Education: Addis Ababa University School of Fine Arts, Addis Ababa, 1997
++ Structure of general art paintings, drawing, graphics, set design, illustration, sculpture, industrial design, screen print, mural art, color study perspective, nude drawing and lettering.
Augustana College, 2000
++ Advanced painting and drawing
Current PositionPainting Artist
My name is Eyob Mergia and I was born 1974 and I am an Ethiopian artist and that was raised and studied in Ethiopia. I grew up in a small town called Debre Berhan 130 km north of Addis Ababa and went to Addis Ababa to study art in Addis Ababa university school of fine Arts. When I was a student in Addis Ababa University, I have shown my art works in different galleries – Alliance ethio-francaise, German cultural institute and the national Museum in Addis Ababa.
I have also worked with worked in collaboration with different international artists which in different projects. Furthermore, I have done paintings for Lideta Mariam Ethiopian Orthodox Church. After I graduated from the School, I came to South Dakota and studied advanced drawing and painting In Augustana College, Sioux Falls. In Sioux Falls, I have participated in several projects: for instance, I have worked in a diversity art project in Roosevelt High school where students were thought to learn and appreciate their diversity through art.
I did a September 11 exhibition for the victims of the 9/11 attack for the Washington pavilion in Sioux Falls. The goal of the exhibition was to show how immigrants see and perceive 9/11.
In 2005, I started a series of art work on the Ark of the Covenant with a goal of discovering the Ark of the Covenant through art. I have followed a new way of drawing to discover this mystery and have got an immense experience out of it in fact, this project has helped me \experience the depth and width of Ethiopian ancient culture and religion and as well diversity. It also helped me to appreciate Ethiopian traditional embroidery and cloths which later influenced most of my paintings. I am naturally influenced by realistic art in Ethiopian school but after I came to Ethiopia and I was influenced by cubism art and which later took me to other form of languages. For instance, I have developed an element about myself that helps me to take a second look at what most people never give attention to. This enables me to see what others cannot see and some times enables me to see art in harmony with nature such as sound as in the sound of a river, I write music notes as I hear the sound pf a river flowing. Painting to me is not what I see; it is what is in my mind and soul. Art is my spiritual guide in life.
I also did an art exhibition on the history of American music – primarily Jazz and Blues, its culture, its history and its evolution. The concept of the project was to show how music turned in to art. It was a good opportunity for me to follow a new culture and a new style for the art.
In May 2006, I did a big project in collaboration with the Sioux Falls School district. The project was done with 210 students. The project was called the recreation of unity and involved 210 students – from first graders to fifth graders – creating one final painting. The aim of the project was to teach students the power of unity. The idea was actually to make a mosaic of Michael Angelo’s hands in art.
In 2006, I participated in a project in collaboration with the Avera McKennan Foundation with the goal of raising fund for children with cancer and create awareness to the problem about the suffering of the kids. I did a painting project with 10 kids with cancer and made their art work a part of a big painting called The Children spirit.
I was in a project called the color of sound where I participated in an interactive concert with other artists and musicians. We did a painting as we listened to Jazz music. The paintings were later put on exhibit and the whole project was featured in a documentary film.
In 2007, I created a demonstration for an advanced painting class in Augustana College.
Also in 2007, I created a large mural project for the students of Sioux Falls Christian High School. They came to a series of trips to my studio as I taught them how to paint jazz inspired pieces. At the end, we wrapped everything up by doing an abstract mural called Alpha Omega which had a religious and conceptual theme. In this, we created a new art technique by mixing collage, painting and design.
In September 2007, I created a piece for the Avera Mckennan Dougherty Hospice project called Born of water and of the Spirit.. I made this piece to have a healing element for the residing patients in the Hospital and to bring awareness to the art culture.
Recently, I did a show called Harmony and Balance for the Koch Hazard Architects. This painting is inspired by experimental ideas and iconic art that expresses a sense of refreshment and stimulation for the viewers. This happens to be a special show for me because it is the first time that my drawings will be presented.
In 2009, I created one of my largest charcoal drawings, 29 feet by 8 1/2 feet, Genesis, as part of my research and preparation for a mosaic and tile project on spiritual art. It is a work of art in and of itself. I consider it one of the best works of my life.
This drawing entitled Genesis intends to show Light/Darkness, Word, the Universe, Creation, Religion and Spirituality, Birth, Imagination, Form, the Mystery of other Dimensions, and the Human Soul.
2009 also saw The Cello Dream, a piece I created for Avera McKennan’s new Cancer Institute. This painting was intended to form part of a healing environment for those people who will be cancer patients in the new facility.
Also in 2009, I developed the concept for a biblically-themed work, The Seven Days of Creation. It is an ongoing project for Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church. The final product will be a eight-panel mosaic, with each panel measuring 23 feet high by 7 feet wide. We’re hoping to be finished by spring of 2010.
In 2010, I had a solo show at Augustana College. I displayed some more experimental pieces.
Early in 2011, I moved my studio to Las Vegas and began working on a series of projects on subjects including impressions of Las Vegas.
Eyob is a painting artist based in Las Vegas. He is of Ethiopian origin and studied art in Addis Ababa University and also in Augustana College in Sioux Falls. If you would like to contact him about his work, you can reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 605.359.8929 or 323.250.EYOB.