Ato Arinze is the co-founder and co-ordinator of the most popular Art Group in Lagos - Artzero Group, which for the past decade has been the platform for promoting the works of young and upcoming Artists living within and outside Lagos, with their flagship annual exhibition ART ON THE MAINLAND.
With over 27 years of studio practice as a Ceramics Sculptor, his love for the Clay medium and perfection in handling the material as endure him in the minds of Art Patrons. He has organised and facilitated many Seminars and workshops on Creativity, Art business, Pottery and Sculpture, a Sculpture graduate from the pretigious Art and Design Department, Yaba College of Technology in 1991.
Born in the mid 60's, from Onitsha in Anambra state, he has participated in many exhibition both within and outside the countrywith his work well represented in private and public collections. In 2002 he recieved the Solidra Award for Sculpture and Pottery, also in 2008, he was honour by the Society of Nigerian Artists (Lagos State Chapter) with the SNA Distinguished Artist Award.
ATO ARINZE (Artist-Sculptor / Potter)
Plot 50 Riola Avenue, Off Camp David Road,
Abbot Bus Stop, Ayobo, Lagos, Nigeria
Born: Mushin, Lagos: 1966
1986 – 1988 OND, Federal Polytechnic Oko, Anambra State
1989 – 1991 HND, Yaba College of Technology Yaba, Lagos (Sculpture Major)
Onwuegbu, Dennis. “creating the functional in ceramics” The Diet Newspaper June 24, 1997. page 19.
“Making Heads for the movie” The Diet Newspaper,December 15, 1997. Page 21.
Nnabuife, Chuka. “Heroes Live in Arinze’s Sculpture” The Guardian Newspaper, February 22, 2000. Page 67.
“Nigerian Ceramics Step into the Future” The Guardian, Newspaper, July 31, 2001. Page 79.
Ajayi, Segun. “Potter’s Romance with Creative Kiln” Daily Times Newspaper, October 25, 2000. Page 21.
Ekwy P. Ozuanya. “Pots, for Decorative Appeal” The Guardian, Sunday, March 2, 2003, Page 34.
Enam Obioso. “Investing in Arts is better than Stocks” BusinessDay, October 22, 2004. Page 13B
Taiwo Obatosin. “Creativity in art is an attitude” The Exclusive, December 6, 2005 Vol. 1 No.27 Page 27.
Therasa Onwughalu. “Why I chose to work with Clay” Daily Sun, August 16, 2006 Page 23.
Benjamin Njoku. “Ato Arinze and his love for Sculptural composition” Sunday Vanguard, September 10, 2006. Page 46.
Ikechukwu Orji. “One day, I will be one of the greatest artists in the world” New Age Newspaper, April 13, 2007. Page 19
Nnabuife, Chuka. “Art shows in Lagos: Bumper harvest, poor attendance” The Guardian Newspaper, December 5, 2008. Page 89.
Tajudeen Sowole. “Cultural exchange… Arinze shares Scandinavian experience” The Guardian Newspaper, October 14 2008. Page 121.
Tajudeen Sowole. “Arinze… Destiny in his hands” Life Arts, Sunday Guardian Newspaper, April 5, 2009. Page 54.
Adewole Ojo. “Rubbing Minds” Thisday, The Sunday Newspaper, March 22, 2009. Page 91.
Toni Kan. Sunday Sun Revue, October 12, 2012. Page 45.
Tajudeen Sowole. “Primal Rebirth… of lost values, empowerment from the Diaspora” The Guardian, August 23, 2013. Page 29
Okechukwu Uwaezuoke. “Artistic agent of change” Thisday, The Sunday Newspaper, September 1, 2013
Tajudeen Sowole. “From recess, Artzero artists go drawing with Thought in Lines” The Guardian Newspaper, August 22, 2014. Page 43
Jordan Ray-Balonwu. “Roaming the magi.cal world of Ato Arinze's Root of Change” Daily Times, September 18, 2015. Page 18.
Yinka Olatunbosun. “In Arinze’s realm of symbolism” Thisday, The Sunday Newspaper, August 16, 2015. Page 77.
Agozino Agozino. “The Root of Change, Ato Arinze goes solo” Daily Times Nigeria, August 2015. Page 28.
Chux Obasi. “Marriage of Nigerian, Cameroonian art in Lagos” The Punch Newspaper, November 4, 2016. Page 39.
Tajudeen Sowole. “Across Border of Beyond Functions” The Guardian, December 4, 2016. Page 26.
Tony Okuyeme. “Beyond Functions: Arinze, Nathalie showcase new works” New Telegraph, November 4, 2016. Page 17.
Tosin Adams. “Beyond Functions: Exhibition unites Nigeria, Cameroon” National Mirror Newspaper, November 4, 2016.
Yinka Olatunbosun. “Quintessence Gallery hosts ‘Beyond Functions 11’” Thisday, The Sunday Newspaper, June 17, 2018. Page 63.
Chinemezim Moghalu. “Encountering the Pottery of Arinze, Djakou” National Light Newspaper, May 11, 2017. Page 30.
1991 – 1992. N.Y.S.C. at the Auchi Polytechnic Auchi Edo State.
Art and Design Department, as an instructor in Sculpture.
1992 – 1997. Freelance Sculptor for several studios in Lagos,
Notable among them, Koko Ayi Studio Surulere Lagos.
1997 – Till Date. Full-Time, Studio Artist.
2003 – Till Date. Co-Founder and Co-ordinator of the ARTZERO Group
2017 – 2019. Art Consultant, Illuminaire Art and Design, V. I., Lagos.
2019. Art Consultant Alexis Galleries V. I. Lagos and Vivid Exclusive Art Gallery
Solidra Award Exhibition, Yoruba Tennis Club, Ikoyi, Lagos. 2002
The Root Of Change, an Exhibition of Drawings, Alliance Franciase, Yaba, Lagos. 2015
Primal Rebirth, A joint exhibition of Ceramics Sculpture, Prints, and Drawings, with Solomon Isekeije, Quintessence Gallery, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos. 2013
Beyond Function 1, Exhibition of Creative Potteries and Creative Ceramics with Djakou Kassi Nathalie, Alliance Franciase @Moorehouse Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos. 2016
Beyond Function 2, Exhibition of Creative Ceramics with Djakou Kassi Nathalie, Quintessence Gallery, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos. 2018
Opening of Treasure House Art Gallery, Ikeja, Lagos. 1993
Annual Exhibitions “Experience Nigeria by Gallerie Africane”. 1995 – 1998
Bestart Drawing Competition exhibition, National Gallery of Art Lagos 1997
Muson Festival Exhibition Curated by Treasure House Gallery. 1999
Pa Michael Ajasin: Through the eyes of the Artist, Muson Centre, Lagos 1999
Opening of Heiroglphs Art Gallery, Lagos. 2000
CPAN Pottery Exhibition at the National Gallery Lagos. 2001
“Save A Live Today” Exhibition at Didi Museum, Lagos. 2002
Opening of Nkems Art Gallery, Lagos. 2002
“Towns in Nigeria” Institute of African Studies University of Ibadan, Oyo. 2002
Art & Book Festival, Onikan, Lagos. 2002
Olokoto-Songs For Chima. Pendulum Art Gallery, Lekki, Lagos. 2003
Homage to Uche Okeke, National Museum, Onikan, Lagos. 2003
A Journey Through Nigerian Arts, Musa Yar’Adua Centre Abuja. 2003
Artzero Drawing Exhibition, French Culture Centre. 2004
Art on the Roof Top, Ikoyi, Lagos. 2005
Opening Exhibition of Treasure House Art Gallery, Ikoyi Lagos. 2006
Art on the Mainland, National Gallery of Art, Iganmu Lagos. 2006
Hellenic Images, Greece Embassy, Lagos / Abuja. 2007
Clay without Borders, National Museum, Onikan, Lagos. 2007
Art on the Mainland, National Council of Art and Culture, Iganmu, Lagos. 2006, 2007, 2008
Clay Without Borders, Bukina Fasso Gallery Stolkhom, Sweden. 2008
50 Years of Things Fall Apart, Art and Book Festival, National Theatre, Lagos. 2008
NaijArt: Art and Photo Exhibition, Studio 868, Victoria Island, Lagos. 2008
Art on the Mainland, National Council of Art and Culture, Iganmu, Lagos. 2009
Children Living With Cancer Exhibition, Terra Culture, V. Island, Lagos. 2009
Children Living With Cancer Exhibition, Artistic License, V. Island, Lagos. 2010
Orakwue (Let the Whole World Talk), A Group Exhibition, Alexis Gallery, Victoria Island, LagOreze (the Kings Crowd), Onitsha, Anambra State 2013
Oreze 2 (the Kings Crowd), Onitsha, Anambra State 2014
Oreze 3,4,6, (the kings Crowd), Onitsha , Anambra State. 2015, 2017, 2018.
Ero Repete Lojude Oba (Crowd at the Kings Frontage), Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, 2014
Provenance, An Exhibition of Modern and Contemporary Art, Thought Pyramid, Lagos. 2017
Vision In Clay, Group exhibition of Ceramics Works, Moorehouse Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos. 2017
Ibadan Affordable Art Fair, Ibadan, Oyo State. 2018 & 2019
60 Years of Things Fall Apart, Homage to Chinua Achebe, A Travelling
Exhibition, Awka, Enugu, Abuja, Lagos. 2018 & 2019
The Contemporaries, A Group Exhibition, Alexis Galleries, Victoria Island, Lagos. June 2019
Moremi, A View From The Masters, A Travelling Show, Alexis Galleries, Victoria Island, Lagos. June 2019
Brilliance, A Group Exhibition, Alexis Galleries, Victoria Island, Lagos. 2019
Bloom, Masters Exhibition, Alexis Galleries, Victoria Island, Lagos. 2019
Impart Art Fair, Eko Atlantic, Lago. October 2019
Material Time, a Collective Exhibition, Rele Gallery, Onikan, Lagos. 2019
October Rain, SNA Lagos Chapter Annual Juried Exhibition, Freedom Park, Lagos. 2019
1991 Resource Person, Fibre Glass Sculpture Workshop at the Sculpture Department, Auchi Polytechnic, Edo State.
1992 Executed Sculpture Commission, Bust of Lolo Udebiuwa in Owerri, Imo State.
1995 Executed Sculpture Commission, Statue of Chief Okugbule in Odogbolu, Ogun State.
1999 Commission for Plague of Chief Adekunle Ajasin.
2000 Executed Sculpture Commission, Bust of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi, Anambra State
2001 Executed Sculpture Commission, Bust of Mrs. Ogundipe in Ode Remo Ogun State.
2006 Organizer of the Exhibition ART ON THE MAINLAND at National Gallery of Art, Iganmu, Lagos
2007 Participated in the workshop Clay Without Borders at National Museum, Lagos.
2008 Organizer of the Exhibition ART ON THE MAINLAND at National Council For Art and Crafts
2007/2008 Co-ordinator, 1st and 2nd Lagos Interactive Artists Forum at National Gallery of Arts and at National Museum respectively in Lagos.
2008 Went on Cultural Exchange to Sweden and Norway, with the Craftpotters Association of Nigeria.
2010 Participated in the 12th Harmattan Workshop (3rd session) Agbara – atoh Delta State.
2010 Resource Person, Fine & Applied Arts Student’s Association Seminar, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State.
2011 Facilitator (Pottery) in the 13th Harmattan Workshop, Agbara – Atoh, Delta State.
2013/2014 Co-organiser of the Oreze (The Kings Crowd) 1 & 2, Onitsha, Amanbra State.
2013 Resource Person, 1st Annual Art Teachers Confrence/Semnars/Workshop. Green House Art Empowerment Centre, Olambe, Ogun State.
2013/2014 Member of Jury, Lagos Zone, Life in My City Art Competition.
2012/2014 Visiting Pottery Instructor, Visual Art Department and OYASAF Art Workshop, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos.
2015 Co-Founded, The Group Ayobo Art Colony, Ayobo, Lagos.
2018/2019 Chairman of Jury, Life In My Cities Art Competition, Lagos Zone.
2014 till date executed many portraits Bust Commissions.
Society of Nigerian Artists
Onitsha Circle of Artist
Aspiring Artist International
Visual Arts Society of Nigeria
Ayobo Art Colony
Solidra Award for Visual Arts – Sculpture and Pottery, 2002.
Society of Artist Lagos Chapter Distinguished Artist Award, 2008.
Obafemi Awolowo University’s Fine & Applied Arts Student’s
Association Merit Award, 2010.
Green House Art Empowerment Center Recognition Plague, 2013