Yisa Akinbolaji’s work is in private and public collections around the world including the collections of several international diplomats.

Before immigrating to Canada in 1997, the inventive artist was recognized in the publication by the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Washington. D.C., with inclusion in Nigerian Artists: A Who’s Who and Bibliography published in 1993. In the same year, while still in Lagos, where he has practiced and exhibited extensively, the artist began experimenting with a new technique of creating his oil and acrylic painting. Yisa was featured on the cover of Art Business News, in November 2011 for this distinctive painting technique following a successful exhibition in New York.


Full-time interdisciplinary artist - lives and works in Winnipeg, Canada since 1997

From Lagos, Born in Ondo, Nigeria


2009 - Master of Fine Arts University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota, U.S.A. (distinction)               

2000 - Advertising Art Diploma (Graphic design) Red River College, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Canada

1986 - Higher National Diploma (Major in Painting) Yaba College of Arts and Technology, Lagos, Nigeria


1988 – 1997, Fine Art Instructor, Lagos State Model College, Badore, Lagos

1992 – 1996, Adjunct lecturer, Painting & Drawing, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Ijanikin, Lagos


(2021) Govt. of Alberta Education Fine Arts - Draft Visual Arts Kindergathen to Grade 6 Curriculum page 31. Featured art, Wisdom Thread, 2013

(2021 Feb. 24th)  HONOUR 150 - Award recognition received from Hon. Lt. Gov. Janice C. Filmon, C.M; O.M

(2020) WAC Individual Artist Award

(2020) A recognition at the Canadian Parliament Chamber in Ottawa on September, 30, 2020 by Hon. Senator Patricia Bovey

(2019) A recognition at the Canadian Parliament Chamber in Ottawa on Feb, 27, 2019 by Hon. Senator Patricia Bovey

(2018) November 20, 2018 Role Model Award to Yisa, given by the Conflict and Resilience Research Institute, Canada

(2018) Premier's Volunteer Service Award

(2018) On April 12, 2018 - A recognition at the Manitoba Legislative Assembly for outstanding contributions, by Hon. Minister Rochelle Squires

(2014) "Colour Festival" featured in the 4Oth CFM International Calendar

(2012) Nigeria-Canada Congress of Manitoba Award

(2012) Winnipeg Arts Council,  Professional Development Grant

(2008) McElroy-Edwards, Jackie Scholarship, USA

(2003) Winnipeg Arts Council Traveling Grant

(1998) Valerie Fostey Memorial Award, Canada

(1987) National Youth Service Chairman’s Honour, Cross River State, Nigeria

(1983) Second runner-up National Painting Competition, organized by Mobil Producing Nigeria


November 26, 2019 - Keynote/workshop: 2nd Participatory Peace Painting at Bairdmore School by CRRIC, Canada and Rotary Club, Winnipeg.

September, 18, 2019 - Coordinator and Host of the 20th Anniversary of Creative Foundation, at Holiday Inn, Winnipeg South.

July 25, 2019 - Leader and Roundtable host at the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) an initiative by Honourable Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul.

May 11, 2017 - Growing the Value of Originality and Teamwork, Creative Foundation Inc, at Holiday In, South Winnipeg

October 12, 2010 - 2019, Appointed member of board, Manitoba Arts Council (MAC)

October 12, 2017 - 2019  Finance committee member of board, Manitoba Arts Council

October 12, 2010 - 2019  Equity committee member of board, Manitoba Arts Council

October 12, 2010 - 2017  MANAP committee member of board, Manitoba Arts Council

October 12, 2010 - October 11, 2013,   Art advocacy committee member of board, Manitoba Arts Council

April 2010 - 2013    Advisory Board, ASPIRE to be great

July 1999 - 2013    President, Creative Foundation Inc, Winnipeg

June 9, 2010,  Manitoba Arts Council Jury Member, Artist in Community Residency and the Community Connection and Access

June 10, 2010, Artist Presentation for Heartland International English School, sponsored by The Dominion Institute, Toronto

February 4, 2010, Artist Presentation for University of Manitoba International Students, sponsored by The Dominion Institute, Toronto

Jan. 18–22, 2010, Professional Artist Series Workshop, Art City Inc., Winnipeg, MB

April 21, 2008, Artist Presentation for St. James Collegiate, Winnipeg, sponsored by sponsored by The Dominion Institute, Toronto

Feb. 8, 2007, Guest speaker at the Canadian Association of Planning Students Conference on “Cultural planning: Integrating the Everyday”

Jan. 24, 2007, Advisory/Jury member CBC ARTSPOTS, Winnipeg, Manitoba

2001 - 2003, President, Manitoba Society of Artists, Winnipeg, Manitoba

1999, Founder and President, Creative Foundation Inc, Winnipeg, Manitoba


May 3 - June 22, 2019 "Who is In and Who is Out", MHC Gallery, Winnipeg

May 12 -  June 15, 2014 “My Language Space”, Gurevich Fine Art, Winnipeg

May 1 -  19, 2012 “From My Black-Etched Pot”, ARTIFACT Gallery, New York, NYC, USA

October 17 - 21, 2011 “Unconventional”, Gupta Centre CNIB, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

July 18 – Aug. 12, 2009 “Dignity Within” Empire Arts Center, Grand Forks, North Dakota, USA

April 27 – May 1, 2009 “Street Bound” Eugene Myers Art Gallery, University of North Dakota, USA

June 23, 2007 “Peace and Purpose” Artist Gallery” 71 Elsbury Bay, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

April 6 – May 14, 2006  “Dance out of Injustice” Franco-Manitoban Cultural Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Nov. 2005 – Jan. 2006 “Scenes of Hope” Gas Station Theatre, Osborne Village, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Feb. 1997  “Impressions” National Museum, Onikan, Lagos, Nigeria.

Nov. 1995  “Balanced Diet Through Colours” Chevron Nigerian Place, Victoria Island, Lagos.

May 1994   “Colours and Forms in Action” National Museum, Lagos.

Nov. 1990  “Norms & Forms” ARCO Petrochemical, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Sept. – Oct. 1988  “Prime Message” Western Geophysical Ltd/National Museum Onikan, Lagos, Nigeria.

May 1987  “National Youth Service Corpers' Exhibition” University of Cross River State, Uyo, Nigeria.

March 1986  “Direction of Perspective” Adeyemi Coll. of Education, Ondo, Ondo State, Nigeria

Sep-Oct; 1984 "Solution" National Museum, Onikan, Lagos, Nigeria


September 18, 2020 - June 30, 2021 at the Senate of Canada, Ottawa: Honouring Canada's Black Artists.

September 28 - November 10, 2018. Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery, 20th Anniversary Exhibition.

October 26 and 27, 2013 Guest artist - Ottawa Artist Collective Exhibition at St. Elias Centre.

April 07 - 22, 2012, “MSA 110th Year Juried Exhibition”, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

March 25 - 27, 2011, “Multi-Layering Experience”, Art Expo New York , Pier 94, New York

March 17 - 20, 2011, “Multi-Layering Experience”, The Artists Project New York, Pier 92, New York

Nov. 4 - 7, 2010 Manitoba Juried Art Expo at Winnipeg Assiniboia Downs

Mar. 3 – Mar. 28, 2010 “Show Some Emotion” Sixth Street Gallery, Vancouver, WA.

Sept. 8 – Sept. 28, 2009 “Six Artists, One Voice” Joseph D. Carrier Gallery, Toronto, ON.

Sept. 17 – Nov. 21, 2008 “Invisible Dignity” King's University College, Edmonton, AB.

Oct. 2 – Oct. 16, 2008 - Manitoba Society of Artists, Winnipeg Conservatory Exhibition, Winnipeg, MB.

March 8-May 5, 2008 - Manitoba Arts and Culture Week, Centennial Concert Hall, Winnipeg.

Sept. 22-Nov. 17, 2007 “Invisible Dignity” Mennonite Heritage Center Gallery, Winnipeg.

Sept. 24-Nov. 17, 2007 “Invisible Dignity” John Fairbank Memorial Library, Booth College, Winnipeg, MB.

May 2007  “Arts Rental and Sale Juried Exhibition” Winnipeg Art Gallery

March 17-April 29, 2005 “Ethics & Aesthetics Series”, Salvation Army Centre, Winnipeg, MB.

June 1 – July 31, 2003  “Manitoba Society of Artists 71st Juried Art Exhibition”.

July 18-August 23, 2003 Nicole Gallery, Chicago.

July 25-August 1, 2003 “Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery’s CARICOM Art Expo”

June 21 – Sept. 15, 2001 “Why Art?” Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery, Winnipeg, MB.

April – June 2001  “Juried Exhibition” Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB.

June – Sept. 2001 “Juried Exhibition” 100th Anniversary, Manitoba Society of Artists

Sept. 1999  “Fall Open Jury” Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB.

May 1999  “Diversity” Center for Intercultural Development, Red River College, Winnipeg, MB.

Nov. – Dec. 1998  Mennonite Heritage Center Gallery, Winnipeg, MB.

Sept. – Oct. 1998  “Fall Open Jury” Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB.

May 1998  “Mosaic” Center for Intercultural Development, Red River College, Winnipeg, MB.

Feb. – April 1998 “Rise with the Sun” Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature, Winnipeg.

June 1993  “Mixed Dimension” American Embassy, Lagos, Nigeria.


October 17, 2020 - Artist Talk - The journey to my method: by Zoom at Martha Street Studio curated by Mariana Muñoz Gomez

November 26, 2019 - UNESCO school, Bairdmore Pembina Trails School, Workshop on UNESCO Peace Painting

February 20, 2017 - The intriguing effect of my flexible gum at Charleswood Art Group

October 1, 2016 - Art Talk, “Colour, Space, Time and Human Purpose”, at Grant Memorial Artist Collective

October 5, 12, 19, and 26, 2016 - Watercolour Workshop, at Grant Memorial Artist Collective

March 9 - 10, 2013 • Abstract - Multilayering in Acrylic with Local Colour Art Group, Winnipeg


Apri 7, 2021, The Good Teacher, 9ft x 6.5ft, Commissioned piece by Providence University College & Theological Seminary

March 22, 2021 Art is an Engine for Canadian Society, gallerieswest, by Senator Patricia Bovey

October 6 - 20, 2020 Senate: A project to honour Black Canadian artists - THE SOURCE forum of diversity - pages 1 and 4

September 30, 2020 New senate art display is the first ever to feature Black Artists, by Laura Ryckewaert, The Hill Times

May 6, 2019, CHVN Radio, Immigration and Art in Winnipeg, by Mariel Roehr

Summer 2019, "Within Reach" painting for the cover of Contemporary Verse 2, Vol. 42 Issue No1

January 18, 2918,  IMAGO Arts E-Magazine and print Volume 16 Issue 2,  "Yisa Akinbolaji - Visual Artist" by Ogami

May 24, 2017, Winnipeg Free Press, Community News, Envisioning the future with visual art by Sunday Olukoju

May 11, 2017 CTV News Winnipeg, 6:00pm  Growing the Value of Originality and Teamwork, of Creative Foundation Inc,

November 7, 2016, Winnipeg Free Press, Community News, "Making art brings people, cultures together" by Sunday Olukoju

May 25, 2016 - CJOB, Winnipeg by Dahlia Kurtz

March 24, 2016 Community News Commons, Creating Harmony Through Artistic Expression by Genevie Henderson

May 8, 2015 Winnipeg Free Press, Celebrating Yoruba art, music, storytelling by Carol Sanders

May 12 - 13, 2014 CTV News ,Coverage of My Language Space

2014 page 152 - 153, Redemptive Art in Society by Dr. Calvin Seerveld

April 13, 2014 Finding Contemporary African Art at Toronto Art Expo by Uwera

November 7, 2013, Oh won’t you color me some Ottawa, by Samantha Ammoun, Ottawa Star Ottawa Star - Volume 1 Issue 10 page 3

November/December 2011  Cover and page 30 “TOP Emerging Artists” by Jennifer M. Wood, Art Business News, New York

November 22, 2011, “Sharing the journey with Yisa Akinbolaji”, by Leigh Patterson, STYLE MANITOBA

October 26, 2011, “Donated mosaic celebrates peace, human purpose”, by Matt Prepost, Metro, Winnipeg Free Press

October 13, 2011 “Artist donates tactile mosaic to CNIB”, Staff Writer, Winnipeg Free Press

June 1, 2011, “Yisa Akinbolaji: Layers Upon Layers of Paint” by Cassie Behle, Empty Easel

September 22, 2009, “Six artists, one voice… Nigerian art thrills Toronto audience” , Guardian Newspaper

April 28, 2009, “Art show focuses on streets” by Sara Tazel

October 1, 2007, “Art speaks to the dignity of all” by D. Froese, Canadian Mennonite Electronic News

September 22-23, 2007, by Caroline Barghout, CTV News

September 22, 2007, Shaw TV Winnipeg

September 16, 2007, “Invisible Dignity: Multimedia project combines  art, music, prayer” by Brenda Suderman, Winnipeg Free Press

September 1, 2007, "Project gives dignity to society's "invisible" by K. Rempel, ChristianWeek Newspaper

July 6, 2007, "Artist’s mosaic ‘stopped traffic on the street" by Martin Zeilig, Winnipeg Free Press

June 2006, “Yisa enjoys success at solo exhibition” by Beatrice Watson, Global Eyes Magazine

June 01, 2006, “Students learn to apply creative abilities to daily life”, Staff Writer, Winnipeg Free Press

May/June 2006, “Editor’s Choice” by Brad Hughes and Lindsay Duke, Winnipeg WHERE Magazine

April 24, 2006, reported by Barbara Brunzell, News Now by Krista Erickson, CBC TV

April 13, 2006, French News reported by Louis-Philippe Ouimet, CBC Radio-Canada

April 6, 2006, City TV Winnipeg

May 18, 2005, “Art show offers ethical alternative”, Staff Writer, Winnipeg Free Press

April 13-14, 2005, Shaw TV Winnipeg

March 16, 2005, The Herald Community Newspaper, Winnipeg

March 11, 2005, A-Channel TV Big Breakfast, Winnipeg

Aug. 2000 , "Light Talk", by Greg Musselman, - Trinity Television

July 1999, "Canada Day National News", by Krista Erickson, CBC Television

Feb. 1998, "Africa art serves up a sumptuous treat", by Garth Buchholz, Winnipeg Free Press, Winnipeg

June 1997, "Sharpening the mind through art", by Maurice Archibong, Sunday Times

June 1997, "Creative Foundation discourse", by Steve Ayorinde, The Guardian Newspaper

July 1994, "Yisa Akinbolaji's works mirror society", by Aloy Ibeabuchi, Lagos Weekend

April 1994, "Model memorabilia", by Taofik Akanni, The Guardian on Sunday

Jan. 1994, "Seminar on creativity", by Gabriel Dike, Sunday Times

Jan. 1994, Creative Foundation kicks off", by Awawa Bassey and Eka Ekang, Punch Newspaper

1993, Nigerian Artists: A Who's Who & Bibliography, by Janet L. Stanley & Bernice Kelly, Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Washington, D.C.

1990, "Akinbolaji's Norms, Forms and Actions", by Aloy Ibeabuchi, Lagos Weekend

1990, "Creating Awareness", by Kodinlinye Obiagwu, Times International

1988, "A harvest of culture", by Augustine Njaogwuani, The Financial Post

1988, "Prime Message", by J. O. S. Edigbe, Megastar Magazine

Feb. 1985, "What role for artists", by Bayo Onanuga, National Concord

Sept. 1984, "The verve of a sapling", by Chuzzy Udenwa, The Guardian Newspaper

Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, Hon. Philip S. Lee and the Nigeria High Commissioner, Prof. Iyorwuese Hagher, unveiling the mosaic, “Peace and Purpose” created by Yisa Akinbolaji.

Clint Castle, 2011 Chairman of CNIB Manitoba, speaking at Yisa’s art exhibition at Gupta Centre, Winnipeg, Canada on 17th October 2011; Dr. Jon Gerrard and Dr. N. Greco reflecting on Yisa Akinbolaji’s work.


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