Memorial UCC is honored to be able to host in our Fellowship Hall an exhibit of some of the work of artist Philip Kumah from Ghana. The art is on loan to us from Zion City International Church, which has been displaying and selling his art in the Madison area.
Here is Philip Kumah’s story. He was born in 1990 in the Eastern Region of Ghana and who now lives in Accra, Ghana.
Philip Kumah is one of the upcoming young artists in Ghana specializing in abstract, realism, portrait, collage and design. He is also interested in fashion. His source of inspiration is based on women, the environment, abstract design and African Indigenous culture. In addition, he also paints portraits and has done works that are spiritually inspired. Many of his images are influenced by the Ashante and Akyem cultures and the motifs in his artwork represent his traditional roots as well as his life experience in Ghana.
Philip studied sculpture, graphic design and general knowledge in art at Nkawie Senior High School. He has exhibited work at The Center for National Art and Culture and his work is in many individual collections. He is an independent artist supporting himself solely through his artwork. He is looking forward to furthering his education at the tertiary level and continuing on to pursue an education and career in the arts including studying abroad.
Philip’s vision is to exhibit his works worldwide and reach his full potential, becoming a prominent international artist. His current intention is to promote African Indigenous art and culture and build up his artistic skills and expressions. He is very serious about his development and openly welcomes dialog. In Philip’s words. “I think any artist who does not accept critiques does not want to move forward.”
How Philip Kumah’s Art came to Zion City Church
Katharine Goray, a former art teacher in the Madison public schools and an evangelist at Zion City, traveled to Ghana 2012. She was there both on a mission trip and to visit a library project in the Volta region that Lowell Elementary School was helping to build. (She was teaching at Lowell at that time.)
While in Accra she went to the State Arts and Craft Market and after looking at several artists realized many of the images were similar and began a discussion with one of the local artists about whether or not artists could be original in a tourist’s market. She was taken to Philip, who had many of the tourist-style paintings on display but then began to bring out more experimental works and images different then the standard tourist craft.
Katharine and Philip started a conversation about the state of the arts in Ghana as well as politics and religion. It is very difficult for an artist to make a living in Ghana and artists are not always highly regarded unless they have gone onto higher educational training in Kumasi.
Their connection continued and Philip began to ship artwork to Zion City and his artwork became the inspiration behind the Zion City Community Art Gallery which was located in the church’s Applegate Road site until it the church sold the building last fall. The art is currently in storage.
Zion City is honored that he has entrusted his work to them and hopes to bring Philip here as an artist in residence in the near future and continue to exhibit and support his work and the work of other artists both locally and internationally.
Philip credits Katharine with giving him inspiration to continue with his art. Towards the beginning of their relationship Philip shared with her “Actually my dream is to have a degree here. then get my Masters over there and work as well since artist finds it very hard to survive over here but I don’t know where God will put me. To make a confession, I think God has used you to bless me and to encourage me with the talent that He has blessed me with, because I had a night vision about you before your arrival on the same day. If not, I would have been in the military camp by now as a soldier instead of an artist, because I was so confused whether I could survive with this work.”
Proceeds for sales of this work will go to help support Philip’s art and pay for shipping and stretching of canvases. Philip also has several other artists he would like to help and include in his next shipment. Katharine Goray has more of Philip’s work available. Please feel free to contact her if you are interested. 608 669 6544 or firstname.lastname@example.org