Cameroonian Artist and ‘Long-Time Friend of the College’ Displays Work in Town


Lianna Brown ’22, Associate News Editor

Contemporary Cameroonian painter and visiting artist-in-residence at Dickinson College Max Lyonga presented his exhibit, “Art without Boundaries” to a small group of about 15 at the Pond Art Studios’ Penny Gallery in downtown Carlisle. 

The crowd consisted of staff of the Center for Global Study and Engagement (CGSE), who put on the event, and their families.

According to a flier sent out by CGSE, Lyonga is “A self-taught artist, his ‘mokwe Style’ is a mix of abstract and impressionism. He paints with acrylic as well as local painting materials.”

Lyonga opened the event with a discussion on the meaning of hope and its influence on his art. He then asked the kids in the room to modify his piece, “The Sinking Chair,” a painting referencing the bleakness of current news. To “paint happiness,” as Lyonga put it, kids splattered his piece with yellow paint. 

 Sonja Paulson, director of International Student and Scholar Services, brought the exhibit to the Penny Gallery because “we have had a long partnership with Cameroon, and Max has been a long-time friend of the college and there wasn’t a space on campus so we looked to our partners in the Carlisle community… it seemed like a really inviting space that Max liked.”

Samantha Brandauer, associate provost and executive director of the Center for Global Study and Engagement, said “I am a huge fan of Max’s. I love his art. I got to meet Max first at his studio in Cameroon… I am always amazed and inspired by the work he brings.” 

Paulson said “They are just inspiring. I’ve seen many of them – he’s been really prolific in the short time he’s been here… he’s painted a new painting in two days, so it really evokes some of the things he’s done, and it’s really magnificent.” 

“His pieces are so full of life and they’re so bold and they have so much meaning and life to them,” said Katie DeGuzman, associate director of Education Abroad, “but they’re so different from one another, it’s not like a whole bunch of paintings that all are very similar. So that just shows how creative he is, that he can do so many different things, so many different colors, so many different mediums, and each one evokes a different feeling.”

The exhibit will be on display until April 1 at the Penny Gallery on 32/34 W. Pomfret St.