Duality: An African Diasporic Narrative



Connect with the Exhibition

Sorry, we couldn't find any posts. Please try a different search.

For teachers & parents: a Tour Talk Create lesson plan is available for this exhibition! Book your field trip today.  

Family-Level Members can pick up a take-home art project kit with this lesson plan. Call the gallery to schedule a pickup.

About the Artists

Teddy Osei

Teddy Osei is a ceramic sculptural artist and an educator whose work explores the delicate balance and tensions between traditional and contemporary culture of Ghana and the Western world. His work is characterized by the use of traditional African motifs and materials such as clay, Chinese plaid bags (Ghana-must-go), and, photography. He is particularly interested in exploring the relationship between the two cultures and how they can be used to create powerful and meaningful works of art. Teddy Osei's work has been featured in several exhibitions and his pieces can be found in major collections including the Changchun International Ceramic Museum and many others. Teddy Osei has exhibited his work in galleries and museums around the world, including The Cornell Arts and Entertainment Complex, Joplin, MO, Clay Art Center, Port Chester, NY, Maison Art Gallery, Beijing, China, and many others. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the Multi-cultural Fellowship-NCCECA, Carol Gorelick Scholarship-Penland, and many others.

Teddy Osei's work is a powerful exploration of identity and culture, and his unique approach to art-making has made him an important artist in the contemporary art world. His works are a reminder of the importance of understanding the complexities of migration and cultural exchange, and they inspire viewers to think critically and creatively about their identities.

Artist Statement for Ceramic Forms
The exploration of how borders are drawn and the power dynamics that form the basis of these discourses is one that I find particularly intriguing. In this body of work, I create ceramic vessels shaped to resemble the abstracted form of the gourd fruit, a fruit that is native to many parts of the world and is associated with migration and sojourning. The vessels are primarily hand-built and decorated with glazes and symbols depicting the tension between identity and displacement. By utilizing the gourd form, I create a visual conversation that highlights the complexity of the human experience and explores what it means to exist in a state of constant transition. My sculptures also reflect a sense of movement, with their organic forms and vibrant colors, as well as an exploration of how we are shaped by our environments. By combining the traditional art of gourd carving with modern design elements, I craft unique and visually intriguing works of art that are reflective of both my journey and the journey of others.
I evoke a sense of wonder and exploration and encourage viewers to consider how our personal histories and collective stories shape our lives. My forms evoke a sense of nostalgia, mystery, and intrigue through the use of subtle details and textures. Through the use of symbolism and the exploration of ancient cultural practices, my work seeks to communicate a message of hope and resilience in the face of adversity, while creating an environment that challenges the viewer to consider themes of identity, cultural heritage, and the complexities of migration.

Artist Statement for Mixed Media Paintings
In my mixed media painting, I am particularly interested in exploring the idea of the continuous journey of humans and how this affects our identity. My works serve as a visual narrative of the physical and psychological journey of migration, the losses, and gains, and how this experience has molded my identity. In this body of work, I use the “Ghana must go bags” that are popular in some African countries as a metaphor for displacement, diaspora, and migration. The pieces of fabric, the ropes, and Ghana must-go bags become a metaphor for the journey of displacement and the collective memory of a people. The “Ghana must-go” bags are also a reference to the antiquity of the African continent and its people, as well as a way to recognize the history of African migration. By combining the physical and spiritual aspects of the rope, I create an aesthetic that is both beautiful and powerful.

Through the use of traditional painting techniques, as well as the incorporation of materials such as paper, fabric, and plastic, I create works that express the physical and emotional journeys of individuals who have experienced migration. In my paintings, I often depict plain background that is void of color gradient, in order to reference the emptiness and sense of loss that can accompany migration. I also incorporate elements of my own personal experience and cultural background into my work, such as traditional patterns and symbols from Ghana. Ultimately, my intention is to create works that are both aesthetically pleasing and emotionally evocative, while also exploring the complexities of the migration experience

Glover Marfo

Artist Statement
As a young Ghanaian artist exposed to the harsh realities of society by living in squatter housing in my formative years, I became fascinated at creating adornments which evokes protective sentiments, remain elegant, and convey a sense of power to both wearer and viewer. As a way of navigating my current socio-cultural space as a student in the US, I draw from my past and create sculptural jewelry borrowing from both African traditional and contemporary aesthetic languages while entertaining cross-cultural influences of my lived experience. My work also appropriates motifs and design attributes of vulnerable living organisms, their defensive mechanisms and, other attributes essential to their survival within their environment. Ultimately, my current body of work is a meditation on our shared struggle for survival, evolution, and pursuit of a better world.


Glover Marfo was born in Ghana, West Africa. He obtained his undergraduate B. A. degree in Integrated Rural Art and Industry in 2014 at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana. He received his Master of Arts in Studio Art at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois in 2020. Currently, he is pursuing Master of Fine Arts at Miami University, Oxford Ohio, where he is the graduate student representative for the Department of Art, and President of the Graduate Student Association of Ghanaians in the USA (Grasag- USA). He was the Public Relations Officer, Association of International Students at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, IL. He also served as the President of the Faculty of Art at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana.


His work has been exhibited at national and international venues including, Tarble Art Center, Charleston, Illinois; Hiestand Gallery, Oxford Ohio, Eastern Illinois University’s Gallery 1910, Charleston, Illinois; Obelisk Home Gallery, Missouri; and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi Ghana. He has also been included in publications such as the Blue Room Magazine and Jewelry Activist Publication Fancythis2020 rings.

Awards and grants include:

Irene Couchman Buzzard Scholarship, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL
Distinguished Graduate Student Award for the Department of Art and Design Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL
Honorable Mention Award for the “UT OMNES UNUM SINIT”, The 400th Exhibition Race, Racism and Social Justice. Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL
Grant in Aid Award in support of graduate research, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL
Distinguished Student Award in Art Faculty, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
Best Sculpture Student, St. Thomas Senior High Technical School, Asamankese Ghana.



More Current Exhibitions