By PRISCA SAM-DURU
Oaks Garden Cultural Centre is no doubt, a cultural space in all ramification. Uniquely sited at No 1 Jemi Alade street, Isheri Idimu area of Alimosho, Lagos, the centre which is designed as a multipurpose space for all cultural events for the purposes of promoting and preserving the rich cultural heritage of not just Lagos State but every other part of Nigeria, is fast growing into the cultural hub of Nigeria.
In a bid to reinvigorate the centre, the proprietor, a culture and tourism promoter, Mr Ladi Jemi-Alade, organised the Alimosho Art Workshop and Exhibition with theme, ‘Rainbow of Life: Sharing Experiences’. The exhibition of paintings with diverse medium which held last week at the Centre, featured established artists resident in Alimosho Local Government Area who brought the centre alive with stunning art pieces. They were first engaged in an interactive and inspiring week long workshop prior to the exhibition proper.
The exhibition featured array of works such as Traders Bliss by Ankeli Christopher, Back To School by Uwagboe Bob-Nosa, Ada Godspower’s Girls and others by Babalola Dare Lawson, Agbezin George, Ahmed Abdulrazaq Ogbemi Heymann and Olumide Onadipe,
To spice up the show as well as showcase its determination to accommodate every form of creativity, the grand opening held on Saturday 12th featured readings from existing works by some Members of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Lagos; drama sketches and a live band.
Jemi-Alade hinted that it was with the view to ensure the centre becomes cultural home for every gifted individual to showcase his or her talent, that the official opening of the exhibition incorporated other forms of creativity.
He further disclosed that as time goes on, the centre will incorporate talent discovery shows, Nollywood and much later, traditional musicians who are already endangered species due to infiltration of western music into the Nigerian music space. He noted that the theme, ‘Rainbow of Life: Sharing Experiences’ explains why the exhibition is full of colours with artists showcasing variety of works with diverse sub-themes while sharing their personal experiences.
The coordinator of the workshop and exhibition, who herself is an art collector and promoter, Mrs Dupe Lawani said the exhibition which ended on Sunday 20th, featured like-minded artists who came together to create awareness and bring culture and ethnic qualities to people within the environ with the aim of promoting arts and culture as well as ethnic qualities.
Lawani also disclosed that the reason for the show was that most of the creative works are not available in other parts of the state besides, there is over dependence on Victoria Island which makes it difficult for people resident outside the area to access art. So the centre and the exhibition which also encouraged school children to see the artists at work she said, provides an impressive alternative for art lovers.
One of the artists, Uwagboe Bob-Nosa who does more of protest art said that the entire “Show was the idea of Mr Jemi-Alade and I looked at it and discovered that this is exactly one of the things we need to boost tourism and culture. He is an expert in that field so I decided to be part of it because I am sure his vision is good for the sector.”
With some of his works on display, speaking to issues regarding education in the country, Bob Nosa believes that the exhibition will go a long way in creating awareness that there are fine artists resident in Alimosho.