“That’s gorgeous! Who made that?”
It’s a question visitors ask all the time when they see the custom-designed African textile artwork that graces many GISD buildings.
Landscape professional Paul Adeolu Oladipupo is the quiet talent behind these works of art. A native of Nigeria, Paul uses African textiles to create artistic depictions of GISD’s lion, along with several other mascots and an African woman in traditional fashion. In addition to his textile art, Paul makes traditional African clothing from the opulent fabrics, which are rich in color and texture.
Paul creates his artwork on his own time and his own dime and also pays for framing. What inspires his generosity?
“Good people,” he said with a smile. “It started with Mr. David Gish. When I first started working in GISD, he was my principal. Whenever there was something that needed to be fixed or if I needed him to talk to the students, he was right there for me. From there, I started meeting so many other good people.
“I’ve been working here for seven years,” Paul said. “It’s a good life living here and working for GISD.”
Paul’s artistic talents are matched only by his heart for helping others, GISD Assistant Superintendent of Operations Wes Underwood said.
“When one of his coworkers became gravely ill, Paul stepped up and became his healthcare advocate, helping him get the care he needed to recuperate and come back to work,” Wes said.
“Paul’s bright smile and contagious laugh light his path,” Chief Communications Officer Helen Williams said. “He is a joy to be around, to work with, and he is truly a great friend and colleague to us all.”
Paul will be honored at tomorrow’s school board meeting, which will be at 5:30 p.m. in the Wesley Martin Administration Building. Congratulations, Paul!