When artist and teacher, Kunle Adewwale's Tender Arts Nigeria in conjunction with Silverbird Galleria gave 12 young adults and children an opportunity of creative self-expression, the prospect of strong art appreciation in the future was alive.
It was a seven-days summer art workshop tagged Artivate, which culminated into a group art exhibition of works by the participants at Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island, Lagos. The gathering was a summer art school program aimed at engaging young minds from the age of 6-19.
Beauty in the Eye, a mixed media by Ayomikun Omoyiola
The Creative Director of Tender Arts Nigeria Adewale who led about ten other facilitators during the workshop said over 60 works produced in paintings and mixed media were on display during the exhibition. Adetola Adenuga, Stephen Korede, Mopelola Oguntuase, Anochie Ogochukwu, Anochie Joy and Folashade Ibrahim were among the facilitators.
To stress the high standard of Artivate workshop, the participants, among others, are young artists who have won top prizes at various national art competitions. The young masters include Ayomikun Omoyiola (11 years old) Peace Ambassador and the winner of Nigeria Centenary Painting Contest 2014, Junior Category; Oyinkansola Adesewa (12 years old), the Winner of National Gallery of Arts Competition 2013 edition, Junior Category; and Nelly Erubasa, the winner of God’s Children Got Talent Junior Category.
Viewed via reproduced soft copy images, the works cut across mixed media, paintings, collage, ink blot, with materials such as fabrics, strawboard, cardboard poster colour, vet pen and printing Ink. And the themes range from beauty to nature, family and environment as well as culture and education.
In a post-event statement, Adewwale recalled that over the years the workshop have been enjoying the supports of masters and others in the arts and culture sectors. Some of the guest artists that had supported the workshop, according to the Creative Director are Dr Bruce Onabrakpeya, Dr.Kunle Filani, Dr.Kunle Adeyemi, Miss Ndidi Dike, Jelili Atiku, Prof Peju Layiwola, Chief Nathaniel Adebowale, Tade Ipadeola, Jumoke Verrisimo, Ropo Ewenla, Damilola Ajayi, Iquo Abasi and Rasheed Amodu.
On the mission of Tender Arts Nigeria, Adewale noted that art is an essential skill for children. "It has proven to be an excellent way to enhance a child’s early development. Tender Arts promotes all-rounded development for children and teenagers." Listed as areas of disciplines are Reflective thinking and perceptiveness, Eye-hand coordination, Self-confidence and self esteem, Self-motivation, Problem-solving skills and flexibility, Cooperation and team work, appreciation of nature and things around us, and positive attitude towards life.
Among he goal of the workshop are "to reach out to the communities and bring hope to Nigeria and African child/youth, put smile on the faces of children, showcase the hidden talents of the Nigerian child via artistic expression, discourage vices among Nigeria children/Youths, create an aspiration for the participants to lead an inspiring life, inspire economic empowerment and encourage entrepreneurship among the participants, create more awareness for art appreciation and education and develop as well as build life skills through visual arts.”
Over a period of ten years, Tender Art, according its bio has been invited to the Voice of Nigeria (VON) early 2013 to speak on art platform; last year July received a Federal Government Peace Award through an art work done by Omoyiola of Queensland Academy, Okota, Lagos; and also did an art presentation at the grand finale of the Nigeria Centenary in Abuja, where one of Tender Arts Nigeria art protégée, Omoyiola did a painting for President Goodluck Jonathan.