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Nina Fabunmi

by Informed Collector on 5/19/2017 9:39:28 AM

Informed Collector Recommends:


Nina Fabunmi 


Oil 30 x 30

The Summer Place by Nina Fabunmi was selected as FAV 15% in the March 2017 BoldBrush Painting Competition.



Nina Fabunmi’s interest in art began as a child, she developed her artistic skills just as she learnt how to read and write but realized it was a gift when she noticed that her peers could not do draw like she could. At six, she would make small drawings and render them with colored pencils. Her dad had a spot on the wall of his studio where he pinned up all her work. He is an architect and in her sheltered upbringing, his tools of creativity and artistic influence surrounded her. As a teenager, art became her means of expression, she wrote poetry, made drawings, paintings, collage, mosaic and fabric designs with tie-dye and batik. Upon her high school graduation, she received a Proficiency Certificate in Fine Art. 

Dissuaded by her parents for the lack of faith that a career as an Artist could earn her a comfortable living, in 2001 she ended up with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Estate Management also called Real Estate. Her Department was in the Faculty of Environmental Design and Management that also housed the Fine Art department. This posed as a great advantage to her as she spent her free time in the Fine Art studios.

After her graduation, she decided to pursue her passion by embarking on a Masters in Fine Art. She knew that if she ever had to go back to school it would be on her own terms. She got on the Internet and searched for Art schools abroad and that was when she discovered the Academy of Art University. She made contact with the school, but at that time could not afford the fees so she put it on hold while she faced her corporate career.

Her only work experience in Real Estate was six months of Industrial Training. She then ventured into Broadcasting, Banking and Telecommunications. She moved from industry to industry in search for what she always had; a fulfilling career. She never stopped drawing and painting. In 2001 she got introduced to a Gallery owner who purchased five of her watercolor paintings. She was pleasantly surprised. In that same year, she made her first oil painting. She would paint and sell one- on- one to those who were privy to seeing her work as it was like a hobby to her. The Gallery owner introduced her to Art associations in Nigeria, which she eventually became a member of. She slowly integrated herself into the Art world in Nigeria and had her first Art Exhibition in 2008. Since then she had been exhibiting and selling her work while running a regular 8-5 job.

In 2011, she was commissioned to supply artwork to guesthouse in Lagos Nigeria. This was the break she had been looking for and it paid her enough to pick up her dream of an MFA Fine Art painting at the Academy Of Art University.

Nina has been a docent at the Museum of the African Diaspora since August 2011. In 2012 she collaborated with the museum’s education department for the illustrations of a children’s book on the Igbo women’s war of 1929, which is now part of the diaspora curriculum. In that same year, she conducted an abstract painting workshop to the museum’s youth group after which the paintings were exhibited in the museum.

In 2013, she was awarded ‘Best of the Show’ in Bold Brush painting contest and two honorable mentions in the Turner painting contest. She also emerged as a semi-finalist at the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series.

In 2014 she won “Best of the Show” in the Artist Portfolio Magazine Portraits 18th edition and was also honored by President Elisa Stephens of the Academy of Art University for her outstanding academic achievement. Her work was auctioned at the Tom Joyner fantastic voyage thus helping raise educational funds for African American children.

Nina is represented by the Joyce Gordon Gallery in Oakland and Gallery Guichard in Chicago Illinois. 



2014    MFA Painting, Academy Of Art University, San Francisco, California 



  • 2015, American Art Collector, Portrait Artist Directory
  • 2015, Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series, Regional Finalist
  • 2015, Jerry’s Self Portrait Contest, Semi Finalist
  • 2014, Society for Nigerian Artists (SNA), Distinguished Artist Award
  • 2014, Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series, Regional Finalist
  • 2014, Creative Quarterly 37 (CQ 37), Runner Up
  • 2014, Artist Portfolio Magazine Best of the Show, Portraits Issue 19
  • 2014, Academy Of Art University 2 time honoree- President’s Honor, Academic Achievement Award                                                
  • 2013, Bold Brush Best of the Show, October
  • 2013, Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series Regional Finalist
  • 2013, Turner Painting Contest 2 Honorable Mentions
  • 1993, Federal Government Girls College Proficiency Award, Best Student in Fine Art Benin City                                                 



  • 2015,  20th Annual New Generation Student Show Case, de Young Museum, San Francisco                                
  • 2014, Bold Brush Painting Contest, October 
  • 2014, Divergence: Emerging Legacies,  19th Annual New Generation Student Show Case, de Young Museum, San Francisco, California



  • 2016, The Haven, Atelier Gallery, Academy of Art University, San Francisco, California
  • 2015, Black Friday & Beyond, West Coast Leather, San Francisco, California
  • 2015, Rebirth, Joyce Gordon Gallery, Oakland, California
  • 2014, Origins, 625 Gallery, Academy Of Art University, San Francisco, California                      
  • 2013, When Nature Speaks, Joyce Gordon Gallery, Oakland, California



ArtSpan Annual Juried Art Auction,  SOMArts, San Francisco, California
Rare Views, Christian Daniels Gallery, San Francisco, California
Black History Month, City Hall, Oakland, California



Resolution, Art SpanARC Galleries & Studios, San Francisco, California

20th Faculty & Alumni Art Auction, Academy of Art, The Cannery Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Community, Tuttle Gallery, Owings Mills, Baltimore, Maryland

12th Anniversary Show, Joyce Gordon Gallery, Oakland, California 

Delicious, Studio Gallery, San Francisco, California 

94109, Studio Gallery, San Francisco, California 

City streets, Cityscape Show, Studio Gallery, San Francisco, California (Anticipated)

Terrain Landscape Show, Studio Gallery, San Francisco, California 



4th Annual Holiday Art Exhibit, Joyce Gordon Gallery, Oakland, California

Place Misplaced, SOMArts, San Francisco California

Tiny 14, Studio Gallery, San Francisco California

19th Annual Auction, The Cannery Galleries, Academy of Art University, San Francisco, California

Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series (Bay Area Regional Finals), Betty Ono Gallery, Oakland California

Expand, de Young Museum, San Francisco, California

Exit From Anonymous, Joyce Gordon Gallery, Oakland, California 

Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage, Gallery Guichard, Chicago, Illinois



2nd Annual Holiday Art Salon Exhibit, Joyce Gordon Gallery, Oakland, California

Tiny 13, Studio Gallery, San Francisco, California

Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series, Joyce Gordon Gallery, Oakland, California

Bid For a Cure, 111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco, California



Altered States, Academy Of Art University, San Francisco, California

Spring Show, Academy Of Art University, The Cannery Gallery, San Francisco, California

Delicious, Studio Gallery, San Francisco, California

A Breath Of Fresh Air, 601 Brannan, San Francisco, California

Pan African Film festival, Culver City, Los Angeles, California



Ara Wa Ni Dr. Renee Sanders, Nike Art Gallery, Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria

October Rain, Nike Art Gallery, Lekki, Lagos Nigeria



Fyne Art’diction, Southern Sun Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria

Vlisco Fashion, African Artists Foundation, Civic Center, Lagos, Nigeria

October Rain, National Museum Onikan, Lagos, Nigeria                                                                                                                            

VASON Open House, Mydrim Gallery, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria

Aquarelles et Peinture a Huile, Universite De Franche-Comte, Besancon, France



Eden Fashion, Didi Museum, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria

Serendipity, Didi Museum, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria

Nigerians at work, National Museum Onikan, Lagos, Nigeria

Beyond Imagination, National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, Nigeria

October Rain, National Museum Onikan, Lagos Nigeria




  • 2015, “A Beautiful Heart”, Album Cover for Paul Tillman Smith
  • 2015, Portrait Painting of Congresswoman Barbara Lee
  • 2011, Art Work Project for Army Guest House, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria. Commissioned by Late General Owoye Azazi, former National Security Adviser (NSA) to  Nigeria



  • Nina Fabunmi, Portrait Artists Directory, American Art Collector, Volume 118, August 2015, Page 160
  • Nina Fabunmi, Southwest Art Magazine, Special Section, Volume44, No.12, May 2015, Page 142
  • Joshua Rose, The American Art Collector, Nina Fabunmi: Special Section/ Collecting Cityscape Art, Volume 112, February 2015, Pages 74 & 78
  • Joe Kovack, Nina Fabunmi: The Modern Landscape, Southwest Art Magazine, Volume 44, No. 3, August 2014, Page 44 & 119
  • Ben Walker, Artist Portfolio Magazine, Nina Fabunmi, Cover Page & Pages 4-7
  • Dario Rutigliano, Articulaction Art Review, Nina Fabunmi,  Special Issue ,June 2014, Pages 18 - 31
  • Sherwin Brian, Art Talk on the Edge: Interview with Artist Nina Fabunmi, The Art Edge, January 16,2014.
  • Pierce Alison, African Genesis, Academy Of Art University, Volume 1, Cover Page, November 2013.
  • Oakland Art Murmur, When Nature Speaks-New Works by Nina Fabunmi, October 2013.
  • Informed Collector, Nina Fabunmi-absolutely stunning portraiture, Fine Art Views, August 20,2013.
  • Okonkwo Sunny, Nina Fabunmi-One Of The Best Female Fine Artists In Nigeria, Welcome To Sunnygist, November 6,2012.
  • Ehirim Ambrose, Conversations with Nina Fabunmi, The Ambrose Ehirim Files, May 4, 2012.
  • Nina Fabunmi, I’m an Artist, Taruwa, July-September 2010 Issue, page 28-29.



2014 - Present

Art Tutor, Academic Resource Center (ARC) Department, Academy Of Art University, San Francisco, California

Teaching the following Art Courses:

Analysis Of Form

Figure Drawing

Fine Art Painting



Program Leader, Community Youth Center (CYC), San Francisco, California


2011 – 2015

Docent, Museum Of The African Diaspora, San Francisco, California

Museum Tour Guide

Gallery Attendant

Art Workshops for youth group



Work Study, Department Of Fine Art Photography, Academy Of Art University, San Francisco, California

Artist Portfolio Review Support

Gallery Attendant



Scenic Painter, African American Shakespeare Company, San Francisco, California

Stage Scene Painting for Merry Wives of Windsor




  • 2012          Igbo Women’s War of 1929, Museum Of African Diaspora, San Francisco, California.
  • 2008          Zahra the Wind Seeker, by Nnedi Okorafor Mbachu, Farafina Books, Lagos Nigeria.               
  • 2005          Reunion of the Dead by Seun Olaniyi, Cover illustration.                                      



  • Portrait Society Of America
  • California Art Club
  • Museum Of The African Diaspora
  • Society of Nigerian Artists
  • Visual Arts Association Of Nigeria



Learn More About Nina Fabunmi 



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