In a bid to enhance the economic viability of Nigeria, the ART X Lagos, in synergy with Access bank, has announced the third edition of its annual ART X PRIZE Fair and exhibition.
Addressing journalists, Founder of ART X Lagos, Tokini Petersider, said the event, which is slated for November 3rd and 4th, is a veritable platform to inspire, promote and gives opportunities to establish emerging artists to boost their potentialities for national growth and development.
She said, “We aim to reinforce the visual ART as an indispensable component of the creative industry designed to grow and increase the visibility of Africa’s artists and galleries in the global space.”
According to Peterside, the contribution of the ART industry to Nigeria’s economy is below expectations unlike in the Western economies.
She said the problem is not dearth of talents but inadequate structures and support system for budding Artists.
She said much more needed to be done by the government and the academia in the areas of providing platforms and grants to trained artists who had acquired the theoretical knowledge to do exploit in the profession.
“There’s need to build museum centers and other form of investment for these innovative artists to explore their gifts. For this reason, the ART X Lagos has become a catalyst to mirror and project many unsung artists to the world,” she posited.
Fielding questions from journalists, the Head, Corporate communications, Access Bank, Amaechi Okobi, affirmed the bank’s commitment to supporting young talents, adding that the bank has, over the years, been at the vanguard of supporting young people to achieve their dreams and would remain committed to its resolve.
He said, “As the major sponsor, we support with finances and other incentives whoever that brings pride and add values Nigeria and Africa because we are passionate about developing and projecting talents to the global space.”
Okobi added that the winner of the 2018 ART X Prize was awarded N1 million and continued assistance from the bank.
On her part, winner of 2018 ART X Lagos Prize, Bolatito Aderemi-Ibitola, said she was excited to showcase her artistic works to the world as she hopes to network with famous and emerging artists across the globe in spite of obvious challenges.
“I am showing a piece titled ‘Scrap from Mana’s Floor, which depicts the experiences I had with my mother as my source of motivation and I am hopeful that with different galleries and sponsors coming to support the ART Industry, young talented people will maximise the opportunity to see the way forward.” she added.
In an interview, a cross section of notable artists maintained that the industry is not without its peculiar challenges.
According to Founder, Nike ART Gallery Ltd, Nike Okondaye, she said though with her poor academic background, she was able to set up an outfit where well lettered men and women across the world explore their talents.
“I started my ART Gallery in my bedroom with one shilling in 1968, though I have only Primary school Certificate but today I one of the 18 Leading and exhibiting galleries participating for the first time in the ART X Lagos fair,” she stated.
Okondaye, who was in ‘Gele’ regalia, added that she was motivated by young emerging artists in the industry, while urging them to remain steadfast since artistic values has been a source of livelihood to many.
“There is dearth of job in the country, but many artists and artisans are converting trash and junks to treasures especially in making shoes and handbags and are feeding well.
“So, let us show ourselves useful because their are philanthropists who are willing and ready to support talents,” she added