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Art explosion in Awka

Awka, the Anambra State capital city, takes an esteemed pride of place in Igbo arts and culture. Blacksmithing in Awka, for instance, is the stuff of legend. It is in this light that Zimife Foundation in collaboration with the Awka Museum Project is in top gear to present the explosive Awka Art Exhibition 2019.

The landmark art exhibition slated to hold between December 20th and 22nd at 231 Zik Avenue, Umudioka, Awka will feature Art Talk, Kids Workshop, Music and, of course, Sales.

The Awka Art Exhibition 2019 is a grand exposition of paintings, graphics, textiles, sculptures, ceramics, blacksmithing and crafts.

According to Arthur Harris-Eze, the renowned attorney and art connoisseur who is driving the Awka Art Exhibition 2019, “We think the interest in Igbo culture and tradition ought to be encouraged, given a new life, packaged and sold to the younger generation. The objective of this exposition, amongst others, is to awaken us to the reality that Igbo language and elements of the culture may soon suffer some extinction. Igbo festivals have also suffered neglect.  We therefore aim to create awareness through the different forms of art.  Most importantly, the Awka Art Exhibition aims to be a multi-disciplinary medium of conveying this message.  It aims to be an annual event.”

He is poised on a catch-them-young scheme, as he espouses thusly: “The younger generation has very little experience of the Igbo culture and traditions. This is attributable to a number of factors, notably, growing up in very Westernized homes, dressing, mannerisms, spoken language, speaking English most of the time both at home and in school.”

The personable Arthur Harris-Eze understands that inter-tribal marriages have led to kids growing up unanchored to one tradition. Also, there is no formal and informal exposure to cultural events in schools and the society at large. Even more damning is that African literature is hardly taught in schools. There is also the absence of opportunities to witness cultural events and activities.

Starting from Friday, December 20, Arthur Harris-Eze is poised to lead the charge of redressing the lack of cultural awareness in the land through the Awka Art Exhibition 2019. The exhibition will forge further ahead on Saturday, December 21, and come to a climax on Sunday, December 22.

In the heart of town at 231 Zik’s Avenue, Umudioka, Awka, multiform exhibitors will cherish their days of elite exposure. The painters are poised to overwhelm the canvas. New vistas in graphics will be displayed. Textile artists will command attention. Sculptors of many dimensions such as wood, stone, marble, plastic, metal, clay and fiberglass will add cubits to the reputation of Awka as a cultural trailblazer. Local carvers and blacksmiths are as ever willing to create new works for the public.

A token registration fee of Three Thousand Naira is all that is needed to be a part of the prodigious happening.

The Awka Art Exhibition is indeed an idea whose time has come especially at the auspicious moment that Mrs. Sally Mbanefo, the Anambra State Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs, Indigenous Artworks, Culture and Tourism, is engaged in an unprecedented enterprise to give art and culture a new lease of life east of the Niger River.

Royal endorsement comes from no less a personage than the great art patron, HRM Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, Obi of Onitsha.

The doyen of utilitarian art, Tony Chidi Akudinobi, CEO of Hammerhead in Aba, who recently represented Nigeria in the Afrexim Expo in Cairo, Egypt, is coming with the entire compliment of his lionized designs.

For Arthur Harris-Eze, the Awka Art Exhibition 2019 serves as a veritable precursor of Yuletide garlanded with Christmas Carols rendered in Igbo and English.

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