This exhibit features intriguing artwork containing an assemblage of found objects created by Abu. It is currently on display at the Atrium Gallery at One Capitol Hill, on the main floor of the state’s Administration Building in Providence. Abu is a Rhode Island artist, born in Liberia along the west coast of Africa, who uses an array of textural materials including fabric, leather, fur, rope, metal, glass, beads, rocks, cardboard, and even vintage rubber jewelry molds to create his compelling artwork.
“As an artist, my inspiration comes from the world around me. Through this reality, I fight to capture daily stories that will become tomorrow’s memories. I am passionate in learning about various cultures and then reinterpret them through my art. As a photographer and artist, I’ve participated and captured many memorable and creative moments. Through these experiences, I have learned more about the arts, enjoyed time with friends, met new people, all while gaining lasting relationships.” – Abu
What: Solo Exhibit featuring “Abu’s Cultural Journey”
When: Currently on display through Sept. 15, 2022. Open to the public, weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Where: The Atrium Gallery at One Capitol Hill is on the first floor of the state’s Administration Building in Providence.
Abu was born in Liberia. His mother is Liberian, and father is from Sierra Leone. Abu stated, “The experience of growing up between two cultures strongly shaped my personality and guided my perspective throughout my life.” Abu studied photography at the Community College of Rhode Island, then went on to earn an Associate in Business Administration, Bachelor in Marketing, and an MBA in Global Leadership/Marketing degree from Johnson and Wales University. This educational foundation, coupled with strong networking abilities, provided the knowledge to manage and market his passion for photography and the arts.
When Abu is not creating artwork, he spends his time giving back to the community as a volunteer at Higher Ground International, a nonprofit organization in Providence. Abu said, “For the love of my community, I set-aside time to volunteer at Higher Ground Int., where I have had the privilege to call home for many years, helping African elderly ladies enjoy the outdoors and meet new friends.”
Abu’s Exhibit Tribute
“I want to dedicate this show to five important individuals who are not here to see and witness this show and thank them for making my life what it is today: my late grandmother, Luvinia E. Sims, thank you for the lessons that led me here; my late father, John P. Abu, thank you for all your support; my friend who introduced me to creating, Sidney Leonardo Tillett, inspired me by gifting a bag of scrap leather on one of my visits to his studio; the awesome, amazing, fashionable, and funny Adneris, who lost her battle to breast cancer before her first art gallery/museum exhibit with me, I miss you; and the incredible artist and friend, Michaelle Saintil, who also lost her battle to breast cancer, I miss you.”
The Atrium Gallery at One Capitol Hill was developed to exhibit the work of Rhode Island artists in the State Capitol Complex. It hosts exhibits on a rotating basis, in partnership with several state agencies & organizations. The art gallery enhances Capitol Hill as a destination point for visitors, as well as for the many people who visit Administration offices or attend conferences at One Capitol Hill. It also enriches the work environment for the hundreds of state workers who spend their workday in the building.