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At NGA Rainbow Art, young Nigerians unlock creativity

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Director Educational Services, NGA, Dr. Evelyn Otaigbe (left); Acting D.G. NGA, Dr. Simon O. Ikpakronyi; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Culture, Deaconess Grace Gekpe and the chairman, governing board of NGA, Alhaji Umaru A. Sulaiman, while declaring the exhibition open.

It was the second edition of Rainbow Art programme organised by the National Gallery of Art (NGA).

Students and pupils from over 30 schools within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were brought together to lock horns in various creative arts events. There were also exhibitions of paintings and accessories made by the children.

The technical session of the programme witnessed great interest and participation in folktales, drama, visual art, hat, dress and bead making. There was also the literary session.

Tagged, Rainbow Art: Unlocking Creativity, this year’s edition was themed, ‘A new Nigeria: The Hope of the Nigerian Child and Youth.’ And in their various areas of creative endevour, the young ones expressed the Nigeria they envisaged.

They were undaunted in their dreams for a country devoid of violence, nepotism and all forms of social vices. They forecast a brighter future even in a gloomy present.

The most touching dreams came from the pupils of Abuja School for the Blind. Even in their state, they could see a nation that every Nigerian is proud of. Their thoughts were captured in a song titled, A New Nigeria.

The Acting Director General of NGA, Dr. Simon O. Ikpakronyi, in his welcome address, emphasised the relevance of the programme to the children and the nation.

According to him, the aim was to enable participants develop the idea of critical thinking and reasoning.

It was also to make them improve their art of imaginative composition necessary to unlock the level of creativity in them.

“It would make participants to love colours and develop painting skills and identifying motifs on faces, which might be used in future art production among others,” the Acting D.G stated.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Culture, Deaconess Grace Gekpe, was fascinated by the broad theme of the event. Drawing from the theme, she noted that the sheer brilliance of rainbow attracts children in their numbers whenever it appears.

“It is no surprise therefore that NGA is using this symbol to unlock the latent creativity of our children.

“Just as the current administration just began its journey to take Nigerians to the next level and calibrating a new Nigeria where there is opportunity for all, we believe that there certainly is hope for our children and youth.

“The hope is hinged on tangible actions such as empowerment of the citizenry and lifting the people out of poverty.”

Adding: “By focusing on the creative acumen of our children and youth, NGA is galvanizing them for a brighter future. Indeed, talents abound among our children and youth but the institutions to harness these talents are limited.

“I am glad that NGA is one of the few institutions constantly harnessing the boundless talents of our children and youth. This programme, I believe, will make them more productive as well as steer them away from mischief and other ills prevalent in our society today.

“It is high time we focused more on our children and youth, and create opportunities and empowerment programmes such as this for them”, she stated.

Also at the event was the Head of Civil Service of The Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita. She stated that creativity, whether from children or adults have one factor in common, which is originality.

She also expressed the need to celebrate the creativity inherent in children. “This programme seeks to engage the mind of the child in more ways than one.

“It is a great opportunity to engage children’s minds with a reflection on creativity and to teach them artistic expression in various forms so as to get the best from them in terms of role playing.”

Oyo-Ita believed that arts have been revolutionised in the present day Nigeria though the injection energy into the industry. This, she stated, has attracted more people into its practice.

For the initiator of the programme and Director, Educational Services, NGA, Dr. Evelyn Otaigbe, the programme, which holds yearly, actualises one of NGA’s mandates of identifying young talented artists, encouraging them to practice art and choose same as a career.

She stated that the programme stemmed from the critical notion that the minds of children are easily transformable and amenable to seeing through their lenses and prism.

“Rainbow Art draws deep rooted messages while presenting endless and limitless opportunities for children through the dazzling, vibrant and electrifying colours of the rainbow.

“Our goal is to adopt strategies that harness the cognitive development of children that are robust and results-driven”, she held.

The Chairman, NGA governing board, Alhaji Umaru A. Sulaiman, declared the exhibitions of talents open.


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