Born in Accra, Ghana on March 14, 1954 to a parent who migrated from Nigeria in 1945, from a prominent family lineage in Ogbomoso, South West Nigeria who were renowned carvers and called ‘’Creator of aesthetics ‘’ and whose prominence extended to Ile Ife (Cradle of Yoruba Land) earning the accolade, ‘’the Ooni’s carver who turns wood to human figure ‘’, Dr. Ellis Oyekola is a pedigree of a great ancestor of the Ajibogunde Royal Carvers.
He started school in Ghana which he continued at Ogbomso Grammar School in 1973, before attending the Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo State, Nigeria, to study Fine Art and History between 1976 and 1979 and later proceeded to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria for a degree course in painting in 1985 and later a Masters degree in African Studies (Visual Art) from the University of Ibadan in 1991.
Dr. Oyekola obtained a Phd in Art History from the Commonwealth Open University British Virgin Islands in 2013.
A pioneer Art teacher at the Local Authority Teachers College, Osogbo from where he joined The Polytechnic, Ibadan and retired on March 14,2019 as a Senior Principal Lecturer in the Department of Art, Design and Printing Technology.
Between 1999 and 2001, 2007, 2009 – 2012, he was the Head of Department of Fine Art, Design and Printing Technology, The Polytechnic, Ibadan.
A widely travelled and innovative Studio practice artist, Dr. Ellis Oyekola has successfully impacted in the field of visual art, an experimental artist with vast experience in Studio practice, art skills and teaching , he has explored, evolved and conceptualized a new form of art which he named ‘’NEO OYEKOLAFORM’, which stimulates critical awareness in studio art.
A former Chairman of the Society of Nigeria Artists (SNA), Oyo State Chapter, Member, National Society for Education Through Art(NSEA), National Society of Decorative Painters, USA, PanAfrican Circle of Artists (PACA), Enugu, Director of Narrative Movements, Nigeria, Director, CEFAAD, Apete, Awotan, Ibadan.
He has exhibited at both National and International levels with several Awards and honours to his credit for artistic accomplishments.
In 2006, he participated in Art Workshop in Egypt and in 2006 was Artist in residence at Air Le Parc, Pamplona, France.
He also participated in different art exhibitions, art fairs and biennale, such as PANAFEST 1997 and 1999 and SIAO in Ouagadougu, Burkina Faso 1998 and 2000.
Two of his works are in the collection of World Bank, Washington DC. USA.
International Art Residencies
- Aterlier of Alexandra Egypt 2006
- Insarkartist Residency, Zambia 2011
- Hambidge Centre for Creative Arts, USA 2011
- VCCA, USA 2011
- Abetimin Art Village, Ghana 2016
- Narrative Movement, India 2017
- Sowing Seed 2020, India, 2020.
- Air Le Parc Pampellone,France,2008
- Michelangelo Award, Italy, 2015
- Minerva Italy, 2016
- Artist in the castle, Italy 2015
- Shakespeare in Art, Italy 2016
- FOGSU, Award Of Excellence, 2019
- ADAPTSA, Poly, Ibadan, Award of excellence, 2016
Just to mention a few.
He was made a Justice of Peace of Oyo State in 2000.
He is happily married with children.