed his artwork in galleries across the world, he said he prefers exhibits at universities.

"In my head, I'm still a student; I'm still learning," he said. "Galleries will give you a broader audience, but universities will help you inspire future artists."

In reference to being a part of MLK week, Faye said he was honored to be a part of the celebrations. 

"He's the kind of man I want to be," he said. "He had the guts to talk about the illnesses of the world and had a real understanding of poverty. I respect him and think he will always have an impact on society. In 100 years, he will be known as a prophet."

Faye's exhibit "Exile in Poverty," shows the artist's portrayal of poverty through depictive and visually arresting artwork.

"I like the texture of his work because it leaves it more open to interpretation," said Carina Turner, a senior studying psychology. "Every time you look at it, you see something new."

Faye also believes that artists are important tools to society and should give as much as they can.

"I am a big advocate of free inspiration," Faye said. "Future artists should remember not to fear the unknown … and don't let your personal style overcome your work. Art is about freedom, as is inspiration."

Faye's exhibit will be open to the public through Feb. 11.