By Prisca Sam-Duru
Situated in the heart of Ikorodu, Lagos, Oshodi Art Gallery, a choice destination for schools and tourists, recently unveiled a cultural beauty pageant show, ‘Miss Arts Nigeria 2021’.
The pageant designed to empower the Nigerian lady through art, beauty and culture, will in addition, enhance their skill-set through their God-given endowments.
Supported by the Federal Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Miss Arts Nigeria is powered by Oshodi Art gallery which is reportedly the second-largest gallery in the country with over 17,000 artworks comprising masterpieces produced in ceramic, sculpture, graphics, photography, textile, paintings, etc. And with a commendable record of providing trainings and empowerment to young artists, the brand has through the initiative, taken art and culture promotion, to an innovative level.
The Miss Arts Nigeria, a first of its kind, is thus, a cultural reawakening for female participants who are willing to promote and learn more about their culture.
Taking effect from Friday, June 25, 2021, the beauty contest which is open to ladies between the ages 18 and 27 years in all the 36 states of the federation, will feature skill acquisition in the area of animation, ‘Adire’ making, traditional meal preparation amongst others.
Speaking during the media unveiling of the pageant, Dr. Paul Oshodi, the CEO, Oshodi Art Gallery, said “The brand is poised to make the first of its kind pageantry event the biggest in Nigeria, synergising our cultural heritage in the process”, adding that during the course of projecting Miss Art Nigeria 2021, Oshodi Art Gallery will be using the medium to promote its various art collections to Nigeria and the rest of the world.
According to him, the online registration for the beauty contest which commenced on Friday, June 25, will run till the last week of September.
He further explained that the show is not like the regular pageant where emphasis is on ladies just showcasing beauty, stressing that the initiative was solely designed to promote Nigeria’s cultural heritage to the entire globe.
“We’ve been doing a lot of beauty pageant but so far, there’s nothing in the art. So we want to showcase this to Nigeria and the entire globe to promote and project art, beauty and culture of the country. Nigeria is a great country naturally endowed by God; though we neglect a lot. For us at Oshodi Art Gallery, we believe that art is life and so, we want to take people back to their roots”
Also while unveiling the show’s logo, Oshodi explained that the 36 stars surrounding the Nigeria map, represents each state, signifying that the states have their equal potentials which the gallery is committed to bringing to limelight.
“We are losing our heritage, we want to bring back everything. So let people begin to see our endowments”, he added.
He further informed stakeholders, private institutions and government parastatals that Miss Art Nigeria 2021 is officially open for partnership both in product, monetary and service mediums.
The face of the Miss Arts Nigeria 2021, miss George Owolabi Jessica explained that the contestants would be required to exhibit knowledge about their individual state’s heritage with particular reference to mode of dressing, demonstrate cooking skills in the preparation of their native foods, must be able to converse in their dialect among others. “Any contestant not able to cope or scale through any task bothering on showcasing the culture of their states of origin, cannot win the pageantry”
The winner of the Miss Arts Nigeria Pageant goes home with a cash prize, a brand-new car and other prizes while the first and second runners-up will get cash prizes as well.