St. Johns County entrepreneur opens gallery focused on contemporary African art – 104.5 WOKV

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A local woman hopes to expand cultural experiences in St Johns County through art. Galerie Ovico has just opened its doors to kick off Black History Month.

Action News Jax anchor Tenikka Hughes spoke with the owner about what she hopes visitors take away from the collection on display.

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Everywhere you look in the Ovico Gallery, you’ll find canvases covered in bold brushstrokes, bursting with color. The artwork is by Nigerian artist Chike Onuorah.

Its current home is from the vision of Ugochi Nwoga. The St. Johns County entrepreneur has just opened Ovico Gallery off North Fifth Street in St. Augustine with the intention of creating a space for locals to experience contemporary African art.

Nwoga said, “I’ve been a huge fan of the artist and have been for a few decades now and my passion for African and African talent and exposing that African talent to the western world, and so these two, the fusion of these two has gave birth to this gallery.

Nwoga, who is a proud Nigerian-American, has spent the past few years working directly with the artist to acquire the pieces, have them shipped from Africa and even fly to Nigeria to collect some of them.

Nwoga, a mother of three, established Ovico Gallery while working full-time as Director of Finance and Strategy at her family business, TLAY Healthcare Services, located in the same shopping complex.

When asked where she got the inspiration to open the gallery while working full time, Nwoga replied, “There’s this saying, you go according to the spirit, right? not ? So when you believe in something and you want something and things line up the way they should, the moment is simply created. It’s just there and you actually find the time you have to be more strategic with it.

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The gallery is a labor of strategic love.

Each piece and placement is a thoughtful reflection of a passion that Nwoga wants everyone to come and share.

“I want them to spend time with each piece and really give it, you know, kind of insight time and watch it and appreciate it and really come out like, wow, that was amazing,” Nwoga said.

The gallery is open to the public and is hosting a special event for Black History Month on February 19-20. If you would like to arrange a visit, you can contact Ovico Gallery here: https://ovicogallery.com/.

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