Relevance of Art and Culture…mentorship by Onobrakpeya, others for female artists
THE importance of nurturing the next generation of Nigerian female artists, brought master printmaker, Dr Bruce Onobrakpeya to inspire an all-female primary and secondary students of The Lagoon School, Lekki, Lagos. Onobrakepya was supported by talks in music from Prof Anthony Mereni at University of Lagos, and Curator, National Gallery of Art (NGA). Ekene Okoroma.
With the theme: Relevance of Art and Culture, Prospects in Schools and Society, organised as part of activities to mark the school’s vocational day for 2015, the occasion features display of artworks by the students as well as musical and cultural performances.
Speaking on the theme, Onobrakpeya said each child is born with a talent and has something to express. He stressed that art usually serves as the primary medium through which such gifts are expressed. “The beauty of children’s art is that their simplicity, directness and innocence will make even great and experienced masters want to be able to repeat those attributes in their art.”
Onobrakpeya noted how art and culture can be viewed in diverse ways. “One is incomplete without the other,” he argued. “Art and culture are innate to man. In other words, man did not have to go to school to acquire the knowledge of art and culture even though education in those subjects is very important.” He stressed the importance of art education by stating that “over the years, man has developed what he probably acquired by instinct, and this is where education is very important, for it is through education that he can scientifically develop what was a natural talent.” The formal learning environment, he stated helps the child to recognize particular innate talents and teaches him or her skills to develop them.”
Onobrakpeya added that visual art studies lead to graduate and post graduate degrees in the educational system. This, he pointed out opens up a vast array of professions from which students can choose career paths. The renowned printmaker enlightened the students on the relevance of arts to various aspects of human endeavor such as: civilization, the environment, diplomacy, politics, the economy, tourism, investment and religion.
For Prof Mereni, educating the students about the origin of music which he traced to ancient Egyptians was crucial. He also enlightened them on the different forms of music and its relevance in defining people’s identities. He stressed the need to study music in tertiary institutions; while acquainting them with career prospects that abound in the field of music.
Okoroma, encouraged the students to pursue arts as a field of study, describing it as a noble an elitist profession. She commended the school’s management for its vision in educating the girl child to attain her full potential.
Earlier in her opening remarks, the school’s principal, Noemi Garcia, commended the speakers for heeding the call of the students.