By Japhet Alakam
THE 2018 grand finale of Life in My City Art Festival (LIMCAF) has come and gone , but the memories of the festival which is regarded as the longest running art festival in the country will to linger in the minds of many art lovers.
The festival which was initiated to encourage and promote young Nigerian artists in the visual arts and to develop their professionalism has lived up to its bidding as it has improved every year. This year, which is the 12th edition, witnessed a lot of creativity and innovation with the calibre of works presented by the participants, a situation that gave the jury extra work in its bid to select the winners.
In all, it was commendation galore from all angles for the organisrs of LIMCAF for the improvement and sustenance of the festival.
From the number of youths that attended the grand finale and those that participated from the zones to the final, it was clear that the festival has succeeded in keeping many youths busy thereby dissuading them away from crimes. To the organisers, it was a job well done, and if such festivals will be organised in other parts of the country, many youths will be fully engaged in productive ventures.
Speaking about the festival and the works, renowned art patron/collector and founder of Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation, OYASAF, Prince Yemisi Shyllon who was the special guest of honour commended the organisers, the sponsors and others who contributed to the success for their good work. “This is something we should be doing which we are not doing. but some of us decided to do that,I commend them. Museums have been described as a haven of demons and people fear it because we don’t have events like this.
“They have been very consistent and I commend them for that, Through this exhibition, a lot of artists have emerged that are going to blaze the trail. I just saw a work now and I am surprised, who ever that did that work I see him/her making impact in the world.
“I am impressed because it is a complete departure from what I have been complaining about, the fact that our artists are drifting away from super competitions, that is they are drifting and introducing junk creativity which is dangerous.”
Continuing, he said, “I can see here great works of arts which are good for museums than private collections. I hope our thinkers key into it and get the works for our museums and National gallery of art for our national collection.”
On his part, Agbogidi, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe who confessed that he is part of the festival stated that LIMCAF, which is the longest running art festival in Nigeria started on a modest ground and has been growing. The works have been improving every year. He however urged the government to do the needful by supporting art. “The private efforts we will not relent but the government must do what other governments are doing and support art”, he added.
Also speaking about the festival, Ayo Adewunmi, Art Director of LIMCAF stated that beyond the LIMCAF Awards and the empowerment of young Nigerian artists, LIMCAF also contributes to Art Education through its annual school children workshop which engages young professionals and school children in creativity. “The idea is aimed at sustaining their interest in art and also to fill the gap created by inadequate art teachers in secondary school. This year, the workshop featured 100 School children, and was a pilot test for what LIMCAF proposed as “annual mural project” with the aim of beautifying public spaces within the city. It was very successful”.
The other LIMCAF 2018 project according to Ayo is the Photo Africa Workshop, sponsored by Tachi Studio which featured 15 burgeoning photographers,who embarked on 24 hours photo study of Enugu City (under the theme A Day in Enugu) and selected prints from the workshop were exhibited at the Grand Finale exhibition, while a publication from the experience is under production.