Ato had been an independent studio artist since 1991, practicing as a sculptor and a potter with special interest in portrait sculptures and statues. His grasp for forms attest to his skills particularly in handling figural sculptures. Born in Mushin, Lagos in the mid 60’s, he began his professional training in Federal Polytechnic Oko in 1986 where he obtained the Ordinary National Diploma under the tutelage of Chike Ebebe. The ceramist of the Aka Circle of Exhibiting Artist. He completed his higher education at Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, between 1989 and 1991 and majored in sculpture.
Ato had participated in many exhibitions in Nigeria and abroad, with many sculpture commissions to his credit, such as the Bust of the first president of Nigeria Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe which he executed in the year 2000, a collaborative project with Chike Oyenka at his studio in Onitsha. He was a recipient of the Solidra Award for Sculpture and Pottery in 2002 and in 2008 was awarded the Society Nigerian Artist(Lagos State Chapter) -Distinguished Artist Award.
Ato Arinze is one artist who is gradually introducing a unique style in the aspect of ceramics, although he majored in sculpture, he has succeeded in elevating the act of pottery to an enviable status.” “The art of sculpture demands simplicity and I found simplicity more in human figures. Mostly, people appreciate what they can identify with. Figures are the best way to communicate one’s ideas.”
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