A veteran artist, Dr Kunle Filani, has said that the promotion of young artists is critical to our environment.
Dr Filani made this known while declaring open the Lagos region exhibition of the Life in My City Art Festival (LIMCAF), an annual celebration of creativity, themed “Paradox of Muted Echoes” at the Thought Pyramid, Norman Williams, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The exhibition, which had about 34 artworks on display was the festival’s 15th edition, majorly sponsored by MTN Foundation and featured competition and exhibition of works by young talents in the Nigerian art landscape.
He said that promotion of young artists was critical, which was one of the things the festival and the exhibition would help to achieve.
“Promotion of young artists is critical to our environment and this exhibition would give them more opportunities to compete and transient to international level which is very significant.
The Executive Director of LIMCAF, Mr Kevin Ejiofor, said the festival would help make young artists proud to be called artists and also help them make a living from their creativity.
He, however, acknowledged the low turn-out by artists as a result of students not being in school due to the ASUU strike, and also sponsors just recovering from the effects of COVID-19.
“Having 270 entries instead of about 400 entries is a low turn-out. It is a great concern for us but we are lucky MTN came to our rescue.
“Art is a way of life and everybody appreciates it, if not, how do you choose the colour of your clothes or the style of your hair.
“It’s just that not everyone knows how to manifest it. Art is not just the hanging on the wall, that hanging on the wall is an interpretation of the life the artist lives by bringing it closer to make a meaning out of it,” he said.
The Executive Director further urged the media to also support art by giving it enough space for adequate interpretation to the public.
The Art Director (LIMCAF), Mr Ayo Adewunmi, also said the low turn-out was due to the strike as the entry for the festival was driven through the schools which are all closed.
Adewunmi said the local juries will select 14 of the 34 artworks to join the 100 that would be competing at the Grand Finale in Abuja.
“This is the 15th edition and there are lots of activities aside the exhibition which are the grand finale exhibition, festival lecture and workshop for 400 selected students,” he said.
One of the artists, Samuel Abidemi, whose artwork is titled ‘Idi Ileke’, said it was an interpretation of festival theme which depicts the pain a woman goes through but with mouth to express it.
Joseph Osundipe said his artwork titled ‘Silence is Golden’, depicts a woman who chose silence over words that could later lead to regrets of spoken words.
Mariam Aliyu with artwork titled ‘The Caged Bird’, said her painting was that of a girl who had a lot written over her face which she could not express but carried hope in her heart.
LIMCAF which boasts of the largest gathering of young artists, patrons, scholars, gallery owners and other stakeholders in the visual arts in Nigeria, would hold its grand finale on October 29 in Enugu. (NAN)