UIS Art Student Stephen Aifegha Receives JRM Foundation Scholarship

POCATELLO — At its annual Hometown Hero Award celebration last month, the JRM Foundation presented Idaho State University arts and communications student Stephen Aifegha with a $3,000 scholarship.

The scholarship came as a surprise to Aifegha, who attended the event to exhibit several of her multimedia works and her collaboration with the anti-human trafficking campaign The Cost of Freedom.

“Getting this scholarship at this stage of my life is considered a blessing,” Aifegha said. “I am truly grateful to ISU College of Arts and Letters in partnership with the JRM Foundation for this scholarship.”

Growing up in Lagos, Nigeria, Aifegha demonstrated a gift for the arts as a child. He frequents art galleries, museums and competitions. He finally realized that to truly pursue his passion, he would have to move away from home.

Aifegha researched international art programs, eventually landing at Idaho State University. He applied and was accepted, traveling to Pocatello in the spring of 2017.

In her art, Aifegha incorporates newsprint and quirky African fabric. Together, the mixture of textures and word fragments create a sense of dynamism and help Aifegha make a social commentary on her home continent.

“My subject matter and narrative as a mixed media artist centers on historical, social and cultural issues that concern Africa regarding cultural syncretism, identity issues, culture clash and pride,” said he declared. “I started the mixed media technique when I wasn’t happy with just ‘painting’.”

Aifegha used the same technique in her work with The Cost of Freedom (TCOF) campaign, creating artwork for her exhibition Liberation.

“The images ignite the imagination, evoke emotions and capture universal cultural truths and aspirations,” he said. “The approach of this exhibit is to do just that – tell a story.”

Kayleen C. Rice