Olalekan Jeyifous: Even in Arcadia…

On View March 16⁠–⁠June 2, 2024





GHENT, NY — Amid evolving environmental and cultural shifts, there emerges a space for thoughtful yet whimsical reflections on an increasingly challenging reality. The tensions between our natural and built world—amplified by intensifying climate conditions—form the backdrop for Olalekan Jeyifous: Even in Arcadia… Drawing inspiration from the Arcadian myth, the exhibition juxtaposes picturesque portrayals of idyllic pastoral life with glimpses of a retro-futurist urban protopia set within the Hudson Valley. In leveraging both the artistic and literary motifs of Arcadia, the exhibition engages us in considering the possibilities and challenges posed by an inventive world-making process that is simultaneously shaped by the polished echoes of historical ideals, contemporary socio-political anxieties, and the uncertainty of our future aspirations.

Arcadia, historically regarded as an emblem of bucolic tranquility and unspoiled wilderness, is creatively reinterpreted in the eclectic assemblage of photomontages, an experimental video, and small-scale sculptures on view. The works artfully weave the promising ideals of solar and salvage-punk—themes of renewable energy, environmental sustainability, the imaginative repurposing of post-industrial detritus, and the transformative re-wilding of [ex]urban spaces—into an irreverently evocative fever dream.

Jeyifous’ pluralistic relationship to futurity is informed by a protopian growth model. Rejecting the fixed paradigms of utopian thought, the exhibition instead imagines a multiplicity of possible future scenarios while recognizing the continuous, messy, and iterative process necessary to move toward more equitable societal structures. Through this protopian lens, Jeyifous’ work interrogates the potentialities of harmonizing reconstituted technological advancements alongside ecological stewardship within an urban context.

Olalekan Jeyifous: Even in Arcadia… is curated by Julia van den Hout, Senior Architecture Curator, with Guy Weltchek, Curatorial Assistant.

Join us at Art Omi in Ghent, New York, on Saturday, March 16 from 3-5 PM for the Opening Reception of Olalekan Jeyifous: Even in Arcadia… 




Olalekan Jeyifous received a BArch from Cornell University and is a Brooklyn-based artist whose work re-imagines social spaces that examine the relationships between architecture, community, and the environment. He has exhibited at esteemed venues including the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Vitra Design Museum, the Guggenheim in Bilbao, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, where his artwork is featured in the permanent collection of the Department of Architecture and Design. In addition to an extensive exhibition history, Olalekan has spent over a decade creating large-scale installations for a variety of public spaces and was co-commissioned to design a monument for Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm as part of the City of New York’s “She Built NYC” initiative.

Olalekan has garnered numerous awards, including the notable Silver Lion at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale. Additionally, he is a recipient of the 2021 Fellowship by the United States Artists, has been a Wilder Green Fellow at MacDowell, and completed artist residencies at the Bellagio Center, supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, and The Drawing Center’s Open Sessions program.



Art Omi supports international artists across disciplines, serving as a lab space that nurtures and commissions forward-thinking projects in nascent stages of development and catalyzes expanded contexts for significant works due for critical reappraisal. A non-profit arts center in New York’s Hudson Valley, Art Omi welcomes visitors to experience the intersections of art and nature in our 120-acre Sculpture & Architecture Park. With more than sixty works in a bucolic setting of rolling farmlands, wetlands, and woodlands, and rotating exhibitions in our Newmark Gallery, Art Omi creates a sanctuary for the public and the artistic community alike to celebrate the transformative quality of art.

Art Omi offers residency programs for international artists, architects, dancers, musicians, writers, and translators, hosting more than 2,000 artists from over 100 countries since our founding in 1992.

Art Omi engages with our local community through a thriving arts education program, beloved by local families and children.

Free to all, Art Omi is open daily, year-round. 

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Art Omi’s programs are made possible by the Mellon Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. 

Major support for Olalekan Jeyifous: Even in Arcadia… is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.



Visit AAQ Museum Portfolio: OMI Arts Center — Architecture OMI / 2017


AAQ / Resource: Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects