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A new beginning beckons for Duke Asidere’s Playspot Studio

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Mr. Duke Asidere (right), with president, Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA), Mr. Oliver Enwonwu, at his Gbagada Platspot’s Open Studio talk… in Lagos

Duke Asidere’s new initiative, Playspot Studio, which was launched in Egbeda in September 2012.

Created as a convergence for artists to interact via workshops, open studio and seminars, Playspot has been active ever sine in hosting artists from across Lagos and beyond.

Now moved to Gbagada, Playspot its Open Studio event that got artist and media friends of Asidere to visit the studio and interact with the artist over his works.

Open Studio as visual arts parlance is not uncommon, though it comes once in a while for artists to interact and exchange ideas via informal setting. But at Playspot’s, open studio is being expanded to include non-artists such as collectors and other observers of the art, including members of the press.

Asidere’s Playspot Studio, situated on the ground floor of a duplex, took off in Egbeda with ‘Protest Art’ concept in focus. Now in Gbagada, a more accessible axis of Lagos, the workshops aspect of Playspot, according to Asidere, will take a more expansive and inclusive format. He hopes to include secondary school students within the Gbagada axis as a way of promoting creativity and impacting on his immediate community.

The open studio also offered the artist oportunity to roll out his art exhibition plans for 2019. One of the exhibitions is a solo in which he hopes to show just 12 paintings and a few drawings at Omenka Gallery by mid next year.

While in Egbeda, Asidere had organised a workshop for artists, which took the form of street painting as part of activities that marked his 50th birthday. He insisted that art must engage issues. But before artists use their art to speak to the larger society, there is need for internal cleansing, Asidere said. Visual artists need to lift their game, he further stressed. He also noted quite a number of unprofessional conducts among artists, gallery owners, and auction houses.

In his own little way, Asidere has resolved to always use his art to engage his immediate environment where he works. And now the focus is shifting to Gbagada, adding, “We must share our art with ordinary people on the streets. Art has the power to change our society for the better only if artists take the lead.”

It should be recalled that when Asidere had the workshops that marked his 50th birthday, the events held at more than five spots on the streets of Lagos.

With more than 30 artists, the workshops held on the streets at Egbeda, Palmgrove and Ojuelegba, among other spots, and he said, “In the coming years, it will be more expansive and inclusive.”

Duke Emuyenwomano Asidere was born in Lagos on October 7, 1961. He trained at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, in 1990, ande graduated with B.A. (Fine Arts) First Class Honours in Painting. He also obtained MFA in Painting from the same university. Asidere has been a full time studio artist after he angrily quit his job as a lecturer at Auchi Polytechnic, Edo State, in 1995.


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