… release 100 Finalists, 12 winners for Dak ’Art Biennale 2020!
By Japhet Davidson
THE Board of Trustees of the Life In My City Art Festival (LIMCAF) has announced a shift in the dates of events of the 2019 Festival including the Grand Finale Exhibition as well as the Gala and Award Night which usually hold during the last week of October every year also known to the Organisers as Festival Week. The festival will now open on November 11, while the gala night will hold on 16th of November, 2019.
A statement signed by the Executive Director of the Festival, Mr. Kevin Ejiofor explained that Board Members led by Chairman Elder K. U. Kalu, CON, broke the news when they paid a courtesy call on the Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Honourable Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. The Chairman told the Governor that the Board was constrained to make painful decisions in this regard as a result of the inconveniences associated with travel and other plans which had to be re-ordered for special guests and invitees as a result of the sudden closure of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu, among other unforeseen exigencies.
Earlier, Elder Kalu had congratulated the Governor on his re-election and thanked him for his support for the arts generally and LIMCAF in particular, a private sector initiative in youth empowerment, which among other interventions in the State directly evidenced Governor Ugwuanyi’s avowed interest in the empowerment of the youth. He told the Governor that Life In My City began to receive much higher corporate support from the moment His Excellency first shown interest in the Festival.
In response Governor Ugwuanyi congratulated the Board and the Organising Committee for sustaining the Festival all these years in spite of many daunting challenges. He announced his approval for the plan by the Festival Organising Committee to use specified wall partitions of Okpara Square for the Students Art Stampede and Workshop, which is a prominent event during the Festival Week.
In another development the Art Director of the Festival Dr. Ayo Adewunmi has announced details of the selection of the Top 100 New Works which will feature at the Grand Finale Exhibition opening on Monday 11 November, 2019. These include outstanding works from Lagos and Enugu Exhibition Centres with the highest number of selected entries of 23 and 22 respectively, 9 each from Ibadan and Ondo, 10 from the Abuja Exhibition Centre, 11 from Benin, 7 from the Port Harcourt Centre, 6 from Zaria and 5 from the Uyo.
Adewunmi also announced that for the first time all 100 successful finalists from across Nigeria would be sponsored by LIMCAF to attend the Gala and Award Night in Enugu. By this LIMCAF sets another record in the history of contemporary art development in Nigeria adding to the existing record of being the first private sector initiative to empower young artists beyond prize money through sponsorship to the Dak’Art Biennale in Senegal. He added that twelve young winners including six winners from 2018 and six winners to emerge at the 2019 Award Night (selected solely on merit) will be at Dak’art Senegal in 2020 solely sponsored by LIMCAF’s Patron, the Ghana-born Emeritus Professor El Anatsui, formally of the University of Nigeria Nsukka. Adewunmi directed artist-participants and other interested persons to visit the Festival’s Website for details which are also available on all social media platforms.
He emphasised that the order of appearance of names and the respective Centres on the list therein (they appear in alphabetical order), have no bearing whatsoever on the eventual decisions of the National Jury Panel led by Nsikak Essien, which will again review all the works and select the winning entries according to the Festival Organising Committee’s guidelines, during the Festival Week.