He cheered the organisers of the festival for doing something for Nigerian art and artists, saying that it should not be a one-off thing.
In a bid to empower artists and open up the global market for Nigerian artists, the first International Art and Culture Festival (ICAF) recently took place in Lagos.
Organised by Simpli International, in partnership with the Society for Nigerian Artists (SNA), Lagos State Chapter, the festival kicked off with a workshop on art for global peace and harmony. It was moderated by German based Professor of Art, Dilomprizulike. It drew panelists from the Female Artists Association of Nigeria (FEAAN) represented by its former President, Mrs Ngozi Akande, Idowu Sonaya who stood in for the SNA and art enthusiasts, while from the academia was the special guest of honour, Professor El Anatsui, who was represented by Segun Adejumo.
The event climaxed at the Radisson Blu and Anchorage Hotel, Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue, Victoria Island Lagos, with exhibition of paintings, craft and sculpture. The promoter, Bruno Eke, disclosed that works displayed at the exhibition were amassed from an open call and outsourcing, and artists responded with their works, especially artists under the umbrella of FEAAN. “We also had some notable artists that came from other media,” he added.
He said that the huge response meant that the motivation and spirit were there to move the creative industry ahead, adding that ICAFest was a good platform for artists to move the industry forward. He said, “Creativity is everywhere, but what is lacking is the platform to move creative minds forward. What the success of the festival means is that we need to do more and everybody needs to come on board.”
On the theme of the workshop, “Global Peace for Harmony,” Eke, who had degrees in engineering and had worked in oil and gas, as well as telecoms said, “The world needs peace now. We can actually achieve that through art. If people are focused in being creative, they would not go about killing others, or throwing bombs. They would be too busy with creativity, and the world would be better for it. And when other people patronise creative works, creative minds would have the ability to do more creativity.”
He said venturing into art was for business. “I studied the industry, and discovered that it is quit huge with potentials. We want to come on board and also bring other people, so that we can make it an industry for investors,” he said.
SNA boss, Idowu Sonaya, while responding on why Nigerian artists, with all the creativity, had not been able to hit the bull in the market blamed it on lack of exposure beyond local shores. He cheered the organisers of the festival for doing something for Nigerian art and artists, saying that it should not be a one-off thing. He noted that Nigeria has a lot of artists who had the capacity to invest and promote the business of art to lofty heights. He concurred with Professor Dilomprizulike’s views on art being made part of primary and secondary school curriculum, adding that it should not be polarised, made boring or become something that may not be useful after school.
He urged galleries to enter into agreement with artists whereby they paid them something on a monthly basis. “While they (artists) keep working, the galleries keep promoting them. The artists only deal with the galleries in the same way professional footballers deal with their clubs. The footballers cannot move from one club to another without the permission of their clubs; that way, it will help artists to grow overtime and the general outlook of the business will change,” he said.
On how art could add value to artists’ personality, former FEAAN boss, Mrs Ngozi Akande, also harped on the importance of packaging and presentation of artworks saying, “We all studied art but when you come out, you face what is art, and a lot of artists are unprepared for the experience.”
The art historian and culture administrator noted that the problem with local artists was unity within themselves. “We have to unite, appreciate and assist one another. We have a situation where once an artist has an opportunity, he blocks others; he would not want others to grow. We have to change our attitudes,” she remarked.