The Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation (OYASAF) is a non-profit organization established in 2007 to promote the appreciation and study of Nigerian art, artists and culture by making the collection globally available to museums, educational institutions and scholars, The goal of OYASAF is to be the hub of Nigerian art to the world and a major point of contact for scholars, critics, art curators, artists and Nigerian culture enthusiasts.
OYASAF holds about 7,000 (seven thousand) pieces of traditional and neo - traditional African art, contemporary and modern African paintings, sculptures and about 55,000 (fifty five thousand) photographic shots of Nigeria’s fast disappearing cultural festivals. OYASAF therefore holds what is widely acknowledged as the largest private art collection in Nigeria. Indeed, many of the collections of OYASAF are works that critics and students of Nigeria’s art history usually find for the first time, when they view / visit the OYASAF collection.
To generate and facilitate visual art activities, events and services with the use of its continued art collection for the promotion and positioning of Nigerian art and culture for a pride of place within the continents of the world.
To be a leading resource in contributing to the history, heritage and preservation of Nigerian art, for promoting the dignity and creativity of Nigerian culture and art to the world.
To further expose and develop Nigerian visual art.
To curb the flight of artistic talents from our culturally rich country.
To provide a source of pride to Nigeria and Nigerians.
To share the creativity of Nigerian artists with the world.
The founder of OYASAF began collecting visual art in his undergraduate days as a part two engineering student of the University of Ibadan, (Nigeria).
In August 2008, OYASAF organized a two days inaugural exhibition of Nigeria’s art history at the national museum in Lagos, Nigeria.
OYASAF released in February 2009, a 76 page book on Yoruba traditional art, which is based on some of the art works in its collection for distribution during the trip of its founder to the North East of the USA under the foreign visitor’s leadership program of the state department of the USA government.
In November 2009, OYASAF executed a joint exhibition of Nigerian Totems and Drums with the Omooba Oladele Odumayo art foundation at the national museum in Lagos. In 2009, OYASAF commenced an OYASAF postgraduate fellowship program, in which, two beneficiaries concluded their programs that year, namely:
Mr. Ian Bourland (Ph.D Student of African Art in Chicago University – 25 days programme).
Miss Janine Sytsma (Ph.D Student of African Art in the University of Wisconsin – 20 days programme). Now Dr. Janine Systma
In 2009 OYASAF commenced an annual National photographic competition for which five winners emerged. This led to a major photo exhibition on the 26th of March 2010 at the National Gallery of Art in Lagos of the winners of the competition. A new program was thereafter put in place by OYASAF with an in-house art photographer (by name Ariyo Oguntimehin) to photo-map Nigeria. OYASAF have since documented major Nigerian and international cultural events as follows:
The Osun – Osogbo festival
Igue festival of the Benin Kingdom
The Ofala festival of Onitsha
Eyo festival of Lagos
The Lisabi Festival
National voodoo festival (Ouidah) of Benin republic
We have also documented the Mambilla Plateau and the Ogoja in Nigeria.
The Badagry cultural festival
The Sango festival of old OYO empire
The Igbo Ukwu festival
And many others