National Gallery plans exhibitions in Spain for 2012

Posted: March 21, 2012 in arts/culture

National Gallery of Art (NGA) has announced plans for an international exhibition of artworks by Nigerian artists to hold in Spain this year as part of activities lined up by the agency in the Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation.

According to a release signed by Mr. Mufu Onifade, Special Assistant (Media) to Mr. Abdullahi Muku, the director general of the NGA, the exhibition is in fulfilment of the sustained collaboration between the National Gallery of Art and the Abuja-based Spanish embassy.

It would be recalled that the NGA had a similar collaborative relationship with the Embassy of Egypt when some Nigerian artists were sponsored to take part in an international exhibition in Egypt last year.

Other events already lined up for the year include the National Symposium on Visual Art, which is a collaborative arm extended to Nigerian art schools for intellectual development of Nigeria art. The event was slated for the University of Maiduguri last year, but security challenges, stalled all plans.

The Distinguished Annual Lecture formulated during the reign of Dr. Paul Chike Dike as the NGA director-general was resuscitated last year and will also have an impact as this year’s edition has been designed for effective execution.

“At the level of policy making for the improvement of the lives of Nigerian artists, the NGA has already submitted a Bill on Embellishment of Public Buildings, to the National Assembly. When the billed is finally passed, all public buildings in Nigeria will be embellished with a varying degree of art works ranging from paintings to sculptures. This is a direct economic growth and improvement in the financial status of the Nigerian artist whose work will be acquired for the strict purpose of embellishment.

“All the regular activities that are run annually across out-stations in the geographical zones of the country will continue to run concurrently. These include Saturday Art Club where students are practically trained to sharpen their skills and broaden their understanding of art; the Children’s Day programme which involves art competition, art exhibition and cultural activities,” said Onifade.

Furthermore, the NGA also announced plans to open new galleries in Kano, Kogi and Gombe States, which it expects to heighten art practice and promotion, and enlarge the coast of appreciation in those parts of the country.

“The NGA is also in talks with the National Theatre to secure a befitting space to host the proposed NLNG Hall of fame for the company’s prize winners in science and literature. The success of this will facilitate the effectuation of a proposal for the NLNG to assist the NGA in building a much more befitting gallery structure, which will properly host the Hall of Fame on one hand, and gallery exposition activities on the other,” Mufu stressed.

According to the agency, a proposed National Gallery Complex, with a befitting wall space and many other facilities will soon spring up in Abuja.

“With ten hectares of land already proposed to the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) for this purpose, an approval which is in tandem with President Goodluck Jonathan’s aspiration for the Nigerian artist is underway. The gallery complex, whose architectural design has been completed and submitted to the FCDA for approval, will include exhibition halls, lecture halls, studios, workshops and administrative offices. The structure will be embellished on the frontal part with magnificent sculptural pieces.

“When the gallery is completed and opened to the public, it will provide a point of attraction to tourists, especially lovers of Nigerian art who are expected to pay to see the best of Nigeria’s aesthetic legacies. Such activities, naturally, bolsters a revenue-generation drive from tourists to government. Example abounds across the world and these include De Louvre in Paris where a tourist pays a minimum of 7 US dollars to go round the gallery. The influx of tourists in De Louvre speaks volume about the gross earnings accruable to the government of France on a yearly basis,” said Onifade.


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