Asibelua Foundation donates ‘Collecting Art’ to schools
In partnership with Quintessence Gallery, the ceremony tagged, ‘Books For Knowledge’, took place at The Gallery, Parkview Ikoyi, Lagos.
The donation is Nero Asibelua Foundation’s contribution to the knowledge of art appreciation in Nigeria. Written by Fabian Ajogwu and Jess Castellote, ‘Collecting Art: A Handbook’, according to founder of the foundation, Mr Nero Asibelua, is a rich book for all.
He said: “As a foundation, we want to donate knowledge to Nigerian universities; we will distribute the books to as many schools as possible.”
Federal College of Education (Technical, Akoka); Yaba College of Technology, Lagos and University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, are among schools that got the books during the ceremony.
Speakers at the event included Prof. Ebun Clark, Dr. Kunle Filani, Prof. Frank Ugiomoh, the authors of the book, among others.
Asibelua shared his experience of how he lost a piece by Ben Enwonwu, which he got from his father. “I lost it to pay my rent. And the buyer of the piece later sold it for several millions of Anita few years after,” he said.
From that experience, Asibelua has leant that ‘art out lives for posterity.”
Another art collector, Prof Clarke who recalled that she started collecting in 1965 with a Bruce Onobrakpeya piece noted that, “currently, the commercial drive of art works seems to be more of interest to people. Then, it was just for the love of art; no secondary market.”
She questioned the value the secondary art market has brought in lately, saying she is not sure if auction is good for the art. She noted that people are now more cautious of what they have.”
Clarke recalled how Mbari club of the 1960s -1970s pushed Nigerian art to the world as a mix of the people’s creativity: performing, literary and visual artists.
Filani, an artist and administrator, who argued in favour of native contents noted that the quality of training he had based on our cultural philosophy led him and some of his colleagues to resuscitate motifs and signs called Ona. He stated that back then they were not interested commercial value, but passion; the love of art, and not money.
Filani, however acknowledge that art appreciation is changing and also called for a change in art curriculum in schools to adjust to the reality on ground.
“Nigerian collectors are generally knowledgeable. I now realise we should develop curriculum to be more verse and prepare the artists for post-school challenge,” he said.
Prof Ugiomoh of the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, argued that humanity created art to bring back to the human its essence, stressing that the value has changed. Ugiomoh stressed that Nigerian art needs to be globalised.
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