Oliver Enwonwu is a well-recognised leader in the Nigerian arts and culture sector with about 20 years of progressive experience in art advisory, programme management, as well as strategy and development. In this period, he has also empowered creatives through skills enhancement and optimised business opportunities while managing consultants and working with stakeholders, from diverse cultural teams to the federal government.
An artist, curator, art administrator, author, publisher and brand strategist, Enwonwu earned a first degree in biochemistry, an advanced diploma in exploration geophysics (distinction) and a postgraduate diploma in applied geophysics from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. From the same institution, he holds another postgraduate diploma in visual arts (distinction) and graduated as the best Master’s in art history student. He is presently pursuing a PhD in African art history at the University of Benin.
Oliver Enwonwu is the founder, executive director, and trustee of The Ben Enwonwu Foundation. He is also the founder of Omenka, Africa’s first arts, business and luxury-lifestyle magazine. As president of the Society of Nigerian Artists, he appointed His Excellency, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President of Nigeria as Grand Patron of the Society, and led a delegation of stakeholders to public hearings at the Federal House of Representatives and the Senate on bills to Repeal and Re-Enact the National Gallery of Art Act and Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation Act, respectively. In addition, he established the Society’s College of Fellows and Hall of Fame.
Enwonwu is the director of Omenka Gallery and has achieved the rating of the gallery on the list of the 500 of the Best Galleries Worldwide by BLOUIN ARTINFO, top ten in Africa by Culture Trip and West Africa’s 10 Best Contemporary Art Galleries by CP Africa. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants (FIMC) and sits on the board of several organisations including the Reproduction Rights Society of Nigeria and the Lagos Biennial. He also serves on the governing board of the National Gallery of Art, Nigeria and was recently appointed member of the Advisory Group on Technology and Creativity in the Nigeria Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council, chaired by His Excellency, the Vice President of Nigeria. He was recently appointed Vice President, board of directors, Alliance Française Lagos.
An accomplished artist, Oliver Enwonwu has exhibited across several countries including Nigeria, the United Kingdom, United States, Ireland and South Africa at the Joburg Art Fair. His work also forms part of many significant private and public collections including Bank of Industry, the Delta State Government, Nigeria. His expertise as a curator is built from thirteen years of running a leading gallery in Africa, consulting for other important galleries, auction houses and museums, as well as curating major exhibitions and presentations at prestigious art fairs around the world, including The Armory Show, New York; Joburg Art Fair; LOOP, Barcelona; Cologne Paper Art; Cape Town Art Fair; 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, London; and Art15, London.
As a publisher, he has spent over 14 years developing creative and intellectual content for clients that centre on the visual arts from Africa, film, music, fashion, adventure and design, as well as luxury-lifestyle. He is the publisher and an editorial board member of both Network, the bi-monthly magazine of the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce, which he resuscitated and Cloud 9, Dana Air’s now retired inflight publication.
Oliver Enwonwu writes regularly on art and investment for several important publications, and continues to speak, moderate and participate in public events and discussions on contemporary art developments in Nigeria and Africa including ‘The Formation of National Identity and Preservation of History, (Positioning Nigerian Modernism) on the occasion of Ben Enwonwu’s Centenary at Tate Modern in the United Kingdom.