The first Rasheed Gbadamosi Eko Art Expo which opens on Friday, January 27, 2017 at the Eko Hotel and Suites in Victoria Island is gathering momentum as gallery owners, artists and art students all over Lagos submit artworks and warm up to the three-day exhibition being organized by Lagos State government in collaboration with some galleries and art foundations in the State.
In a press release signed on Friday by the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, about 400 artworks and photographs will be on display at the exhibition which will be declared opened by the Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, together with the Chairman of the Lagos @ 50 Planning Committee, Prof. Wole Soyinka.
The statement said the exhibition will be curated by respected lawyer, art collector and owner of Mydrim gallery, Mrs. Sinmidele Adesanya, while the Director of African Artists Foundation, Mr. Azu Nwagbogu, will curate the photographic component of the expo.
According to Ayorinde, the exhibition will be curated along three segments: the photographic part, which is a recreation of the works of several Nigerian artists that were exhibited at the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, Belgium (Bozar) where Governor Ambode was a special guest in 2016. One hundred photographic artworks from that Bozar exhibition showing different aspects of Lagos under the theme “Dey Your Lane” will be on display at the Eko Art Expo in Lagos.
The expo is also composed of two more segments where paintings, sculptures and installations by students selected from various higher institutions in Lagos State; galleries, well known masters as well as less familiar emerging artists will be on display for three days.
‘The expo’, according to the Commissioner, “is a demonstration of Governor Ambode’s great vision for the arts and creative workers in Lagos State and his plan to always avail them of space for expression and institutional support from government and Corporate Lagos.”
Ayorinde said the expo is also being organized for two other reasons: to honour the late Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi, who was a playwright and one of the notable art collectors in the country who also served as the co-chairman of the Lagos @ 50 Planning Committee before his death in November 2016.
The Expo, he added, would also add to the build-up for Lagos @ 50 celebrations which started in May 2016 as a one-year long anniversary that will culminate in a grand multiple days ceremony in May this year.
“We are happy to learn that the art community in Lagos State has warmed up to the forthcoming expo. It is gladdening to note that hundreds of works have been screened from students and individual artists and the very best selected for the exhibition.
“This shows that visual artists, gallery owners and arts collectors in Lagos State, like their counter-parts in music and motion picture industry, have also keyed into Governor Ambode’s vision to use art, culture, entertainment and hospitality to promote Lagos State as the hub of creative arts and tourism in Africa.”
The commissioner added that next Friday’s opening ceremony of the exhibition will also witness a dance production by QDance Centre titled “Iwa Lewa” as well as oral poetry performances.