At Tender Art, young female artists get empowerment
Over 100 female artists are undergoing training in art skills at Kunle Adewale’s Tender Art workshop. About 60 of them have their works on display. Exhibited as #Africa4Her at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos, works of the artists represented faces of arts as therapy, skill acquisition and community development as well as civic responsibility.
The workshop will collapse gender barrier and address female participation deficit in visual arts. With three years experience in promoting creativity at the grassroots level, Tender Arts Nigeria, led by artist and educationist, Adewale appeared to have found a wider scope with the theme #Africa4Her.
“It is about bridging the gender gap, breaking down barriers that affect women in visual arts,” Adewale told select guests during a preview at Terra Kulture. “The project is aimed at making girls better individuals and prepare them for entrepreneurship”.
The eight-week project, Adewale said, involved 100 girls and women from as little as six to 35 years old. As much as the issues of girl child empowerment and gender imbalance has become a common subject in not-for-profit ventures, particularly in developing countries like Nigeria. For #Africa4Her, the themes in some of the paintings suggest that the project is also aimed at instilling the right values into young children apart from art skill and entrepreneurship.
Every child, for example, grows up with certain role models, some of whom shape his or her upbringing and the future too. Participants, according to Adewale, were guided on examples of who a role model should be for young girls. Specifically, participants were told to avoid some celebrities whose public profiles are amoral.
“Nudity,” which some celebrities are known for, he said, was avoided, as not being an African value”.
Opportunity to show their works yearly under the #Africa4Her show is available for “25 shortlisted artists for mentorship.”
Uche Valerie and Sylvia Uzzorh are among the exhibiting artists. “The #Africa4Her workshop “gave me opportunity to meet creative people of different age groups that expanded my view of art,” Valerie, a trained artist at Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, recalled. A radiographer, and self-taught artist, Uzzorh stated, “Art has been therapeutic for me”.