At 80, Fasuyi Exhibits Works For Charity
Many people pray to attain the ripe age of 80 and even beyond in a country where life expectancy is about half of that. Artist and former educationist, Chief Timothy Adebanjo Fasuyi recently celebrated his 80th birthday in style; he held an exhibition of some of his art works to add colour to the event. When sold, proceeds from the works will go to charity to help school children in the North east of Nigeria.
With the sobriquet TASFAS, Fasuyi selected 80 of his works spanning over 50 years since graduating from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. The works reflect Nigerian culture, as they are educative and illustrative of Nigerian life in general.
While explaining the purpose of the exhibition, Fasuyi said, “Apart from celebrating my 80 birthday, the last six year of my stay at the Federal Ministry of Education, where I was in charge of Federal Government Colleges nation wide and seeing what was happening to the students of Federal Government Colleges in the North East was saddening. So, I have decided to sell all the works, and no matter the price, and give the proceeds to help those students who are displaced from those colleges.
“All these works are mine; they are what I have done over the years. You don’t grow old and out of creativity; I will still be painting after this exhibition and I want the younger ones to know that age is not a challenge to creativity.”
Fasuyi narrated how his love for arts started. According to him, “When I went to secondary school we had an art teacher who taught us drawing and we did some craft, too, and sculptor. So, when we got to Zaria, and for the first time, we met brushes and paint and they taught us how to use them, the methods and materials and we were asked to create our own art advocacy, which is what Onobrakpeya has been doing and he is a great artist.
“I was painting when I left Zaria but the type of work I got at the Federal Ministry of Education did not give me enough time to paint. But after I retired I started planning painting technics and now I am fully in the studio”.
TAFAS enthused that he is a fulfilled artist even if he was coming late full time into it, saying, “Yes, I feel fulfilled generally about life and even as an artist; that is why I am having this exhibition as one of the major events of my 80th birthday. I am proud to be an artist and I hope to continue with it.
“I must say that at the end of my course in Zaria I had the best result and I won all the prizes available. I’m versatile in my area and my creation depends on my mood, materials available and time. Some of my works are rendered in surrealism, symbolism and others. I do all of them; I don’t box myself in one corner. I’m free in all the areas”.
On the state of arts in secondary schools in the country, the educationist said, “I am not sure of what is obtaining now but when I was there, I made sure every Federal Government School had at least one art teacher and some schools two; but now I don’t know. It is very important that each school has at least two, three or more art teachers. This is because one will be a sculptor and will not be able to paint and the sculptor may ignore the area of painting and design; so it is good to have several so that the students can exhibit their creativity”.
Fasuyi appealed to younger generation of artists to make their works relevant to the Nigerian situation.
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