The Producer of ARTru Concert and Awards, Otunba Nkang Ini Dan, on Saturday said that the concert would give hope to visual arts and artists in the industry.
Nkang, who is also the Assistant Welfare Director, Society of Nigerian Artist (SNA), spoke during the fourth edition of the event in Lagos themed “The New Normal.”
He said there was a lot to be achieved in investing and projecting the visual art which hasn’t gained enough popularity as it should.
“Now, if you look at the comic industry, about10/15 years back, it wasn’t this lucrative.
“We used to watch Baba Sala, Baba Suwe and all that. They were doing fantastically well but they weren’t making enough money,
“They were not that rich but they were enjoying what they were doing.
“Along the line, some people changed the face of comedy and today you call a young comedian on stage, you get to see that their charges are on the high side and a lot of them smile to the bank.
“The visual art has been there for a very long time, it is supposed to be more lucrative than it is but you find it difficult to see parents encourage their kids to study arts.
“You find it is difficult for kids also wanting to do arts because a lot of them don’t believe in it.”
According to him, the project has been designed to let young people, parents, private individuals, government know that there is a lot to benefit in promoting visual arts.
“I want to also mention that we are using this platform to celebrate individuals and organisations that have contributed to the growth and development of visual art, that’s where the visual art award comes in.” he said.
The producer added that the name “ARTru” was coined from visualising art from other aspects.
“If you look at the movie industry, you can’t do without the art. We have graphics, costuming and all. They are all art, the music industry also cannot do without art.
“All these industries have element of visual art in them, now this particular project is designed to show the relationship of art in all these.
“That’s why you see it’s a collaboration between all but with focus on the visual art.” he said.
Nkang further called for more support, adding that the impact of the Nigeria art has led to instances where artifacts that have been in other museums around the world were being returned to Nigeria.
“We have also seen a lot of young artists who are making headlines on international stage, which means that Nigeria’s visual art has a lot of potentials around the world.” he said.
Cameroonian Artist, Djakou Kassie Nathalie, said that ARTru 2022 is an opportunity for young and popular artists to showcase their works and also new audiences.
She added that ARTru 2022 gave her the opportunity to educate the audience about her works.
“I want a lot of people to come and see us do our works. This will expand our audience base and people tell a story of what they have witnessed because one of our objectives is to let people know about art.” she said.
Also, Steve Ekpenisi, popularly known as theironbender with a major in metal sculpture, said he was delighted to be part of the event adding that ARTru 2022 was a great idea that should be embraced by visual artists.
Ekpenisi said ARTru will bring more information to the general public about what art represents.
Nigerian skit-maker and Comedian, Samuel Perry popularly known as Broda Shaggi also said that art is life adding that it had contributed to his craft.
“Art has changed my life and that of many others. Art keeps putting Nigeria on the map. You see our music topping the charts outside the country, thats is still art.
“Art is part of our life and I urge you all to support art.” he said.
Broda Shaggi (Samuel Animashaun Perry ), a Nigerian comedian, added that he made substantial amount from art while he was young and since then, was committed to art.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that awards were presented to recipients in several categories including the Distinguished Master Artist Award, Distinguished Art Scholar Award and other categories to celebrate contributors to visual arts.