By Darla McCammon
The Oakwood Hotel sponsors a wonderful event every year. You should consider attending. On our way to Oakwood, my daughter and I visited the newly opened gift shop in Syracuse owned by her friend Adora. It’s a darling place with collectible art, gift items and an amazing engraving machine so you can custom engrave a great variety of gifts. We left Adora, hoped for good weather and headed to Lake Wawasee for lunch where we could observe the wooden boat show from the restaurant.
After a delicious luncheon we meandered to the many art and craft tents on the grounds. Admission was free so we fully enjoyed the displays of a myriad of beautiful, creative things in each display as we passed each tent. We saw Elizabeth Wamsley on our walk with her unusual and spectacular ceramic creations. We did not stay long at any one artist because we had a particular destination in mind. Within a few more turns, we found him.
Sunday Mahaja was sitting behind his unique and clever offerings. We had talked but had not met in person. Sunday explained his name by telling us it is common in his country of Nigeria for people to name their children after days of the week. Mahaja will have his work on display at the Lakeland Art Gallery for the month of July. There will also be a reception from 2 to 4 p.m. July 14 at Lakeland for Mahaja and two other artists.
Mahaja does vibrant paintings as well as clever sculptures made from recycled materials. He and his professor and mentor from Goshen College often go on treks to find items that can be recycled into some of his fanciful figurines, yard ornaments and sculptures such as the piece titled “The Golden Heart” that is on display at I.U. Health, Goshen Heart Center.
“My interest in indigenous tribes and their lost stories goes deep,” said Mahaja. “I like to show African people from both high class and low class because that is where I am from and you can see that reflected in my art.”
Mahaja left Nigeria and spent some time in England before arriving in Indiana where he obtained his degree at Goshen College. He now resides with his wife Suzanne, who is a teacher at Parkside School in Goshen. I highly recommend his art. I know you will enjoy it.
If you would like to exhibit at Warsaw City Hall or Lakeland Art Gallery, or you have an event to mention, contact Darla McCammon at [email protected] or at (574) 527-4044.
- Warsaw City Hall will have works on display by Tana Bondar and Avon Waters on display through August. Drop in and sign up for a free painting from one of these two talented pastel artists.
- The Gallery at Rua in Warsaw will have works on display by Warsaw High School students and Christi Ziebarth on exhibit through July 21.
- The Lakeland Art Gallery will have works on display by Sunday Mahaja, Kay Dubois and Ron Richcreek in July.