On the lawn outside this center’s Multipurpose Room, the three life-sized bronze sculptures by Nigerian-born artist Fred Ajanogha depict the spirit of community, camaraderie, and friendship found among the seniors at H.J.C. Bowden Senior Multipurpose Facility. Collectively titled “Timeless Enjoyment of Life,” the sculptures represent older people engaged in different activities and are intended by the artist to tell the story of the active, rewarding lives possible to lead in one’s later years. One woman is exercising; another waters her garden. The gentleman seated on the bench with a walking stick is resting and taking in the surroundings. These dynamic, life-like figures are not specific portraits but possess such character and startling detail, we almost feel we know them.
Born in 1958 in Benin City, Nigeria, at the heart of an ancient and contemporary culture known for its bronze works, Ajanogha (pronounced “ah-JAH-nō-gah”) is the son of a musician and the first of nine children. Educated at Creative Art Academy in Benin City, he worked with many well-known Nigerian sculptors, including Ben Osawer and Felis Idubor. He completed several significant works in Nigeria prior to coming to the US. An accomplished sculptor, Ajanogha’s works are found in numerous museums, galleries, and private collections, including Clark Atlanta University, Alabama State University, Cunard Memorial Park, Bessie Branham Park, and The APEX Museum in Atlanta. Notably, his work is in the private collections of former President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter, former Ambassador Andrew Young, and Maya Angelou. In 1996, he was commissioned by the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG) to produce seventy works of art that were presented as gifts to visiting dignitaries.
Kennesaw State University (KSU) is a contributing sponsor to this public art project. Ajanogha was an artist-in-residence in KSU’s Art Department in spring 2005, conducting bronze pours with faculty and students.