Artist Victor Ehikhamenor illuminates the Neon Museum this fall

The Prayer Room” by Victor Ehikhamenor, Dak’ Art Biennale (2016).

Victor Ehikhamenor, a Nigerian-American artist, writer and photographer whose art has featured in numerous biennales and whose essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington PostWasafiri magazine and more, has been selected as the Neon Museum's 2020 National Artist in Residence. Chosen from a pool of 110 applicants, Ehikhamenor's residency will run from October 26 to December 18, and will include a number of public events.

The museum describes Ehikhamenor's work as "abstract, symbolic and politically motivated," with a connecting thread of "signs, symbols and language." In a September 2019 interview with Ayọ̀ Akínwándé published at theartmomentum.comEhikhamenor explained the through line of his art: "I was trained as a writer, and I think like one. But I am also lucky enough to be able to express what I write with drawings and paintings. If I draw simple lines to make a point, those are my poems."

Ehikhamenor's Neon Museum stint will, quite naturally, reference iconic Las Vegas signage and be presented as large-scale drawings, installations, sculpture and neon pieces. He will also reach out to locals, collecting "poems, statements and short stories" that will also find their way into the work. Considering the breadth of Ehikhamenor's artistic interests—he’s done everything from collaborate with Nigerian fashion designer Ituen Basi, to founding Angels and Muse, a “thought laboratory” dedicated to contemporary African art—this residency should look like nothing else the Neon Museum has hosted before, further reinforcing its status as a truly one-of-a-kind art space.

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  • “I just want people to know that there’s this depth of talent here,” the gallerist says of the 19-artist exhibit running through January 30.

  • The Nevada Humanities show—viewable online—finds many participants working in pairs or groups, often teaming with writers, to create works spanning a variety of media.

  • The Neon Museum has posted an interactive, 360-degree tour of Ehikhamenor’s show to its website, direct from its Ne10 Studio.

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