I’ve mentioned Professor Ablade Glover before. He is quite a fellow – he runs the Artists Alliance Gallery, which is better than the National Museum: four sumptuous floors of the most gorgeous Ghanaian paintings and sculpture. Fancy funeral caskets in the shape of fish and Nike shoes grace the ground floor, along with George Hughes and Larry Otoo paintings. As you travel up, you see all kinds of work: unusual wooden sculptures, jazzy Motown ladies, tranquil water images, vibrant color canvases, and African market scenes both traditional and quirky.
Professor Glover made the Artists Alliance when there was no place for contemporary Ghanaian painters to show their work. He created a space and community for the artists, and he began to draw the attention of people from the west. Wiz points out that this should not be the ultimate goal, but unfortunately the pattern has been that success tends to reach Ghanaian artists when they gain recognition in the west. In any case, it is no small thanks to Professor Glover that many of his artists have a following all over the world.
The man’s own work is amazing: textures of blossoming yellow trees, and blue ladies with a tilt to their chins and attitude in their hips. The man himself is wonderfully kind and accessible, especially considering he is perhaps the most successful painter in Ghana. And also funny. So funny. He is busy, but he will always make time for you.