Anambara born student wins National art competition.

​Nwadike chizoba David From Anambara State, a Jss3 student of Redeemed people’s academy Jos, yesterday became the first prize winner of the national art competition for secondary schools that was organized by Chevron; NNPC; and ministry of education Nigeria with his painting titled : Civic Duties. 
“He also won first prize in sculpture during the children days art competition in JOS as organised by NGA” a close source revealed.

His teacher has described him as a bundle of talent and as one who has great passion for art.

The first price winner will get 100,000 naira per year as scholarship All through his school year.

 Congratulations to him.

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Dike Chukwumerije breaks record: Makes more than One Million naira in one Night with poetry.

Few years ago, there was nothing like the comedy industry. There were just random guys who followed their passion to entertain and make people happy. Years later into their hard work, the comedy industry boasts of big names like AY,Ali Baba, Basket mouth, and others. Infact the industry is the one competing side by side with the Music Industry.

Dike and his crew @ the made in Nigeria show. Photo credit-Minabj.

Today, the poetry industry in Nigeria just grew from a baby to a teenager. Dike CHUKWUMERIJE becomes the first poet in Nigeria to make over a Million Naira in a single Night of poetry performance, with his Made in Nigeria brand getting bigger and bigger. The show was held at Merit House, Abuja on the 1st to 2nd of October, celebrating the story of Nigeria in Hundred years in theatre. It also marked Nigeria 57th birthday. His Tickets sold out. We would remember he had a nation wide tour with the brand this year. History would remember his efforts, and this would encourage other poets in Nigeria never to give up.  

The news came today when he took to his official Facebook page to express his joy. He boasted:

“This is how we did it. So, let me tell you, if anybody ever asks you if you know any poet in Nigeria with a collection of 20 poems who has in one night of reading made up to N1m in sales, tell them you do. This is not a boast. It’s just a recognition that no one is telling my story. So, here I am telling it. Keep walking. This is what I tell myself. For I have not yet executed my vision perfectly. And so, and so, it keeps calling me. Keep walking”

There are other Nigerians who are working hard or had worked hard to set the stage for the dawn of the next entertainment genre in Nigeria. There are the Likes of Sage Hassan who was doing spoken word in the 80s. There is the War of words stage which is the biggest poetry competition currently in Nigeria, organized by 12x media. They planned for war of words Africa with a cash price running to millions, but never achieved it this year. There are other organizations working hard to make it happen.

This year alone had recorded proliferation of poetry stages and shows, bringing poets to limelight.

Change is coming. Congratulations to Dike. But one question comes to mind:

Are we getting to the point where we would have recording deals, poets as brand ambassadors, poetry videos streaming live on our Tvs?

​The artist is not almighty; He is Human.

History can be a hoax; it can in the right hands turn myths into subtle realities and realities into uncertain myths. It begins from stereotypes which begets banal platitudes and gradually graduates to relative truths, what truth is, I really wonder. Leonardo da vinci would come to be a man with so much appraised story in the art world with a mix of fantasy, mystery, subtlety making up his story. One can never deny that he was a genius, but if you understand the politics of art, you would come to know that many times such stories are told to hold the minds of men, to hold true and dear, something approved by the powers that be- for whatever reason. The truth remains that there were African masters who were and are more introspective and creative, but I must say their crime was to have come from Africa, the third world and wretched of the earth. There are less myths about our very own Ben Enwonwu and KOFI Antubam or other African masters, and if there come to be any at all, it was something less motivating, less frugal and capable of damaging the skinny image of them in our heads- Africa never tells her stories.
But without deviating much, I want to remind us all of a constant truth that disturbs the mind. I have come to understand from a very long history that a greater percentage of artists usually die wretched or in misery. This is basically because of the reckless lifestyle associated with the art. We were thought and groomed into this lifestyle as we begin to practice, because we have the almighty perspective of the artist. The artist forgets, like any other profession or way of life it is greatly affected by the environment it thrives. Let’s take for example, that recession hits Nigeria. There are basically things that would hit the art:

Low sales,under representation of the art, broke artists, hungry artists, expensive art materials, high productivity and less returns et cetra.

This year for example, recorded a lot of fall in art sales especially in Nigeria. I attended a lot of shows from January, and for those I didn’t attend, made inquiries. The sales dropped. Even at auction houses. That’s an example. 

I have been around a lot of contemporary masters, and to tell you the truth they have all made lots of mistake because of the “The almighty artist” thing. Now, no one can rule out that the artist is powerful, but so is the politician, the lawyer, the doctor and in fact a whole lot of others. But our uniqueness is like that of the scientist, which is, creating something from nothing. But we should not forget we are humans too.  I have seen painters work with harmful chemicals with no safety measures- and I have seen painters die from the after effect. Most importantly artist out of carelessness do not care for their health among other things. Like the Americans would say, they just wing it. Jean Micheal Basquiat died at 27 and Massacio 27 too, Yves klein 34. There are others maybe to mention also that van Gough only added a decade on 27.


Question?

Doesn’t the knowledge of the fallibility of the artist discourage Artistic prowess?

I would be straightforward in answering this question. 

“It doesn’t”

Let me put it in a quote properly.

“Courage is not fearlessness, but knowing what to fear”

Knowing your limits doesn’t mean you are weak; on the contrary, it means you are strong enough to acknowledge them, and by acknowledging them you find a way to overcome them- For one cannot solve a problem he doesn’t acknowledge exists.

This year, I had a talk with master artist Demas Nwoko and from all he said I picked something:

“If what you have to offer to the world is of the mind, then do not live in the body” simple but loaded with unanswered questions. I have also met some people who knew Christopher Okigbo, they described him as the most creative of them all. But he died with all that because of recklessness.
Simple recommendations

-Know when to play safe.

-Eat well

-Exercise well

-Keep your body and mind safe at all times

-Apply safety cautions in using materials especially toxic ones.
I watched an interview by a popular 90 years German writer and his advice was simple:

“The most important thing for the artist is to stay alive” 

Do not die for what you are willing to live for. You better stay alive and watch your works sell millions than be in your grave to answer the most creative of them all. Be wise.

​Some simple facts about prof. Bruce Onabrakpeya you may not know. 

“Age is not age: For dreams set in rainy season and achieved in harmattan ”

Today 30th August is the 85th birthday of Ace artist, master print maker, painter and outstanding sculptor Prof Bruce Onabrakpeya. It is true that one is as old as he feels. Bruce at 85, feels nothing like he had aged, with the strength of youth and energy of a child he executes his works like no other. At 85 he can exercise and run and work late like he was 16. You are shocked right? Here are some simple facts about him you may not know.

Receiving a  honorary PhD from Delta state University, Abraka. Image source: Vanguard Online.

He runs the Ovuomaroro studio at Mushin Lagos in Nigeria as his official studio.

Saddam Hussein was his big fan. (Yes, now you know)

He likes to dress in simple shirt and shorts and Canvas unless on traditional functions. (You can’t be the only one looking young)
He was named LIVING HUMAN TREASURE by UNESCO in 2006.

Prof during the regular Morning exercise at the Harmattan workshop
An art Gallery in Delta state university is named after him.

He was one of the Zaria Rebels of the 1958.

He works mostly on folklore, mythical realism and legends.

He founded one of the biggest artist residencies in Nigeria, THE HARMATTAN WORKSHOP 1998.

Morning Jogging.
He was once a teacher at St. Gregory College Lagos. (Art teachers be proud)

He was a studio assistant to prof. Ben Enwonwu.( you heard right)

He is the second winner of Nigeria’s Creativity award, which has only been awarded to Chinua Achebe. (Wow)

Prof Bruce Onabrakpeya with artists after receiving an award of excellence from the Delta state Government.

His works are in the collection of Barrack Obama, King Mohammed VI of Morocco as well as Vatican museum Rome.

He has been practicing art for more than 50 years.

Bruce was born on 30th August 1932 at Agbarhaotor in Delta state. (August born)

He is one of the pioneer faces of contemporary Nigerian art. 

He is married with 5 kids.

He had exhibited all over the world including Tate Modern London, Smithsonian Washington, and National Gallery of modern art, Lagos.

He is regarded as one of the most humble and celebrated artist in the Nigerian art scene.

We wish him many more creative years ahead.

5 things you should not say to an artist.

Things you should not say to an artist.
You probably have an artist friend and wondering why both of you don’t get along pretty well. You may have used any of these words mistakenly or you must be really bad at getting along with people. Either way, if you are trying to buy an artist’s heart, avoid these words.

  1. it’s not Fine.
    Yes, that sentence can sentence an artist to death. Naturally, every artist want to be appreciated for his works, no matter how bad the works are. More so, there is really no good or bad art. So next time you want to talk about an artist’s work, don’t use the word “Not Fine”. Some works are not fine but make for a good aesthetic quality. A good appraisal would help the artist to become better. P.s tell him its fine even when he doesn’t want to hear it, and watch the magic.

Continue reading “5 things you should not say to an artist.”

4 Jargons Artists use frequently.

Artists are simply complicated people. They switch on and off at anytime. Yes, its that bad. But they are the most lovable people around town, look around.  So if you have been around an artist a long time, you must really be getting used to these his unpredictable culture.

1. Untittled

Artists can be very lazy people. Yes. They are hardworking when it comes to creating and giving life to an idea, but goes all lumpy at the simple idea of naming their creation. And so they found a short cut; “Untitled”. A lot of work bears more untitled than works named. However, the negative aspect of this is that it makes the works harder to stick. Example, you can actually remember works like Da vinci’s ‘Last Supper’ and ‘Mona Lisa’, Picasso’s ‘The Meal’, Michelangelo’s ‘David’, Demas Nwoko’s ‘Adam and Eve’, Ben Enweonwu’s ‘Anyawu’, Damian Hirsts ‘For the love of God’ etc. It would also be noted that most of this masters have works titled “Untitled “. One question, How many untilled works can you remember?

Continue reading “4 Jargons Artists use frequently.”

VISION IN CLAY PREPARES FOR NEW EXHIBITION

VIC in partnership with Weave and co gallery sets for August show. Vision in clay is a new platform for artists who work with clay. It was founded in November of 2016 by Ace ceramists Ato Arinze in Lagos. According to him, its aim is to promote the art of ceramics and works of members who are drawn from all over the African Continent.

It would be noted that the award winning late ceramists Ladi Kwali graces the back of the Nigerian 20naira currency and one of the first artist to be immortalised that far. The new generation of potters have moved on to more sophisticated and highly creative approaches to clay manipulation.

In Nigeria universities, the specialization in ceramics is declining by the number and many who choose the path, have been in most cases, out of consequence. The group through its activities which includes: annual exhibitions, workshops, seminars and publications would renew new interest in pottery and clay sculptures among students and professionals alike. Inte

The Exhibition would be featuring 7 artists;

Chineneye Emelogu

May okafor

Nathalie Djakou Kassi

Afam Okwudili

Chris klay Ekuafeh

sheriff ojekunle

Ato Arinze.

 

Opening- Saturday August 5th, 2017.

Venue- Moorhouse Hotel, 1 Bankole Oki Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Exhibition runs till Thursday 17th August, 2017.

Art24now gathered that the group is open to both young and old, however it is your uniqueness and high quality work that would buy your ticket in. The group could be reached on their Facebook group “potters in town”. If you are or would be in Lagos by the 5th of August, 2017 there wouldn’t be any better “sightseeing” than art born from nothing but dust.