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Arts of Our Culture exhibition holds today

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Hope, one of the works on show today

The Green Building of Enterprise Development Centre, Lagos Business School will today be draped in arts, as over 50 artists from all parts of the country are expected to converge on the facility for Art of Our Culture, a group show of young and emerging artists. Works to be displayed range from painting to photography, mixed media, sculpture and textile.

According to the organisers of the group show, over 250 artists from the different parts of the country applied to showcase their works at the event but only 50 were shortlisted after a thorough screening exercise was conducted on the applicants. Participants are drawn from places like Benue, Kwara, Osun, Ogun, Edo and Bauchi states.

At least 100 art works will be on display for enthusiasts and collectors to relish and buy, said Adekunle Gafar, the show’s curator and chief promoter of the event.

He added, “we have decided to showcase the African arts because we discovered that the focus of the world is on African arts at the moment. Lots of our artists are not getting value for their creativity, so we need to bring them together in one place from all over the country to link them up with those that want to collect their works.”

Gafar, who is the chief operating officer of Toonwalk Enterprises, which is partnering Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan Atlantic University (LBS) for the show, said, “about 100 art works from 50 carefully artists will be on display at the Art of Our Culture.”

He noted that the high point of the exhibition will be the launching of the first commercial art catalogue.

According to him, “as far as l know, art catalogues that had been launched in the past at any arts exhibition are tied to a particular event. But what we are launching is a collection of art works from over 150 artists.”

He said the key objective of the event, which will be held yearly henceforth, is to educate and motivate young Nigerians to develop interest in the arts. “We want to educate our people about the opportunities inherent in making money from investing in arts.’’

To build confidence in the would- be investors otherwise known as collectors, he said his organisation would also partner with both the insurance and banking industries.

‘’The young and upwardly mobile people should invest in arts as a means of investment to secure their future,’’ he reiterated, adding, “the role of insurance is to protect against the risks of theft and fire or any other form of losses that many face in the course of doing the business of arts. Banks will be involved because arts are instruments used as collateral when you want to borrow money from the financial institutions.”

He noted that the partnership with the Lagos Business School to create the awareness among Nigerians that collection of arts is a field of investment where people can invest their money and secure their future financially.

Gafar’s words: “We want to encourage Nigerians to invest in Art because we know that the Return on Investment (ROI) is unparalleled when compared to other fields of investments. We have seen people who collected art works for about N10, 000 to sell after about 10 years for about N60million. In which other investments can you make such a huge gain in the same period of time?’’

According to Ayoola Omovo, a female artist, who is participating in the exhibition, the show is an opportunity for her to interrogate the society. “My work talks more about the society and my environment.”

In Be focused!, she tries to say there is need to be focused in life if you want to achieve your dreams and Hope talks about lifting the hopeless women out there.

For Omovo, “women need to believe in themselves and whatever their hands find doing, they should be proud to do. They should raise their heads high and be bold, always.”

Expected at the show is Oonirisa Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ooni of Ife, who will be the special guest of honour.

Nigerian born Prince Yemisi Shyllon, who is ranked among the first 100 private art collectors in the world and number one in Africa, will chair the occasion, which will feature among other things African cultural displays, symposium and exhibition of arts.


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