Established in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria, The Bronze Gallery was established in 1994, but it was first in Lagos by Afi Ekong before she opened its current location.
The BRONZE GALLERY is a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting and impacting humankind through culture and art.
About AFI EKONG:
Afi Ekong, as she was fondly called, was the first Nigerian female-trained artist and first owner of a private gallery in Nigeria, which she named Bronze Gallery. She belonged to the first generation of Nigerian artists of the colonial era with the likes of Aina Onabolu, Bayo Ajiboye and Ben Enwonwu who were trained in England at Saint Martin’s School of Fine Arts. Through her works, she was at the forefront of nationalism as she used her Western education to project African themes and ideas.
Chief Afi Ekong, a doyenne of modern Nigerian art, has followed a unique career path. Born in Calabar, she studied fashion design and painting in London during several postings there of her husband, Abdul Azizi Atta. Back in Nigeria Afi Ekong moved in elite social and political circles and quickly achieved acclaim as the first woman to hold a solo art exhibition in Lagos (1958). She was active in promoting arts councils in Nigeria and ran the Bronze Gallery in several venues in Lagos. From the 1950s to the present, she has continued privately to paint along with her public charitable activities. Now widowed and retired in her native Calabar with five chieftaincy titles to her credit, Afi Ekong has opened a new Bronze Gallery in Fiekong Estate.
She was born June 26, 1930 into the royal family of Edidem Bassey Eyo Epharaim Adam III, the then Obong of Calabar. Afi started her primary education in 1936 at Duke Town School, Calabar, continued at Christ Church School, Calabar.