We’re committed to development of creative arts – Sanwo-Olu assures practitioners

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has assured creative art practitioners in Lagos State of his government’s unrelenting commitments to the growth of the sector, describing it as one of the major drivers of tourism development in the State.

The Governor said this on Tuesday at the 2022 Greater Lagos Art Exhibition, themed “Art in and for Transformations”, held at the Harbour Point Event Centre, Victoria Island.

Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat stated that his administration has embraced every opportunity to support and encourage young and upcoming talented individuals to grow and gain the exposure they will need to succeed.

According to Sanwo-Olu, creative art occupies a special place in the E pillar of his administration’s THEMES agenda, which stands for Entertainment and Tourism.

He said “Over three years of the implementation of the THEMES development agenda, “we have left no one in doubt about our desire to fully harness the largely untapped potentials entertainment sector especially the creative arts component”.

Speaking further, the Governor stated that the exhibition is quite instructive as there is need to utilize different words and media to effectively communicate messages and ideas especially those that are meant to change the orientation of the public, societal ills and its effects on the general well-being of the society.

Dr. Ibijoke Snwo-Olu and Dr. Kadri Hamzat during the art exhibition.

He was of the conviction that the theme of the exhibition speaks to the power of artwork as potent tools of drive and influence social transformation through the message they communicate.

The First Lady, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu said the decision to collaborate with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture on the exhibition was borne out of the genuine desire to open up opportunities for visual artists who have proven to stand out in their artistic work, adding that arts had been proven to be a powerful tool which helps people communicate with the outer world and better understand their inner selves.
While commending the enormous contributions of artists to socio-cultural and socio-political development, she also challenged them to use their artworks to speak against ills in society, particularly the menace of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).
“With these special skills, you are a great contributor to the Tourism and Entertainment pillar of this present administration, and this also gives you space under the Education and Technology pillar of the THEMES Agenda of the administration of Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu.
“As opinion molders and great influencers of thought, I challenge you to be deeply involved and commit yourself to support this administration in stamping out the menace of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence from our society through the use of your artworks as a form of campaign against SGBV,” she said.
She also called on the artists to deploy their talents to fight child labour, sexual discrimination, and discrimination based on disability status, as well as enlighten the people on mental health, among others.
Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf commended the First Lady for her consistency and commitment which, according to her, ensured that the novel Greater Lagos Arts Exhibition becomes a reality.
She said it had been established that art, in its various forms, is good business that deserves every attention and investment that is channeled towards it, adding that the exhibition was part of the intervention of the state government to give visibility to artists and their artworks in order to further deepen the growth of the creative industry.
In a paper presentation on the transformative power of visual arts, Prof. Kunle Filani said it was gratifying that Lagos had been blessed with a string of proactive and patriotic governors including Sanwo-Olu who continues to make transformational changes and promote visual arts.
To further deepen arts, Filani urged the state government to build its own museum and another iconic gallery of contemporary art, as well as embark on the acquisition of diverse artworks by Nigerian artists to decorate significant offices to promote culture and creativity.
He also advised the government to reignite the teaching of visual arts in secondary schools to ensure future citizens who are creative and people who can make use of critical thinking in their professional endeavors.
The event featured an art exhibition by 30 artists, panel discussion and participation of secondary school students.
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