Saturday 6 December 2014

Distinction II... Artists' return to promote excellence

By Tajudeen Sowole
After a much-talked about maiden edition last year, artists of Distinction art exhibition are back with a sequel to continue what they considered as promotion of standard and professionalism in Nigerian art environment.

Art enthusiasts: connoisseurs, collectors, dealers and critics alike may just have another perspective to art as Distinction II opens to the public from Sunday, December 7, ending on 15, 2014 at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos. Spokesperson for the exhibiting artists and initiator of the gathering, Abiodun Olaku disclosed at a preview that the sequel was inspired by "popular demand." The first exhibition, held at the same venue late last year, he stressed "was highly rated."

A metal work by Fidelis Odogwu
At Distinction last year, Olaku, Bunmi Babatunde, Edosa Ogiugo, Duke Asidere, Alex Nwokolo, Reuben Ugbine and Fidelis Odogwu showed mostly new body of work. Now, the artists are joined by Segun Adejumo in the sequel with the hope of surpassing last year's success just as the sponsors , Trojan Estate appeared to have added to the inspiration that got the artists to regroup. "Our sponsors, Trojan Estate felt that the success of the show last year should be repaeted."

As he however cautioned that the show might not necessarily be a yearly affair, Olaku stressed that the exhibition "is not just a commercial gathering, but about intellectual venture to improve professional standard of art in Nigeria." Being members of the Guild of Professional Fine Artists of Nigeria (GFA), the participants are cautious of not creating another cell within the guild. "We don't want this to look like another movement or group formed within the GFA," Olaku said. He added that artists from across the board can be part of the show in future.

 The return of the artists to the gallery after last year's success, according to Odogwu  was not just based on popular demand. A self-assessment of the first show "convinced us to come back, and with strong content than the first show."  

For the new entrant, Olusegun Adejumo, the attraction "is what Distinction stands for," particularly with the caliber of artists involved. "I feel honoured to be part of the exhibition."

While the show may not necessarily be a yearly gathering of the artists, Nwokolo wished that it continues anyway. "We hope it will continue to be a regular affair."

Close to 50 works, representing an average of seven or more works per artist are expected to be on display inside the moderate Terra Kulture gallery when the show opens for the two weeks duration. And as the artists are mostly known for richness of contents as against large sizes, the paintings and sculptures - despite the volume - may still enjoy enough breathing space.
 On the support for the show, Olaku commended the management of Trojan Estate just as he traced the company's interest in promoting Distinction to many years in passionate corporate collection of Nigerian art. Also, the venue of the exhibition, Olaku disclosed contributed to the return of Distinction. After the first show, Terra Kulture, according to Olaku insisted that "we must come back."

Some of the works viewed via soft copies showed that  the second edition of the Distinction series, have the strength to energise a broader perspective into art appreciation. 

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