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Wednesday, 18 July 2018 20:32 Francis Odupute and Bernedeth Idalu Columns
On Saturday, 12th of May, 2018, five 400-level female students of the Department of Fine and Applied Arts (Painting Section), University of Benin (UNIBEN), Benin City, Edo State of Nigeria, took their male counterparts by storm with a strategic and audacious art exhibition tagged “THERE SHE IS”, which held in Benin City. Every one of these female painting students had something particular to say to the whole world through their creative ‘artivism’ in hues. Hear them out:

Ofulue Nkem Precious is team leader of this audacious 5-woman team of green horns in contemporary African visual arts who made strong statements on the gender agenda through colourful pictorial storytelling. She spoke to journalists during a press preview of the exhibition at Fontini Cristi Art Gallery in Benin City, Nigeria, venue of the enthusing exhibition: “It’s very needful to hold exhibitions. In line with this, we decided to come together to speak in one voice what we face in the society, to speak through and for the girl child what we see in the society and the challenges. Seeing my colleagues’ interest and their willingness to also be part of this - to work towards speaking the unspoken - we came together and we decided it will be a good way to kick off into the art world through the exhibition, first and foremost portraying the female gender. That’s how we got here.”

Wednesday, 18 July 2018 19:52 Francis Odupute Columns
The second edition of “Traces of Time”, a group art exhibition and platform that promotes up-coming visual artists alongside more established artists cum art masters opened penultimate weekend at the Crowne Art Gallery in Benin City, with eminent personalities calling for proper promotion and appreciation of the cultural heritage of the Benin people.

Benin musical maestro and master sculptor, Professor (Sir) Victor Uwaifo, in an interview with newsmen at the exhibition lectured that “…this is the second edition, “Traces of Time”, and it’s really traces of time because the works speak for themselves. Some of the works are very special because there is a combination of the past and the present, synchronized to give a kind of artistic appeal. The aesthetics –very unique; and the paintings, too, different approaches in oil on canvass; but the most important thing I discovered is the originality, they’re not copying from anybody; you know, it comes out from the artist, the artist is in touch with his second being…it’s also in music, too. You must have an image in mind or a concept; you now bring it to life, give it breathe and then a spirit; if care is not taken you give it a soul. That’s why when you hear a piece of music, it hits you…nobody has touched you but there is that connection between the work of art itself and the viewer.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018 18:39 Francis Odupute News
The awareness is building up nation-wide. Everywhere you go to today in Nigeria, you hear of capacity building trainings here and there deployed as strategies to increase fiscal productivity and encourage industry, self-reliance, economic empowerment, especially among our teeming population of unemployed youths and women.

The Nigerian creative sector continues to lead the way in the efforts of the Federal Government and some State governments to reposition the economy and welfare of Nigerian citizens through sustainable job creation driven by entrepreneurship cum micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). And some patriotic Nigerian creatives are keying into the Government’s job-creation agenda. One of such was Dr. (Mrs.) Theresa Osaigbovo, a professional textile designer and lecturer with the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Benin (UNIBEN), who held a solo textile art exhibition in Benin City, between 27th of June and 1st July, 2018, strategically titled “Iwinaobomwen 1”.

The artist and textile design teacher gave a pensive advice on the dignity of labour to a crowd of inquisitive participants at the occasion, including university students, lecturers, art collectors, fashion designers and the media, who graced the riveting textile exhibition. Excerpts:

Wednesday, 18 July 2018 17:53 Francis Odupute Academic
Printmaking, the process of making artworks by printing, is ever evolving with diverse possibilities for us to explore. And as contemporary African printmaking artists continue to stretch their creative thinking to increase originality and indigenousness, new frontiers are broadening printmaking’s audience engagement, aesthetic values and polemic contents in tandem with current cultural consciousness and needs within the prism of creativity cum imagination.

Recently, one of such contemporary African resilient printmakers came up from a long research with an imbuing exhibition that documented a key aspect of Great Benin’s cultural history: the Benin monarchy. Mr. Paul Aikhionbare, an artist and lecturer with the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Benin (UNIBEN), said the exhibition entitled “Facets of The Benin Monarchy in Prints”, was the result of his efforts “… to document the rich cultural heritage of the Benins” using printmaking art form.

Mr. Aikhionbare said “The Benin Monarchy is the pivot around which the cultural heritage of the Benin people revolves. My fascination for the cultural heritage of the Benin people was actually kindled in 2006, when I embarked on a research that was focused on the coronation of Oba Erediauwa of Benin. There were startling revelations that positively altered my mindset about the people of Benin and their culture.”


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