US based Nigerian artists presents Echoes of the Past, as other foreign based artists urged to return home
L-R: The Artist, Chuks Echiemeze Okoye, Omooba Yemisi Shyllon, Mrs. Shyllon, Mrs. Chinwe Abara at the Opening of an art exhibition, Echoes of the Past, at Terral Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos on Saturday, June 30, 2012.
WorldStage Newsonline-- The National Council for Art and Culture, through his Director General, Mr. M.M. Maidugu has called on all foreign based Nigerian artists to come home and practice.
They were advised to follow the footstep Chuks Echiemeze Okoye, a prominent Nigerian artist based in Atlanta USA, whose work “Echoes of The Past” is currently being exhibited at Terral Kulture, Victoria Island Lagos.
The exhibition which will be on till 6th of July 2012 is expected to attract lovers of arts.
The Echoes of the Past is being presented by the National Council for Arts and Culture, Iganmu Lagos in conjunction with Okoye’s Art Gallery, Atlanta Georgia USA.
The Director General who spoke though the Deputy Director/Head, NCAC Zonal Office Lagos, Mrs. Chinwe Abara, said NCAC “is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the best of the living arts and culture of the people of Nigeria, using it as a resource for national integration and unity as well as serving as a catalyst for sustainable growth and development of the nation”.
He described Okoye as one of Nigerian in Diasporas who had not departed from the track of the vision of the NCAC.
He said the NCAC hd a duty of supporting artists in Nigeria and in diasporas and felt very obliged to attract those living and practicing abroad back home as much as possible to help in building the arts industry of their father land, which he said was already being achieved through Okoye.
Mr. Maidugu recognized the presence of Omooba Yemisi Shyllon, an Engineer whose passion for collection of the best of Nigerian arts spanned over the years, having the largest art collection in Africa, said he was delighted to see him and his wife at the exhibition.
In his reaction, Shyllon expressed appreciation over Terral Kulture’s contribution towards arts and culture in Nigeria.
He also thanked Mrs. Obara who ensured that Okoye came home to practice.
“Mrs. Obara, I thank you for what you are doing,” he said.
He also thanked the artist for listening to them by coming home, saying he would not be disappointed.
Omooba who gave the artist a new name, “Omowale” said he felt “it is better for you to have a name here and build your name from home”.
He called on everyone to support the artist so as to encourage more of them in abroad to come home and add value to arts in Nigeria.
The artist however appreciated every one for being part of the exhibition, saying he was happy to be home.
Okoye who have spent about 30 years in the USA studying and producing art works said Echoes of the Past ”is about reclaiming the past and bringing it into the future.”
The artist who commended Nigerian artists for staying focus said his works will be an inspiration for the coming generation.
Chuks who is from Anambra State, born in Jos and grow up in Enugu said his inspiration comes from his background.
While explaining the reason why it took him time to come up with the exhibition, he said he was not sure of the cultural art and the artistic relevant going on in Nigeria, adding that he eventually decided to come home after several encouragements and persuasions, particularly from Mrs. Obara, who ran into him in USA.
Okoye was said to have done well for Nigerian art market and to the point where he was almost considered Ambassador of Arts and Culture for Nigeria in Unites State.
“I have been privileged to have to arrange for quite a number of Nigerian artists that came to United State, especially to attend the International Arts Festival.
“I have been privileged to decorate Nigerian Embassy in the United State, the only one whose art work is there,” he said.