Smarting from its successful hosting of the recently held National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST), tagged Eko NAFEST 2022, where its clinched the coveted Golden Gong as the best overall state during the one-week long cultural tourism fiesta, Lagos State is again on the move to showcase its abundance and suffusing tourism offerings. This time, the focus is on the creative industry, with the fine and applied art segment on display, as the state is poised to exhibit some of the timeless artworks by notable artists domiciled in and outside of the state for the benefits of the residents, Nigerians and visitors thronging the city for the Yuletide celebration.
This latest move was disclosed by the state Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf in a media parley at her Alausa Secretariat office, with the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs. Oyinade Nathan- Marsh and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Femi Martins and other personnel of the ministry in attendance. Speaking on the art exhibition, which is tagged Greater Lagos Art Exhibition, with the theme; Art in and for transformation, Akinbile-Yusufu, said the event, which holds on December 13, at the Harbour Point Event Centre in Victoria Island, is in collaboration with the Office of the First Lady of the state, Dr (Mrs.) Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu. According to her, the art exhibition is an encompassing one that would offer entertainment, education, information, and mentorship to the people as well as showcase the rich art history and culture of the state, stressing that it is a move towards focusing on the art component of the ministry having just hosted NAFEST where the cultural tourism offerings of the state were showcased.
She noted that one of the major highlights of the art exhibition is that; ‘‘it will feature a panel discussion and workshop on art transformation by art scholars, managers and art enthusiasts. A renowned art icon, Mama Nike Davies-Okundaye and a host of others including Toyin Akinosho, a business journalist and arts enthusiast as well as Anote Ajeluorou, a seasoned Nigerian arts and culture journalist of many years.’’
Also featuring is a paper presentation by Professor Kunle Filani to be followed by a panel discussion while will have in exhibition are works by digital artists, water colourists, sculptors, painters, art installers, art photographers, found-ob-ject artists, and mixed media artists among others. The state government, she further stressed is; ‘‘through the Office of the First Lady and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture using this event to draw attention of the public to the potentials in art and to also showcase the artworks of different artists that would be participating in this event to the world.
‘‘I am glad to inform you that over 30 artists with diverse creativity orientation, old and young who are resident in Lagos and beyond will be showcasing their artworks during the exhibition. The ministry considered it necessary to extend same attention we have devoted to the tourism and entertainment aspects of our mandate to the art practitioners as well. ‘‘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. One focal point noted by her, is the fact that the art exhibition is also a symbolism of the transformation of Lagos from a Mega to a Smart City, hence she stated that; ‘‘With the theme for this upcoming art exhibition tagged; Art in and for Transformation, we are underscoring the roles of artworks in the transformation of Lagos from a Mega City now to an evolving Smart City. ‘‘Without pre-empting discussion that would come up at the main event, 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.
‘‘Lagos had 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 looks like, compared with the current situation. The same transformation happened to our transportation sector especially now that we have the Bus Rapid Transit and other means of transportation.’’