My first vivid memory of visiting an art gallery was during a class excursion in primary school, while the most recent was visiting the National Museum in Jos, Nigeria. I liked both experiences but one happened as a preteen and the other happened in a hurry.
So, you can imagine my excitement when I found out that visiting Nike Art Gallery was part of the tour package I signed up for as mentioned in Experiencing the longest canopy walkway in Africa post. There was no way I could turn down the opportunity to finally document memories in an art gallery.
About Nike Art Gallery.
If you are an art specialist, art lover, curious about Nigerian art or just looking to feed your eyes, then Nike Art Gallery in Lagos, Nigeria is your ‘go-to’ art haven.
It is owned by the ever cheerful and vibrant Nike Okundaye, who is also a Nigerian Female Artist and Designer.
The Nike Art Gallery is located at 2 Elegushi Road, 3rd Roundabout, Epe expressway in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos and they exhibit / sell an array of Nigerian traditional and contemporary art work (textiles, metal work, paintings, carved work, beads).
Walking into the art gallery, the bright white walls provide the perfect canvas for over 7, 000 beautifully displayed art pieces and all four floors (ground floor inclusive) in this art haven tells a story.
The brightly colored wall paintings, the sculptures and interior design will definitely captivate you and you may be left wondering which corner of the room to start from.
You may have to visit if your intend to buy art pieces by known artists, but there is a craft shop just next to the main art gallery where you can buy reasonably priced/affordable pieces.
It is also worthy to note that the owner, Nike Okundaye has art centers running in Oshogbo, Ogidi in Kogi State and in Abuja. To read more about her and her establishment, here is the official website – Nike Art Gallery Website
If you are looking to read a tourist’s view, I will be sharing my experience in this post and also answering some frequently asked questions about Nike Art Gallery in Lagos, Nigeria.
My Experience At Nike Art Gallery.
Nike Art Gallery was the second place I visited with the tour group and it started off on a good note.
Once you are out of the car park area and heading into the main premises, get ready to be captivated by the outdoor art pieces made from recycled tyres.
On opening the entrance door that leads to the art gallery, we were greeted by the cool room temperature (a welcome change from the hot sun outside), smiling tour guides and a well lit space.
This was also a better environment compared to visiting the Jos Museum where we went round without electricity or proper lighting.
Our tour guide immediately gave us a brief that included a list of things expected of us. She then went on to explain some wall paintings and honestly, I started drifting at some point because we were over 20 and I was not paying full attention.
Some people may have felt the same way because at some point the large group became smaller and people went off in different directions to look at art pieces that caught their individual attention.
We were allowed to look around the first and second floor of the art gallery but the last floor did not have it’s light switched on and we were told not to go there.
While touring the first and second floor, we took pictures, got more explanation for the art pieces and because it was election period in Nigeria, the most relatable art work for me was the ‘National Cake’ piece.
After about 25 minutes touring the floors, a tour guide approached us and mentioned Mummy Nike (the owner of the gallery) was out of her office and ready to meet us.
If you have heard anything about her, then you know meeting mummy Nike is usually the highlight of visiting Nike Art Gallery.
We all headed for the ground floor and her ever cheerful self was there waiting with a huge smile and arms wide open. At this point, we were also told we could wear the traditional outfits which some of us did and took more pictures.
We also got the chance to ask more questions, mummy Nike asked questions too and gave the winners bangles and lovely key holders. I got a key holder even thought I did not answer any question.
Our last point of call was visiting the Nike Craft Shop, just outside the main building. In there, you can find less expensive art pieces, table decorations, beach hats, lovely purses, bags and laptop bags made from different Ankara fabric.
The laptop bag I wanted cost 15, 000 Naira and I made a mental note to come back here to shop for one once I am ready to lose my current laptop bag.
It was a pleasant experience and I totally plan to visit again and spend more time asking questions about art pieces that get my attention.
A Guide To Visiting Nike Art Gallery.
Before visiting Nike Art Gallery, I did not go looking for tips because I wanted to experience the moments without pre-meditated expectations.
I wanted to be captivated by what I find and share my own experience and findings. Here are some things that will make your visit worthwhile:
- Opening hours are between 1000hrs to 1800hrs daily.
- Visiting Nike Art Gallery is absolutely free.
- I suggest you wear something colorful to blend with the bright light and white walls. You pictures will look lovely.
- There are tour guides available to explain any artwork you are interested in. You just need to be patient.
- If you are going alone and need to document the experience, prepare your questions ahead of time and make sure you are not in a hurry to leave.
- The Nike craft shop displays some everyday items you can cop at very affordable prices.
- Depending on which you choose, bags, Backpacks and laptop bags are priced between 5000 Naira to 25,000 Naira.
- You can also find souvenirs like table decors, bangles, neck pieces, beach hats, key holders, wall paintings etc
- If lucky, you get the opportunity to be welcomed by Mummy Nike herself.
- Go with a camera and comfortable footwear especially if you intend to look at a lot of art pieces.
- You are not allowed to take pictures of the artwork alone. You have to be in the picture.
- Same rule applies to making videos, people must be in the background as well.
- You are not allowed to touch the wall paintings.
- Security or tour guides will approach you if they notice you are breaking any rule.
- I tried to find out prices but was told to visit the website or book an appointment for serious enquires. The website actually has some of mummy Nike’s art pieces and the prices are displayed too. According to the website, let’s just say a little over a million Naira (between $2800 – $3000) can get you a sophisticated piece. Still, visit for enquires like I was advised and to also checkout the less expensive pieces.
- Visit their website if your intend to take classes in painting, sculpting and many other art related skills.
- There is good parking space and security.
- Definitely a great idea for a themed photo shoots.
- You will most likely find non Nigerians touring the facility. Yes, Nike Art Gallery gets international attention too.
- They have an active Instagram account (@nikeartgallery) and you can tag them on your pictures when you visit. They are also very generous with reposting pictures, just make sure it is clear.
In the words of mummy Nike (off her website), her dream is to spread African art throughout the world and to let the unborn generation know that Nigerian culture is very rich.
She has definitely placed her name in the books and I will be willing to share this beautiful space with anyone who cares to listen.
Visiting Nike Art Gallery is truly an art lover’s delight and should be on your ‘places to visit in Lagos’ list if you are yet to visit.
It was a really fun experience, so I went ahead and edited a video for you. Do check it out via the YouTube link below. Leave me a comment too.
Please share your thoughts in the comment section
Have you visited an art gallery before?
What was the experience like?
I will love to read from you.
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