Grace Salome Abra Kwami was born at Worawora, Ghana in 1923. Grace Kwami’s love for clay revealed itself in her early childhood when she was able to model all sorts of fruits and vegetables at the age of 4. She attended the Women Teachers’ Training College of the Basel Mission at Agogo and taught Arts and Crafts after she gained a Teachers Certificate “A” from the Training College. In 1951, Grace entered the Kumasi College of Art, now Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and later on worked at the National Museum, Accra as an Artist and Sculptor from 1954 to 1957. She died in 2006.
Grace Salome Abra Kwami was involved with the “Sankofa Art Movement”, a group made up of various artists, including names as Kofi Antubam, Oku Ampofo, Vincent Kofi and Theododia Okoh as well as politicians who saw art as a tool for expressing the nation’s identity, beliefs and statehood. Grace Salome Abra Kwami made a series of drawings in pen and ink on paper, bas-relief, and ceramic sculpture with overtones of Ghanaian customs. She also drew and sculpted figures, some life-sized, did printmaking, designed textiles, and created sculptures from natural materials such as gourds. Her interest in figurative work was encouraged and developed during her studies at Kumasi College of Technology. Kwami’s work is pioneering in its modernist approach. As a painter and printmaker, he works in an abstract geometric style, with his patterns and color schemes reminiscent of Asante and Ewe weaving traditions. His paintings also draw inspiration from the hustle and bustle of Kumasi. She became a dedicated art teacher and artist and at one point also worked for the National Gallery of Ghana as a restorer of ceramic works. This was in tune with the concept of indigenizaton in cultural production which existed in the 1960s. She has spent her life making sculpture, painting, and jewelry. Her work is in Public and Private collections (including the National Museum of Ghana, Accra, the Volta Regional Museum Ho, GMMB), Europe, and the USA.
Grace Salome Kwami – Portrait of a friend
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