Nigerian Breweries Plc and the African Artists’ Foundation (AAF) have announced the opening of entries for this year’s National Art Competition. In a press conference held yesterday in Lagos, the organisers revealed that this edition, the 8th in the annual series will explore artistic interpretations to the theme Future Histories with the objective to encourage artists to think laterally about social, political and cultural climate of their local communities while exploring their creativity.
Speaking at the media parley, the Corporate Affairs Adviser, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Kufre Ekanem said that this year’s competition will be in 3 parts; Call for Entry, Artists Retreat and the Final Exhibition & Announcement of winner. Artists are to submit their entries on the website www.nationalartcompetition.org. Collection of entries for the competition commenced on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 and closes on July 3, 2015. There will be a shortlist of the 12 best entries who will participate in the finals. This will be followed by an Artists retreat and workshop facilitated by leading artists, scholars and art practitioners. There will also be mentoring and studio visits for the finalists.
According to Mr Ekanem, “the grand finale and judging ceremony will be held in November 2015 to select winners. The winners will be decided by a panel of judges led by the international acclaimed award winner Professor El Anatsui. The prizes to be won include 2 Million Naira and a Solo Exhibition for the first place winner. There will also be 1 Million naira each for Winner of the Outstanding Concept and Outstanding production.”
Also speaking at the briefing, the Director, African Artists’ Foundation, Azu Nwagbogu praised the efforts of Nigerian Breweries at sustaining the sponsorship of the competition in the last eight years. He said the competition has helped to discover and groom talents in Nigeria and has served as a platform to showcase Nigeria’s artistic contribution to the world. Mr Nwagbogu cited the successes of several individuals who have participated in the competition and have gone on to become household names in contemporary African art.
The media briefing afforded the organisers the opportunity to present Modupeola Fadugba, winner of the Outstanding Production in the 2014 competition to the press. Modupeola thanked the organisers for the opportunity and said she has benefitted immensely from participating and winning in the competition. “Since after winning in the National Art Competition barley seven months ago, I’ve had opportunities locally, in Europe and America to showcase my work, participate on bigger platforms and get proposals for representation. This has helped me to grow and do well for myself as an artist. The competition is indeed a veritable platform for unveiling Nigeria’s talent in art to the world”.
The National Arts Competition is an annual competition sponsored by Nigerian Breweries Plc in partnership with African Artists’ Foundation. The competition aims to promote the conceptual development of contemporary art in Nigeria with the mission of raising awareness on relevant social issues through the use of creative artistic expression. It also showcases talent in diverse mediums as painting, sculpture, photography, mixed media, installation, and video art and is open to aspiring Nigerian artists. The competition has cemented itself as a leading platform for the development of the next generation of contemporary artists in Nigeria.