Before healing, one must recognize what it is to heal.
Few families have a personal ten-acre, hand-crafted, exquisite sculpture park sitting in their backyard to artfully relate to the world around.
Ten years ago after running a well-publicized gallery, Bayo Gallery, in Iowa City, renown Iowa/international artists Olabayo David and Reena Olaniyi bought a thickly wooded plot of land surrounded by farms in Jefferson County, Iowa. The artists’ goal was to create an artful space for a “living peace” mostly to raise their beautiful and talented five children in community. For ten years the artists prepped the earth as a canvas, replacing brush and dead wood with artful gardens and mammoth architectural sculptures to create a unique and sacred space of genuine and original creativity for all children, people, and community to inspire artful dialogue.
The vision for the park grew out of the philosophy “Life is a Performance” which Executive Director Olabayo Olaniyi taught at the University of Michigan. The power of performative art differs from what art is commonly taught to be. For years the artists researched the power of art through performance while the two crisscrossed the country not only in the art world but in settings not traditionally known for the arts, bringing artful performance to the court rooms, precinct police, street vendors, soccer fields, even Walmart customers and Des Moines Register. Their artful travels have taken them from the University of Michigan to Europe, Nigeria, Washington DC, Seattle, New York’s Gagosian Gallery, Site Santa Fe, Lensic, Detroit’s N’Namdi Gallery, Aspen’s Casterline Goodman Gallery, Forre & Co Gallery, Florida, North Dakota etc, with the idea of understanding the power of object arts, people included relative to our daily experience. Bayo Park & Galleries is an acreage of art, housing these unique art forms.
Upon entering the ten acre ground of Bayo Park & Galleries, one gets a sense that the park has a story to tell. The weaving roads narrate an artistic journey. Each stick is a thought woven together in time over the past ten years. The artists relate to the world and life with their art form.
Annually, the grounds are transformed anew for a fall exhibition open to the public. This year, Bayo Park & Galleries opens with “One Big Step” on November 3 and 4 from 6-8pm. The installation will incorporates a “stepping” soccer challenge based on the family’s experience with the local soccer community and how soccer relates to life and art as a whole. Visitors can choose to engage in various artful soccer activities such as soccer golf, throw soccer, walk-the-park soccer, and cage soccer, etc. Soccer as art, the art of soccer, bring your own soccer ball or use an on-site hedge apple! Performative artful soccer.
The park is a vision of a new world - an artfully-altered reality where the trees are paintings, interacting with the natural colors, the buildings are organically hand-crafted, and floors are hand-formed. It is as ten-acre inspiring work of art. There is no place on Earth like it - art relativity of Bayo World. This year, the artists are taking a heaven’s step in creativity, infusing their year-long artistic journey into stone/wood carving, contemporary and metaphorical interpretations of their life experiences. Visitors to “One Big Step” will be allowed to walk and mingle through the ten-acres, viewing the progress of the park’s permanent on-site sculptures, in addition to the multi-media, “never-before seen” installation that will be on display for the event.
The artists are grateful for those that visited their event last year. “But this year is different. Today rests on yesterday,” Olabayo says. “And when tomorrow comes, today will be a thing of the past. In fact, what I just said is already in the past. Last year’s artful experience differs from this year. This year, the show is a cumulation of our year’s artful experiential journey from Fairfield to the world and back to Fairfield. It is designed energetically for the participating viewer to experience artful “growth,” “longevity”, “experience”, “difference”, and “possibilities.” Audiences will mesmerize as they will question and wonder. By the time they go from the setting of “Promise,” to that of “Wish” before “Vision” they will experience the magical transformative power of earth art, nestled in between fields of corn and soy, a “walking creek.” This is an artful promise. You will see our shared-journey through fire-art, and children’s creativity as art the way the community has never seen art before. Next year the show will be entitled ”Jesus Christ - Artful Uses, Nation’s heal,” featuring the paintings of former-President George W Bush and the “things” around here.”
Bayo Park & Galleries is an outdoor facility, so visitors are advised to dress for the weather and come with peace. We honor all. Admission is free and open to all.