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Honour for art promoters, practitioners as October Rain beckons

By Eniola Daniel
29 September 2021   |   1:00 am
To appreciate their contributions to art development in Nigeria, Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) will, at the 15th edition of the art festival, October Rain, honour Nigeria’s largest private art collector, Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon and others.

To appreciate their contributions to art development in Nigeria, Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) will, at the 15th edition of the art festival, October Rain, honour Nigeria’s largest private art collector, Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon and others. 
For years, SNA-Lagos has been at the forefront of celebrating Nigerian art personalities through her yearly-juried exhibitions. This edition is no different.

Starting from October 3 to 16, it is themed, Art as A Glorious Passion. SNA is collaborating with Mydrim Gallery and Omooba Yemisi Shyllon Art Foundation, (OYASAF).
Speaking on the show, chairman, October Rain, Damola Adepoju, said this year’s theme is targeted at two vital missions. “ One, to celebrate visual art professionals in Nigeria, who continually achieve creative greatness despite all odds; and two, to worthily honour one of Nigeria’s most ravenous art collector, Omooba Yemisi Shyllon.

The exhibitors are categorised into legends, fellows, masters and fast-rising young artists. The reason for the universality of participation is due to the fact that SNA is the umbrella body for visual artists in Nigeria and the diaspora.

“We are also assuring all and sundry that the interest of our new generation artists is paramount to us. We are having over 80 artists exhibiting this year and it will involve not just painting but also sculptures,” said Adepoju.
For this exhibition, each artist is offering a piece of his or herself for sale. “Our choice for celebrating a compendium of dogged artists and one super collector is born of the fact that we identify that it takes a lot of passions to create arts, especially consistently just as it entails a different level of emotional attachment to religiously collect and promote art, especially in a third world country like Nigeria.
On the recipient, Adepoju said: “Omooba Shyllon’s passion for art and cultural promotion in Nigeria is enviable. This is evident in his thousands of art collections and in his numerous self-sponsored art projects of iconic importance, such as Yemisi Shyllon Best Graduating Student Awards, OYASAF Residencies, the newly established Shyllon Museum at the Pan-Atlantic University in Lagos, among others. Omooba Shyllon is unarguably a treasure to behold and we hope the federal government realises this on time and honour him, accordingly.”

Giving a breakdown on the number of exhibitors for the show, Olojo-Kosoko said, “we have fellows such as Prof Jegede, who has sent his work from the US, Kolade Oshinowo, Adepoju, Fidelis Odogwu, Samuel Ajobiewe and others. This is a jury exhibition but we have to give room to the younger ones to come on board so that they won’t feel left out.

“This exhibition will transform into a conference whereby at the end of the show, we will produce a paper on Omoba Yemisi Shyllon and by February or March 2022, we will have a conference at the Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art, Pan-Atlantic University because we need to move away from the monotonous of exhibiting and everybody goes home after the show so, what we are trying to do is to create another avenue for people in academics. People should be able to exhibit their writing prowess towards the journal. Hopefully, we are going to launch October Rain Journal next year, another thing is to create an avenue for unknown artists to be seen,” Olojo-Kosoko said.
On her part, SNA Vice Chairman, Mrs. Ayoola Omovo, said: “If you have not seen more of female artists, we will have a large number of them in this year’s exhibition.  It’s a time to see the younger ones coming up, it’s time for every artist in Lagos that has not been registered under SNA to come and view this year’s exhibition and see the difference. We want society and every art gallery, promoter of art to come under NSA. We are here to stand, to promote ourselves, to rub shoulders.
She added: “Every institution need to have an art space, the environment needs to be changed, our society needs to feel the beauty of art. African art is at its peak, so, we don’t need to celebrate ourselves before others will celebrate us.”
Speaking on the partnership, Curator, Mydrim Art Gallery, David Oluwatoyin, said: “Mydrim will be 30-year-old and we have since inception be supporting art the community and maintain relationships with artists. So, apart from providing this space, we will also be supporting SNA publicity-wise and we will be educating people on the role of SNA in Nigeria.”