The first commissioned artwork for the Ames Family Atrium, Ámà: The Gathering Place by Emeka Ogboh (Nigerian, b. 1977) is an installation integrating sound, sculpture, and textiles. As you listen to the music that migrates throughout the atrium, we invite to you to relax and consider your experience of this setting.
The work’s point of departure is the social role of the Cleveland Museum of Art’s atrium, used by visitors as a place for meeting and exchange, eating and drinking, working and relaxing. Ogboh describes the atrium as the “heart and soul of the museum,” and compares it to the ámà—or village square—the central force of Igbo life in southeast Nigeria where he was born. “Both sites,” Ogboh explains, “are contact zones, spaces of gathering and ritual activities in their respective settings.”