A professor of Art History, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Clifford Nwanna, said the reason why many Nigerian artists were not successful was because “they do not see art as a property”.
Mr Nwanna stated this in Enugu State on Tuesday at an interactive session for artists organised by a public relations consultant, Ifeanyi Mbanefo in collaboration with the National Museum of Unity (NMU), Enugu.
According to him, “upcoming artists must see art as a business, being able to give account of their business by separating income from expenses”.
Mr Nwanna urged artists “to take their work seriously, pay adequate attention to it and organise it the way it would attract people.”
The professor advised and encouraged them to be honest and be different in their art works.
“Many of them want to become billionaires overnight, without patience and endurance.
“Employ others to help you and do not think artwork should be done in your bedroom,” he advised.
Speaking at the event, the Curator NMU, Enugu, John Kachikwu, said the idea behind the meeting was to proffer solutions on how to revive ‘art science’ in Nigeria.
The curator said the meeting would also bring out the importance of arts in all ramifications to the lives of people.
Mr Kachikwu described art as “an expression of both the tradition and aspiration of the people, their experiences and what they considered desirable”.
He noted that Nigeria was endowed with many talented artists, who excelled in their different areas of work.
“We have in our midst, Dr Chris Ikwuemesie, an internationally acclaimed artist, who carved a niche for himself.
“Today we are x-raying and exposing the article of a young journalist and Public Relations Consultant, Mr Ifeanyi Mbanefo, who has authored many articles in both print and electronics,” he said.
He added that the museum was equipped “to patronise, project and expose artists to a wider audience through exhibition of their works”.
“We have facilities to fulfil this obligation which include a gallery for temporary and permanent exhibitions and an amphitheatre, which can host seminars, workshops, conferences and wedding receptions,” he said.
Mr Kachikwu lamented that the national museum had been in Enugu since 1971, “yet it was not making an impact on the populace”.
“People know only New Berries Park, which is a tenant to the museum,” he said.
According to him, “it is in the light of these challenges faced by the museum and arts in Enugu that we are finding ways to make it more interesting and publicise it for the people of Enugu.”
In his remarks, Mr Mbanefo said the training became crucial as Nigeria’s oil was dwindling and the need to embrace and develop art and culture became paramount.
He said the challenges facing artwork in the state was because many citizens did not appreciate art works.
The consultant stated that the challenges were surmountable if adequate attention was given to art.
“We want museum activities that will attract people like New Berries Park.
“I want to urge our brothers in Igboland to begin to invest in art, if we ignore it, the museums and art works in the zone will continue to deteriorate.
“We can solve these problems if we can sit down and strategise on how these things are going to work.”
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