Friday, 7 November 2014

How workshop boosted future art entrepreneurship


 
By Tajudeen Sowole
                                 Silk painting titled Canopy by Folami Razaq


A yearly art entrepreneurship workshop has produced future masters and art entrepreneurs in six students across various techniques and medium.

The workshop and exhibition was a festival-like event when about one hundred and fifty participants, which included students of tertiary institutions; facilitators, art lovers and patrons gathered at the 3rd Unilag/OYASAF Entrepreneurship Art Workshop.

Organised yearly by University of Lagos (Unilag) and sponsored by Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation (OYASAF),the workshop, which had its 2014 edition at J.P Clark Centre, Faculty of Arts, Unilag, Akoka, Lagos featured disciplines such as ceramics, jewelry, photography, drawing and silk painting.  

At the end of the workshop, certificates of participation were given to all while prizes awarded for the “best” works in the various categories. Awards and prizes were given in Photography (Adaradohun Victor), Ceramics (Onothoja Zino), Silk Painting (Folami Razaq), Drawing (Imomo Asemokha), Wire work (Ololade Afolayan) and Bead Work (Orajekwe Linda.)

According to the organisers, the Unilag/OYASAF workshop has been designed to harness "the gains derivable from the collaboration between the town and gown." When the workshop made its debut at the Creative Arts Department of the university in 2012 the founder of OYASAF, Prince Yemisi Shyllon disclosed that master printmaker, Dr. Bruce Onobrakpeya inspired the concept. “Onobrakpeya’s revelation to me that Uli Beier’s art workshop, Mbari Mbayo changed his art, inspired and encouraged me to get involved in this workshop”. Shyllon argued that Nigeria should emulate Japan, the far-east country that has no mineral resources, but is the third largest economy in the world, “based on creativity and production.”

Among the new medium seen at the exhibition segment of the 2014 edition was silk batik painting, described as a combination of "medium and technique to produce a rich blap of colours." Three of the works produced and exhibited from the silk painting medium included Faces at the Festival, by Bello Olapade,  Folami Rasaq's Canopy and Danger by Omani Valentino as well as Melody from Ikebudu Helen. The drawing section of the exhibits, which appeared dominating with higher number of works on display featured still life and abstraction themes. And that drawing dominated the exhibition with over 40 pieces stressed the importance of draughsmanship, particularly at training point of art education

At the top floor of the J.P Clark Centre where the works were on display, quite a number of students and facilitators engaged in some form of interaction. But really, where lies the entrepreneurship contents of the workshop?  The emphasis on creation of work, learning and interacting with professionals from the field was the real entrepreneurship value of the workshop, one of the art lecturers at the Creative Art Department, Akin Onipade said during a chat at the tour of the exhibition stand. "The difference between this and regular class art teaching is that we bring professionals to instill production discipline, bringing a level confidence among the students"

The workshop, it was stressed “provides young artists and professionals the opportunity of sharing and learning from artists, art teachers and art lovers.” Specifically, the yearly gathering “harmonises both formal and informal training methods and offers a more practical approach to learning.” The organizers hoped that participated students would be better prepared and equipped “with vocational knowledge and confidence for self employment,” after graduating.

Facilitators  at the 2014 edition included Boye Ola and Ariyo Oguntimehin (Photography),
Ato Arinze and Ojetunde Sheriff (Ceramics),
Dr and Mrs Pat Akinbola (Silk Painting),
Mr Sola Ogunfuwa (Drawing), Mr Adedamola Runsewe (Wire work) and Miss Temilola Marindoti (Bead Work)..

At the maiden edition, Dr Onobrakpeya, who was a special guest offered a word of inspiration that would continue to be of relevance for participants. He was glad that Dr. Peju Layiwola and Shyllon organised the workshop. “I am not surprised because for 12 years, Layiwola participated at the yearly Harmattan Workshop at Agbaro-Otor, Delta State.” According to the master printmaker, Shyllon “has set the pace in promoting art, as the workshop has brought the town and gown together.”

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