Nigerian born, Chidi A. Okoye graduated with a distinction in sculpture (Higher National Diploma) from the Institute of Management and Technology in Enugu, Nigeria, in 1988. For the next six years he taught sculpture and drawing at Federal Polytechnic Oko Anambra State Nigeria. During this period, he created an outstanding collection, not only sculpting, but painting and writing as well. In Nigeria, He had his national solo exhibition “Textures of Life” and launching of his book “Lamentation” at national museum Lagos in 1993 sponsored by Mobil Producing Nigeria. Okoye is as famous for his poetry as for his painting and sculpture.
In 1994 Okoye moved to Vancouver, Canada, where he immediately became involved in a number of projects promoting international artistic exchange and was a leading light in the local Black creative community. Okoye believes that his art offers him a chance of relating to his environment, complementing the beauty of nature with man-made forms and images, which spring from his ancestral culture. He combines the strength, uniqueness and dynamism of his heritage with a technically skilled understanding of the power of forms, feeling and materials to create works, which continue to thrill audiences.
The wide appeal of his works seems to lie in its identifiably African approach to colors and lines, but with an ability to turn his distinctive style to a wide rage of subjects. Okoye’s paintings and sculpture have been praised for their capacity to raise awareness of important socio-political issues without resorting to militancy.
He participated in various creative competitions, like those to design posters for the Festival Sundiata in Seattle, which he won in 1995, 1996 and Sundiata best artist of the Year 1998. He designed a poster and logo, “Spirit of the Nation”, for the Canadian Heritage Art Society in Victoria BC in 1997. He designed and created an award statues for Black Historical Society in Vancouver BC in 1999, also in 1999 won first prize in the Co-op Radio Poster Competition in Vancouver BC.
In 2001 Okoye came to Atlanta where he has been actively involved in the creative art community. He won the first prize, South Fulton County Gallery Best Artist of the year 2002. He has participated in the jury art shows of National Black Art Festival Atlanta from 2002 to 2004. He recently executed Award commission for 2004 Clark Atlanta University ADVANCE Leadership Award. Chidi collaborated with Nelson Mandela in Unity Series in 2004.
Apart from being the artist of numerous sold-out limited editions Chidi’s works have won the admiration of local and international collectors. Among his long list of works in private and public collection are in Delta Airline Atlanta, Water Resources, Atlanta; Resurrection Life Center Montgomery Alabama; President office, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC; Villa Benzi, Caerano, Italy; Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Nigeria, Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu; Federal Polytechnic Oko, Nigeria; Mobil Producing Nigeria Head office Logos, Nigeria to mention a few.
Among His long list of solo and group exhibitions includes his most recent international group exhibition “ The Nelson Mandela Unity Series, World Economic Forum, January 26th 2005 in Davos, Switzerland.
“His paintings are noble, vivid, honest and poetic…” Diversity News, Seattle WA, USA.
“…A sculptor whose creative instincts are clearly channeled towards a reflection of both his contemporary and cultural heritage.” Daily Times, Nigeria.