ABU Don advocates for visibility for upcoming Nigerian artists

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Prof. Jacob Jari, Lecturer of Fine Arts, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, says publicity is what is required to promote young artists in the creative Arts industry in Nigeria.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday, Jari said: “You really don’t need anything to create, the only thing you need is publicity, which is the problem because most people will prefer to promote those who are already visible’’.

“There are very good works they are creating and those other artists that have made a name, they started young too, so if we don’t promote them now, when will we promote them?

“So I will want to encourage people who are interested in the Arts, to please give the young ones a chance,” Jari said, on the side lines of an Art exhibition held at the ‘Thought Pyramid Gallery’ in Abuja.

The exhibition, entitled: “Collections and Recollections of an Artist” is a week-long event organized in honour of Prof Jari, to commemorate his 60th birthday anniversary, NAN reports.

Jari said promoting creativity in young artists was one way of keeping them out of trouble, especially in the light of the recent #ENDSars protests in the country.

“I will like to encourage people who collect works of art to kindly collect works by young people, so that they can be encouraged and that way, they’ll stay away from problems,” he said.

In a citation, Prof. Sunday Ododo, General Manager/CEO of the National Arts Theatre, and colleague of Prof Jari, described the celebrant as someone who was constantly building talents for the country.

“Prof. Jari is a friend and a brother who has done so well for himself, for Ahmadu Bello University and for our nation.

“At 60, he is putting this great exhibition together; this is a great testament that the man has consistently been busy building talents and artists for Nigeria and contributing to the economy’’, Ododo said.

Ododo added that the Arts have so much to offer, even though it is sometimes viewed with disdain.

He said Jari has shown that “through the Arts you can earn a living, keep our cultural history, and make statements on our National life. Through the Arts, many idle hands can (also) be picked off the streets to become more productive”.

In similar comments, Prof. Abba Tijjani, Director General/CEO, National Commission of Museums and Monuments, described creative arts as a potential revenue earner as Nigerian artworks are appreciated the world over.

“We have started refocusing on different sectors now, particularly in the creative industry where attention is given to art works.

“Our art works are appreciated all over the world, I believe this exhibition is going to reach many parts of the world. Prof Jari is renown, his works have travelled to many countries and he has a good followership”, he said.

Dr Talatu Adiwu, Fine arts lecturer at the University of Maiduguri and Curator of the event, described “Collection and Recollections of an artist” title of the exhibition as apt, saying that the exhibition represents a shift from the normal, which only seeks to promote single artists.

Similarly, Nicole, a 9-year old visitor to the event also described the exhibition as a spectacular one and she loved it greatly.