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International Art Fair Abuja unites NGA, SNA

By Gregory Austin Nwakunor
13 March 2022   |   4:23 am
For those interested in collecting art, the maiden edition of International Art Fair, Abuja is an excellent platform to do so.

Sculptural piece by Chukwuma Maduk, a fourth generation graduate of Fine and Applied Art, Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu

For those interested in collecting art, the maiden edition of International Art Fair, Abuja is an excellent platform to do so.

Holding March 17, 2022 at the Amphi Theatre space, Cyprian Ekwensi Centre for Arts and Culture, Area 10, Abuja, it will feature selected art works from private galleries and foreign embassies in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The show will remain open to the public till March 23, 2022.

The fair provides visitors the opportunity to purchase artwork, as well as chance to meet artists, socialise with the art community and have a good time.

The high profile event is a collaboration between National Gallery of Art (NGA) and the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA).
Coming on the heels of the first Enugu Art Fair organised by NGA, in collaboration with Department of Fine and Applied Art, Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu, the International Art Fair is the culmination of a series of fairs initiated by NGA to display art works from different parts of the country for the public to view, appreciate and ultimately buy.

Art Fair Lagos (December 7, 2021 to January 30, 2022), for instance, featured the drawings and prints of master artists; Art Fair Jos (January 27 to February 3, 2022), a collaboration with the University of Jos, showcased art works of students and lecturers of the Department of Fine & Applied Arts, while Art Fair Enugu (February 17 to 24, 2022) in collaboration with Institute of Management & Technology (IMT), Enugu displayed the art works of four generations of graduates of the Art School.

From the art of virtual thinking, to expressing and carefully conserving the natural world, the fair also has a breadth of topics and trends for you to explore, reconnect and reflect upon.

The Fair will provide expert insights into innovative curatorial concepts in contemporary art through its critically acclaimed curated spaces.

Also, provide a space for debate and discussion and a broad collection of workshops to ignite every art enthusiast’s creative spark.

The Guardian gathered that the fair hopes on delivering a unique opportunity to discover and champion the very best of art. It was also gathered the fair is an opportunity to nurture the art of collecting at all levels, from prints and editions starting in the hundreds, to major works by internationally renowned artists.

The Abuja Fair will also embrace an increasingly international and contemporary outlook, with galleries from around the world expanding its reach.

The Fair’s extensive gallery line up showcases a diverse cross-section of art from emerging talent to established art world favourites; alongside an inspiring programme of curated talks, panel discussions and artists insights.

The galleries are expected to showcase outstanding art works that best portray their essence and standing in the Nigerian art space. They include: Nike Art Gallery, The Matrix Galleria, Orisun Art Centre, Creative Art & Visual Imagery Centre (CAVIC), Bureau de Kreativity Gallery, House 33 and Female Artists Association of Nigeria (FEAAN), among others.

For the Director-General National Gallery of Art, Mr. Ebeten William Ivara, NGA is willing to work with all stakeholders to move the sector forward.

At the Enugu fair, he reiterated the gallery’s interest in creating an enabling environment for the sector to thrive. He revealed that the gallery has since completed the harmonisation of NGA Establishment Act for Repeal and Re-enactment Act in collaboration with the Society of Nigerian Artists.

“Our next stop is the National Assembly. I urge you all to join in this quest by NGA to become a revenue generating agency by impressing on members of the National Assembly to give the bill accelerated hearing for it to be passed into law.

“The benefits when this happens are immense. They include but not limited to the following: engagement of visual artists in urban and rural areas productively almost all year round to produce art works; explosion in studio practice; increase in visual art practice, entrepreneurship and mentoring; release of the much needed fund to reposition visual art as a viable discipline for young people to embrace and visual art will now contribute greatly to Nigeria’s GDP,” Ivara said.

Host of the fair is the Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, while his FCT counterpart, Mallam Mohammed Musa Bello, will serve as Special Guest of Honour. The Sakaruyi of Karu, HRH Emmanuel Kapwi, is the Royal Father of the Day with Senate Committee Chairman on Culture & Tourism, Senator Rochas Okorocha as chairman of the occasion.

Others are: House of Representatives Chairman on Culture & Tourism, Hon. Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama (co-chairman); Director General, NGA, Chief Ebeten Willam Ivara (host); SNA President, Muhammad Sulaiman, ambassadors, Directors General of the parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Directors in the Ministry, gallery owners, artists and the public. There will be scintillating performance by FCT Cultural Troupe to spice up the event.