PULLMAN, Wash. — The Visual, Performing and Literary Arts Committee of Washington State University continues its 2001-2002 “Storytelling/Telling Stories” series with two presentations by West African artist and storyteller Baba Wagué Diakité.

Diakité will talk about how his art was influenced by traditional education at 7 p.m., Feb. 12, in the Fine Arts Auditorium and share stories he learned as a child at 7 p.m., Feb. 13, in the Bryan Hall Auditorium. Both presentations are free and open to the public.

Diakité was living in Bamako, Mali, West Africa, when he met sculptor Ronna Neuenschwander. He followed her to Portland, Ore., where they were married. He assisted Neuenschwander in her sculpture studio and began expressing himself through clay, with designs based on his African heritage.

Today, Diakité continues to draw imagery from stories told to him by his mother and grandparents for his ceramics, paintings on glass and canvas, and public projects. His art has been exhibited in solo and group shows throughout the United States and has been reviewed in publications such as “Ceramics Monthly”. He has taught workshops at Oregon College of Arts and Crafts, Pacific Northwest College of the Arts and Portland Community College.

Diakité also contributes his time to community involvement activities. Through the Homowa Foundation and Artists-in-Education, he works with youth from many cultures, gifted and at-risk students, teenage mothers and English-as-a-second-language students of all ages. He created a “Wall of Hands” for the Washington Park Zoo, and he worked with high school students to create and paint a mural for a Portland police precinct.

Diakité also wrote two award-winning children’s books: “The Hunterman and the Crocodiles” and “The Hatseller and the Monkeys.” He is working on his third book.

For more information, contact Marty Mullen at (509) 335-2313.