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Artist Ibrahim Mahama, Who Cloaked UMMA in Jute Sacks, Awarded International Art Prize

Artist Ibrahim Mahama, Who Cloaked UMMA in Jute Sacks, Awarded International Art Prize

Photography by Hollister/Young, Michigan-Imaging

Congratulations to artist Ibrahim Mahama for being named the 2020 Principal Prince Claus Laureate! These awards, given by the Dutch government, honor individuals and organisations for their excellent, ground- breaking work in culture and development. 

Mahama’s name might be familiar to anyone who stopped by UMMA this past October, when the facade of UMMA was shrouded with decommissioned jute sacks for his installation In-Between the World and Dreams. In collaboration with U-M Institute for the Humanities Gallery and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, these simultaneous exhibitions marked the first time Mahama’s large-scale outdoor work was shown in the United States.

“Winning this award is very important, because it has given me somehow a boost, and it’s more like a positive energy to be able to go on,” Mahama said. Check out this video to see more of his projects and hear more about the impact of his work:

In their profile of him, the Prince Claus Fund calls Mahama “a visual artist who is actively involved in improving social conditions. His powerful artworks use provocative materials and sites to examine and expose histories, uphold the role of labour, challenge authorities and criticise mismanagement of resources. Directly addressing lack of opportunities and facilities in his home region [Ghana], he has set up an open­ access cultural centre and other social projects providing employment, education, studio space and creative activities.” Read more about the award on the Prince Claus Laureate website. 

'In-Between the World and Dreams' at UMMA

View on the online exhibition page for Ibrahim Mahama's monumental installation at UMMA. 

View Exhibition