“Shabu@90” Is Finally Here

Baba Shabu

The long-awaited, much anticipated, latest art exhibition by Omar El Shabu (commonly known as Baba Shabu) is finally here. On Friday, April 5, 2019, at 5:30 p.m. the doors of the Art House will open with its inaugural art exhibition, titled, “Shabu@90”.

In an earlier article in December 2018, we gave a teaser of what the exhibition would entail – paintings and tapestries.  As a simple recap, the entire exhibition comprises several groupings or “collections”, Baba calls them. The collections include: The Namuna Cloth; The 18 Gates; Erotique Noire; and Hidden Segments. Then there are stand-alone pieces, which he refers to as Individual Inspirations.

But Shabu@90 is turning out to be much bigger than what you can see and touch. In the spirit of the Liberian arts renaissance, which has been the essence of Shabu’s lifelong work, Shabu@90 will incorporate some exciting original music from Kunbi Shabu, who returned home to showcase her rhythmic power for this arts rebirth.

Kunbi Shabu

Kunbi co-directs an African dance company in the United States and is also a musician. Zack Roberts is no stranger to Liberian music. One of the voices behind the the famous “Sweet Liberia”, Zack is what you’d call an legend of the Liberian arts renaissance.

Kunbi and Zack will, for the first time ever, team up with other very talented Liberian musicians make Shabu@90 more than an exhibition.

If you are to do anything bold in your life, you better begin early. But if, like Baba Shabu, you’re in your ninetieth year there’s no better time than now. This is Baba Shabu’s driving force.

“We’ve often spoken of the Liberian Arts Renaissance, the rebirth of Liberian Arts,” Baba Shabu says. “And careful investigation shows that progress is being made toward that rebirth in many areas. Our search has been ongoing to find the elements needed for our own contributions to this arts revival.”

At last, in Baba Shabu’s ninetieth year, the supporters, the paintings, the textiles, and even the music have come together in the perfect space – The Art House. All these elements have been able to bolster the dream of Liberian arts connoisseur, Emmett Williams, to establish a space that will “promote contemporary African artists, celebrate the continent’s rich art history, and advance appreciation of the arts for generations to come”. The Art House is located on Sekou Toure Ave (UN Drive) Mamba Point.

Let’s give our Arts Renaissance the biggest boost so far.


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