Ibiyinka Alao

Ibi's Fireflies

IBI'S FIREFLIES. There are some stories that mean different things at different times of our lives. It's not that they are better written than others, they are just sparked by something extra. In telling this story from my childhood, it's impossible to separate reality from the imagination, the known from the unknown. The best I can do is to tell it the way it was shown to me. It doesn't always make sense to the world, but that's exactly what kind of story this is. It became a painting, a book, then won the Scholastic Book Fairs award and now shines an eternal light of the stars.

Ibi's Fireflies was illustrated, written and presented to Scholastic by the Ink-Readable Club of Willow Lane Elementary School in Macungie, Pennsylvania after Ibiyinka visited their school to share his artwork and story with them. It will first be available for sale at Scholastic Book Fairs across the United States as from September 9, 2016. More information about sale locations will be posted as they become available. For more information about the award, visit the Scholastic Website at this link: http://www.scholastic.com/bookfairs/news/kids-are-authors-winners

Eternity in our Hearts

ETERNITY IN OUR HEARTS is named after my painting with this title and is my first published book. It was published in April 2009 and is written in two parts. The first part is a Children's book and is very simple reading comprising poetry and a story about how fireflies become stars in our memories. The second part is suitable for general audiences(children and adults) and contains my written interpretations for artworks like "True Miracles" and "Grace", which I usually share with audiences in schools, museums, and various other venues. It contains many images of my paintings and examines how visual interpretation is turned in my work into written communication and vice versa. Translated from the Yoruba language into English, it is 40 pages long and printed on heavy stock paper. I hope that you enjoy it and can share with your parents, children, neighbours and friends.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION The purpose of the project/program is to motivate and inspire students to see the relationship between reading, writing, visual art, language, geography, culture, architecture, math and science. It focuses on character development. There is an exercise he does with students and participants on perspective and he teaches that "Art is frozen music"


1. What dates would he be available? Varies through the year. Contact by email or facebook to find out.

2. What type of information does he present and how long does his typical presentation last? - It is on contemporary African art and how social justice issues affect what he does. The basic approach is to talk about the two sweeping characteristics of art, that is that it embodies a message within an idiom of communication but also possesses a sense of Mystery. Also, as Art Ambassadors, how do we use our talents as a river to water human hearts so that we may grow to know peace. There are grade specific presentations and workshops from kindergarten through 12th grade, college and beyond. The time is usually 45-55 minutes for presentation and 1 hour for workshop. For the assembly, an LCD projector, a screen and a computer will be useful if these are available at the school.

3. Would you want to do one presentation in our auditorium to all of my students, or does a smaller group setting work better? - This depends largely on the individual school. However, to save time for workshops, it is better to have a onetime only auditorium setting power point presentation to the whole student body and then break into smaller groups/classes for workshops.

4. Will the students do any artwork to accompany the presentation? - Yes. This will be done during the workshop part of it. He will share some stories with them at the assembly, then work on a piece while they all work on their own pieces based on individual stories they may want to translate into a picture. Later, they will write a poem describing their artwork. Part of the project is to translate visual communication into writing and vise-verse. He may read a part of his book "ETERNITY IN OUR HEARTS" to them.

5. If so, what supplies are needed? - Paper (size A4 for younger students and A3 size for older students), water colour/Acrylic or tempera paints, brushes (one small and one large size), pencils, a different piece of paper for writing.

6. What is the fee? - The presentation fee is negotiable. In addition we bring along some prints of Ibiyinka's artworks for sale. They are optional and available to students, teachers, parents and the general public. The sale of prints help to support other travels.

7. Is there an exhibition following the program? - Yes, we recommend that artworks and writings by students be displayed at the end of the day or week and students get the opportunity to curate their own works.
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