The Lagos State Government announced on Thursday that it intends to transform the state from a megacity to a smart city through the presentation of arts.
Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, the state Commissioner for Tourism, Arts, and Culture, made the announcement during a media briefing in Lagos, announcing the start of an art show on December 13.
Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf said that the theme for the exhibition, “Art in and for Transformation”, was planned to underscore the roles of artworks in the transformation of Lagos from a mega city to an evolving smart city.
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According to her, this will be done in collaboration with the office of the governor’s wife, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu.
She said the event which would take place at Harbour Point event centre, Victoria Island, would feature a panel discussion and workshop on art transformation by art scholars, managers and art enthusiasts.
“Lagos has metamorphosed from different stages of transformation to its current state and all these stages must be preserved and kept for generations unborn, this can be achieved through different artwork drawings.
“We all can recall what the old Oshodi Bus Terminal looked like, compared with the current situation.
“The same transformation happened to our transportation sector especially now that we have the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and other means of transportation.
“Members of the public are invited to be part of this event where they will further be enlightened on the roles of art in transformation,” she said.
Akinbile-Yusuf noted that the state would be using the platform to draw attention of the public to the potential in art and to showcase the artworks of different artists that would be participating in the event to the world.
She said no fewer than 30 artists with diverse creativity orientation, old and young, who were residents in Lagos and beyond would showcase their artworks during the exhibition.
According to her, the ministry considers it necessary to extend same attention tourism and entertainment aspects of its mandate has enjoyed over the years to the art practitioners as well.
“It is a known fact that arts preserve life, even better than historical fact-based records through expressive outlets such as paintings, sculptures, music, literature and other art forms.
“This, we belief, will further complement our tourism drive and project Lagos State positively to the world as a trailblazer in pacesetting ideas in arts, culture and entertainment in Nigeria.
“The role of exhibition in the art industry cannot be over emphasised, we are using the platform to showcase great artworks from Nigerian artists in order to make them visible on the global scene.
“We are also mindful of the fact that art is a very peculiar area that needs constant exposure such that people can appreciate the efficacy of artworks in our daily life and in preserving history for posterity,” she said.
The commissioner said that the administration of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu identified the challenges in the creative sector as a whole and had instituted an interest-free loan for practitioners in the sector
She said this included the sponsorship of capacity enhancement trainings for interested youths with internationally-recognised creative academies.
“All these, the government believes will assist in addressing the rate of unemployment in Nigeria and Lagos State in particular.
“We believe, that with all these, art will assume its rightful position as a profession and not a mere practice,” she said.
She noted that art should be seen as a lifetime career that must be pursued rigorously, without which a reputable name in artworks cannot be achieved.
She said the exhibition is coming few weeks after Lagos State played host to the just concluded Eko NAFEST 2022, where some artworks were also created as part of the seven-day event.
According to her, most of these art works will be projected during the exhibition.
“The upcoming art exhibition event will kick off with a paper presentation by Prof. Kunle Filani to be followed by a panel discussion.
“The event will have in attendance, digital artists, water colourists, sculptors, painters, art installers, art photographers, found-object artists, mixed media artists, and several more.
“The various activities at the event will climax with a workshop on arts and craft, and mentorship session anchored by two seasoned artists.