Saturday 30 June 2012

Consequences: Artists in race for glory

 THE African Artists’ Foundation (AAF) and Nigerian Breweries Plc-organised national art competition, which holds yearly appears to have found a stronger platform in encouraging productivity as the fifth edition is based on the process of making art work.
  With the theme, Consequences, the contest this year follows the pattern of last year’s event, targeting what the organisers describe as “Process To Product.”
  At a joint briefing by the organisers, the director of AAF, Azu Nwagbogu, stated that the 2012 edition “aims to further develop the creative approach by contributing to the intellectual content of artistic thought and processes while nurturing the often-neglected skill sets in the art community.”
  Last year, a joint installation work by Uche Uzorka and Chike Obeago won the first prize, among the 12 works selected for the 2011 edition tagged Documenting Changes in our Nation. Mural size mixed media work of Gerard Chukwuma and an assemblage in photography by Olayinka Sangotoye won the second and third prizes in that order.
 The process for the 2012 edition, Nwagbogu explained, requires interested artists to submit a written proposal, which expands on the theme “Consequences” as well as specifies each entrant’s chosen medium.
  Like the previous edition, there will be no restriction of genres, Nwagbogu assured. Genres to be explored include painting, sculpture, photography, mixed media, installation and video art.
  On the process of selecting entries, Nwagbogu stated: “Based on the submissions, the AAF selection committee will assess all submitted entries and shortlist up to a total of 15 finalists. Shortlisted finalists will be invited to partake in a week-long workshop, led by industry professionals at a retreat. It is at this time that the proposed works will be created; all works created at the workshop will be exhibited and rated by a panel of judges at the Grand Finale event and exhibition.”
 Perhaps to give credibility to the process of selecting the winners, the organisers disclosed that Prof. El Anatsui would head the selection committee.
  And the prizes for winners are: 1st prize – N2,000,000, 2nd prize – N1,500, 000 and 3rd prize – N1,000,000.
 PR Manager, Nigerian Breweries, Edem Vindah, noted that the brewers’ support for the competition in five consecutive years was “not about value to our brands, but to the creative industry and Nigeria at large.”
  Established in 2007, AAF is a non-profit art organisation, which aims to promote the development of African art and artists, with the joint mission of raising awareness of relevant societal issues through the use of creative and artistic expression.
  In carrying out its mission, AAF organises competitions, workshops and exhibitions all aimed at unearthing talent, creating societal awareness and promoting the development of art in Nigeria.

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