The proprietor of Quintessence Gallery, Mrs Aino Oni Okpaku, on Thursday, December 26 died in her home country, Sweden.
Until the time of her death, Oni Okpaku was a traditional chief of Ogotun Ekiti, Ekiti State. She was awarded the title for her selfless services to rural women during the Better Life for Rural Women programme in the country during the Ibrahim Babangida regime.
Quintessence initially started off as a shop for high-quality audio, television and hi-fi equipment, accessories and furniture. It later became a major outlet for quality literary works, art and crafts by renowned authors and artists within the country and abroad.
Mrs Oni-Okpaku studied textiles arts from the School of Arts and Crafts, Goteborg, Sweden and graduated in 1962. She later opened her own studio in Stockholm and practised her craft for almost a decade before travelling to the United States of America for her Master’s degree in Fine Arts at the California College of Arts and Crafts in 1971.
She came to Nigeria with her late husband in1973 and in 1975, she founded Quintessence.
Born January 2, 1939, she died Thursday, December 26, 2019, in Gothenburg, Sweden. She would have been 81 last Thursday. From visual to literary arts and fashion, Quintessence, which she founded with her late husband, Olusegun Gabriel Oni-Okpaku, she impacted the creative industry.
Meanwhile, the management of Nike Art Gallery has expressed their condolences on the demise of Mrs Oni Okpaku.
“With heavy hearth and great shock, I received the news of the passing away of my beloved friend, Chief Mrs. Aino Oni Okpaku who passed away on December 26th at her home country Sweden at the age of 81. May her gentle soul rest in the Lord,” it wrote on its Twitter handle.
Publishing outfit, Cassava Republic also expressed their condolences; “RIP Mrs Aino Oni Okpaku owner of @quintessenceng a gallery/bookshop/literary space. From our inception, Quintessence has always supported us and paying promptly for books. Mrs Okipaku will be sorely missed even as we appreciate the space she birthed.”