…for his National Award
By John Chukwuma Ajaka
The Visual Printmakers Association of Nigeria (VPAN) is organizing series of art exhibition tours to celebrate the 2017 Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) Award winner in the Humanities, Professor Bruce Onobrakpeya MFR, using the momentum created by the award to intensify its awareness campaign about the enormous potentials in print arts.
According to the schedule released by the association through the Vice President, Dr. Kunle Adeyemi, in a press briefing held last Thursday at the Ovuomararo Gallery, Mushin, Lagos, the maiden edition runs for two weeks from 9 – 23 December, 2017 at the Resource Place, 1, Badagary Street, Ikeja. The exhibition, which opens at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, 9th December and continues from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. on subsequent days, will feature the works of the legendary artist, Bruce Onobrakpeya, along with other notable artists.
Adeyemi said VPAN considered the recent recognition of the octogenarian who has been at the forefront of popularizing printmaking for over five decades, a quantum leap for members of the art community. He pointed out that the recognition would encourage young artists to be tenacious in plying their trade despite the daunting challenges, as well as inspire prospective ones to explore the vast opportunities in printmaking.
Dr. Adeyemi further explained that printmaking allows the replication of the original work according to set ethics, thereby making it available and affordable. The advocacy campaign, he said, had started yielding results with the emergence of more collectors and incorporation of printmaking into the accredited art courses of many tertiary institutions.
The curator of Quintessence Gallery, Ikoyi, Moses Ohiomokhare, who was at the briefing, commended the Federal Government for bestowing the award on the octogenarian in his life time. Ohiomokhare said the multimedia experimental artist has been using art to promote Nigeria’s culture since the early 60s. He extolled the renowned artist for his sterling qualities and cutting-edge techniques which has distinguished him as an inspiration to a horde of followers across the continent. Ohiomokhare revealed that subsequent editions of the exhibition tour will hold at Yaba College of Technology and Ibadan in March and July, 2018, adding that the show will be a platform for sensitization of the public on the potentials in printmaking.
Eldest son of the celebrated artist, Mr. Mudia Onobrakpeya, also a printmaking artist, revealed that Nigerian artworks rank among the best globally. He noted that the country’s printmaking art is developed, across all genres, and features in foreign exhibitions with a competitive edge.
The organizers lined up the works of over 30 artists for exhibition at the maiden edition. Participants include Uche Okeke, Salubi Onakufe, Tayo Quail, Mike Omoighe, Kunle Adeyemi, Olu Amoda, Juliet Ezenwa, Moses Unokwah, Bode Olaniran, Patrick Akpojokor and Daniel Ajibade. Works to be exhibited include lithography, etching, relief, serigraphy, plastocasts plastography, etc.
Dr Kunle Filani, former Provost of the Federal College of Education, Osiele, Abeokuta, would be the guest speaker while Elder Jerome Eloiho is the designated special guest of honour.