By Collins Yakubu-Hammer
The National Gallery of Art (NGA) has expressed its readiness to collaborate with the private sector using arts and technology to create employment and boost the economy.
The Director General of NGA, Mr Ebeten William Ivara stated this at the Maiden edition of the Creative Arts and Visual Imagery Centre’s (CAVIC) Festival of Art and Technology in Abuja.
Ivara lauded the centre for coming up with a programme of such nature, adding that it is encouraging and a good platform for young artists to showcase their potential.
According to him, “this is what is expected of the private sector to move the sector forward.
“The private sector is supposed to be in the forefront while the government creates the enabling environment and helps them.
My joy is that these private art galleries are coming up on fast,
“NGA is always ready to identify and collaborate with private sector and relevant stakeholders like CAVIC and others who are actually promoting art in their own ways.
“We have been having programmes with CAVIC.
Our prayer is that the government will actually go a step further to regularly support and be involved in activities like this,’’ Ivara said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ivara was represented at the event by the Acting Director of Curatorial Service Department of the NGA, Mrs Mundung Akamai.
Similarly, a one-time Nigerian Ambassador to Singapore, Mr Ogbole Amedu Ode says Creative Arts `is a low hanging ripe fruit.
“Unfortunately however, government policies developed have not matured enough to begin to harvest this low ripe fruit.
“A convergence of Art and technology is something that should be taken seriously, so this outing to me is futuristic.
“Futuristic in the sense those other countries that are aware of the role of arts and technology going forward have decided to put it into their curriculum,
“A lot of people who graduated from Interactive Art and Technology today are being hired by NETFLIX or have contracts with NETFLIX.
“So I urge you, do not relent, though there are challenges in life, but don’t let the challenges put you down or put you off,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, the Creative Director of CAVIC, Philip Agbese Jnr said other countries already have the art and technology activities in full operation with a lot of collaboration among sectors that is yielding amazing results.
“We in Nigeria are trying to play catch up, but there is no better time to do it than now.
And that is why we are doing it now.
“Our people are becoming aware and the government cannot truthfully carry the burden of job creation.
The private sector needs to look into what they can do and that is what brought me into this.
“I realize that there is creativity everywhere; there is creativity in technology and technology in creative and the arts.
So we decided to get people in the arts and technology to collaborate, synergise and create wealth.
“The festival right now is Abuja-based, because we want people to come discover what Abuja is all about.
“However, in some years to come, we hope this festival goes global and reflects in the global calendar,’’ he said.
He added that if such happened, then the hospitality industry and tourism would blossom in Abuja.
He further explained that the event was self-funded via friends and family hoping that people would come and partner with CAVIC and create synergy to impact the lives of millions of youths
“We want the government and its agencies like NITDA and other relevant stakeholders to come and encourage us.
We know that the government cannot do it alone, but they can create an enabling environment for the private sector to strive.
“A lot of youths in Nigeria are educated, they learn from Facebook, YouTube and many other platforms; once you give them what to do, it will amaze you.
“We are hopeful that this government will look towards improving the sector, taking the youths into consideration,’’
NAN reports that guests took a tour around the various Art works and incubators of technologically driven Arts, Artificial Intelligence and creativity that has to do with `Data Couture’ with works of Teddy Atuluku and others on display.
Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi