Acclaimed Nigerian artist Ibiyinka Olufemi Alao will give an arts and culture presentation Thursday, Aug. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Rockland Public Library, 80 Union St. His presentation focuses on contemporary African life and how that translates into his artwork. Alao’s work celebrates diversity and he speaks about achieving peace through creativity and expression.

Trained as an architect at the University Of Ile-Ife in Nigeria, Alao won global recognition in 2001 when he entered his painting “Girls and a Greener Environment” in the prestigious United Nation’s International Art Competition, placing first out of 300 entries from 60 countries.  Nigeria awarded him the honorary title of Art Ambassador for his country and in 2003 Alao’s art had the attention of the United Nations.  His message of peace, love and cultural harmony was communicated so effectively that he was awarded the title Ambassador of Peace for the United Nations Population Fund.

Alao subsequently found himself on a worldwide tour. He exhibited more than 400 paintings in a broad list of countries as well as in this country at Harvard Business School, Indianapolis Art Center, Martin Luther King Art Center, the Empire State Building and U.N. headquarters. Alao has spoken at universities including New York, Harvard and Florida State universities.

Special accommodations for persons with disabilities can be made with 48 hours notice by calling the library at 594-0310.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to