Artists’ Colony Will Foster Creative Exchanges

Tuesday, 03 September 2013 00:00 AVI News

The curative director of Thought Pyramid Art Gallery, Abuja, Mr. Jeff Ajueshi, told newsmen recently that a serene environment for creative contemplations, artistic experimentations, knowledge sharing and cultural opportunities, “Artists’ Colony  newly opened in Ogharefe, Delta State, would help many talented Nigerian contemporary artists to up their games via art residencies, workshops, traveling exhibitions, cultural and creative tourism, etc.

Artists’ Colony had already recorded its first set of residents - an audacious group of contemporary artists of Nigerian origin, some of whom are based abroad. The place promises to be home for many national and international art residencies and cultural exchanges as well as artistic collaborations.

Among the early birds at the Artists’ Colony was Erikan Ekefrey, based in Abidjan, the economic capital of Ivory Coast. A graduate of the Federal College of Education, Akoka, Lagos State, Erikan, who works mainly in oil on canvas and acrylic on canvas, told pressmen that he came to the Artists’ Colony with a view to making himself and his works known and appreciated also in Nigeria, his home country. The young emerging art master, who is being promoted to the arts community in Abidjan by his German manager, Stefan Meisel, simply says, poetically, “I find joy in what I do and it makes me express myself in front of my canvas and it finally impress to the people with lots of colours spreading all around”.

 Next was Donald Onuoha, a zealous Lagos-based contemporary artist who said he holds a HND from the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu. Donald thrives in expressing himself through acrylic on canvas, and as he did what he knows best to do at the Artists’ Colony that afternoon, the avid artist said with great verve, “I love painting and I can’t stop because art is life and life remains interesting because it is colourful”.

Also at the Artists’ Colony was Ada Godspower, a prolific Nigerian contemporary painter based in France. He said he had a diploma from the “Ecole Beauxart De Lily Le Forestier” and enjoys being an artist. Says Ada: “Just do what you do right, the result is always beautiful”.

The only female artist at the new Artists’ Colony, Ogharefe, at press time was Patricia Mnena Ikpakyegh, who said she is a painter and an NCE holder from the College of Education, Kastina Ala, Benue State.

On the main objectives of the new Artists’ Colony, Mr Jeff Ajueshi, said,“We promote contemporary artists, and we support the artists as well. But as of now we’re here in Delta State where we have the Artists’ Colony, an experimental studio and workshop where artists meet to experiment on contemporary arts.

“After their stay here, we’re planning to have an exhibition that will traverse Nigeria and some West African Countries…we’re expecting some artists from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Liberia, Ivory Coast and others. We’ll be doing a moving exhibition as well.”

Mr. Ajueshi said the Artists’ Colony is open to any interested Nigerian and foreign contemporary visual artists who meet the criteria for participation. This is the first phase of the residency and experiments by African contemporary artists and applications are mainly via online.

Tucked in way off the busy Benin Sapele road in Oghara, along Water Board Road, Ogharefe, the new Artists’ Colony is about the first of its kind in Nigeria, a place where artists, creative and cultural practitioners come around, live for some time, interact with each other and share knowledge and creative ideas, etc.

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