The idea for creating the Bruce Onobrakpeya Foundation (BOF) was born after the initiator Bruce Onobrakpeya attended three of the art workshop programmes organized by Ulli Beier, an extra moral lecturer of the University of Ibadan at Ibadan, Oshogbo and Ife in 1961, 1964 and 1973. The second inspiration came from his participation in some of the 1975 workshop sessions at the Haystack Mountain School of Art and Craft in the State of Maine, U.S.A. Through these workshops, Bruce discovered that informal art schools (workshops) were alternative way for art-oriented people at different levels of development to practice and grow.
As a class room art teacher, Bruce had an art studio where he practiced after the normal school day. What he produced there then attracted not only collectors but also students, some of whom he admitted as his assistants and interns. And when he finally became a full-time artist in 1980, the studio space in Papa Ajao, Lagos where he practiced then became definitely too small to accommodate all those who were applying to do IT (Industrial Training) or research on his works for dissertations.