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IFOMA exalts age of women in new exhibit



By F. Carlton Peeples
Special to the Michigan Citizen

DETROIT — The arts flow in the heart of Detroit’s Corktown district, as the Suddle Creations Gallery opens its doors for a unique and empowering exhibit. “Woman Shrine Exalting the Feminine” opened March 1 to the public as a testament to the power, grace and femininity of women.

Noted photographer IFOMA has been watchfully crafting this anthology for over three decades. The exhibit is a collection of photographs of beautiful women — nude, draped, painted and adorned.

IFOMA began this journey in a very “haphazard way,” he recalls. Starting out as a work study, eventually developing a love affair with the camera, he decided to share that passion. The photographer, whose work had become a prominent fixture in Detroit’s political arena under the Archer and Kilpatrick administrations, offers a glimpse of personal conviction in this tasteful exhibit.

Art lines the walls of the SCG gallery, culminating in the center of the room with a draped yurt structure, housing the more intimate pieces. Dating back to 1983, the earliest work of the exhibit is as poignant as his latest stills.

Each subject was hand-painted by IFOMA himself. His approach is to clear the mind and approach each subject as a blank canvas. Asking if there were any colors or ankh symbols that the model may favor would be where the process began. The end result is beautiful interpretations of feminine Diasporas.

He quickly points out that everything is done tastefully to debunk any misconceptions that the exhibit would be pornographic in nature. “We have left the age of Pisces and now we are headed into the Aquarian (age),” he said. “This is the age of enlightenment for women,” and therefore, his main thrust is to “exalt the feminine.”

“His work embodied motherhood, sensuality, our pain and struggles, and I felt connected to these women,” says Andrea Lynese of Farmington Hills.

The gallery’s co-owner and curator, Nivek Monet, expressed the concept of Suddle Creations Gallery, which first opened its doors this past December. “I wanted to create an atmosphere where an artist could really be free to express his or herself,” he said. “Each artist is able to connect and engage with our patrons, so we encourage keeping their exhibit fresh and interesting by changing the features regularly.” A second reception will be hosted March 22 at 7 p.m. at the gallery.

IFOMA maintains fan favorites such as “Sacred Torso,” a work that also inspires him. “(It) sets the tone for the whole body of work,” says IFOMA. Yet, he says he has plans to “change some of the portraits and add some new elements to the show.”

Each piece is available for sale. The show, which runs through May 7, holds hours from noon to 7 p.m. and is for adults only.

Suddle Creations Gallery is located near Detroit’s Corktown district in the Lafayette Lofts, 1301 W. Lafayette, Suite 100. Tickets are available online at or by calling the gallery at 313.962.2346.

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