Ten mid-career Lagos based artists came together, Saturday, in a group arts exhibition hosted by the Ovie Brume Foundation to raise funds for educational and life needs of children from very poor homes in the country.
The charity art exhibition tagged ‘The Genesis’ showcased over 35 art works with a mixture of mediums by members of The Alpha Arts Group, Lagos. The participating artists included Abraham Uyovbisere, Akinola Ebenezer, Bimbo Adenugba, George Edozie, Gerald Chukwuma, Joshua Nmesirionye, Kunle Adegborioye, Osagie Rafael Aimufia, Segun Aiyesan and Wallace Ejoh.
Proceeds from sold works, PREMIUM TIMES was told by Ms. Brume, would be used to assist the education of children from poor homes. Some of the education services include literacy and numeracy enhancement interventions and computer literacy to give them needed skills to compete in today’s environment. Ms. Brume is a sister to the late Ovie whom the foundation is named after. He died in 2002 at the age of 29.
The Ovie Brume Foundation was conceived to provides tangible means of developing young people intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually and physically. This is in continuation of the late Ovie’s legacy who had a passion for the welfare of kids from less privileged homes.
The foundation focuses on children from public schools, many of whom are disadvantaged as a consequence of limited exposure, motivation and opportunities.
“Children are what will make our country. They are the seeds that will grow into the plants, which birth flowers and grow into trees, so we need to invest in them. For a child who comes from a very poor family, the parents don’t really want them on the streets hawking wares, rather, at home in safety but are forced to do otherwise. Education will free children from the stronghold of poverty but their parents can’t afford such” Ms. Brume said.
The funds, she said, would also be used in clothing and feeding the kids as well as help them get good medical care.
“We buy their books, take them shopping twice a year while the kids get to choose the items they want and undergo full medical check-up thrice a year” she stated while highlighting some of the foundation’s activities and how it would use funds raised from the event.
Rather than go cap-in-hand, the Ovie Brume Foundation says it chose arts to achieve her aim of not only highlighting the needs of Nigerian kids but providing solutions which would benefit beneficiaries and the whole country.
Evelyn Oputu, mother of the late Ovie, stated that while art is sometimes relegated to a secondary role in human development, it is important in a number of ways. She said art plays an integral role in how a nation’s cultural identity is defined and perpetuated.
Explaining the foundation’s choice of an Art exhibition to raise funds for Nigerian kids, she stated in her introduction of the event that “arts have always been an integral part of our activities at the foundation and in addition to holding weekly fine art classes for budding artists at the Ovie Brume Youth Centre, we have funded Fine Art scholarships at three leading art schools across the country”.
The exhibition goes beyond funds raising for children from less privileged homes. It is aimed at influencing the Nigerian art space. According to Ms. Oputu, not only should all young people be encouraged to explore art as a means of self expression, they should also be taught to appreciate it and recognize its importance in defining the country’s cultural identity, just as much as music or fashion does.