By Chukwuma Ajakah

Faculty members of the Department of Fine & Applied Arts, Lagos State University of Education, LASUED, Oto/ Ijanikin are set to showcase their artworks in an exhibition holding at the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos from Saturday, December 10-17, 2022.

Details of the upcoming exhibition were released in a Press Briefing held at Kunle Adeyemi Art Studio, Mushin, Lagos on Thursday, December 1, 2022, by the Exhibition Committee, led by its chairman and pioneer HoD of the department, Dr. Abiodun Kafaru.

According to the HoD, arts education has been on for years at the institution right from when it was a teacher training institute and college of education until it was upgraded to a university in February 2022 to award BA and B.Ed degrees after being accredited by the NUC. “The reason for the exhibition is to showcase why the school merits its upgrade as a university of education,” he said, adding: “The Lagos State Government felt that with over 80 PhD holders as lecturers and all the facilities on ground we should upgrade to university. We want the government to know that we are not just celebrating our new status, but that the instruction worth the elevation which involved the merger of two colleges-Michael Otedola and Adeniran Ogunsaya College of Education. We want the people to know also that the government is working.”

Revealing that 16 artists (lecturers) will be exhibiting, the Departmental and Exhibition Curator, Kehinde Alade Jagun said: “We need to prove to the public that we have capable hands and to the government that we are worthy of the transmutation. This is the first step out. We are expecting further acknowledgement from not only the press, but other schools of art.’

Jagun also justified the choice of the theme “Transmutation”, saying:

“This exhibition is primarily staged at this point in time to Kickstart the department as a degree awarding institution, showcasing the quality of staff, the university and marking a grand entry into the world of art schools hence, the name transmutation.”

Artists expected to feature at the maiden group exhibition include: Abiodun Kafaru, Kunle Adeyemi, Dotun Oluwa, Jagun Kehinde, Bodunrin M.O., Ajayi Noah, Adekoya Bisola, Gandonu Peter, Azeez O, Aina Emmanuel, Shidi Yusuf, Odunsi Adeyemi, Oridola Ibrahim and Suluka A.B.

The artworks to be exhibited also cut across the diverse genres of arts, including sculpture, painting, visual printmaking and ceramics.

Buttressing the importance of the upcoming event, Dr. Kunle Adeyemi, an adjunct faculty member said: “This exhibition is to create awareness about the university. The arts can give a more distant promotion than other areas. The faculty officers have been resourceful to put other hands to galvanize knowledge in art education. This will help the administrators to note that the people there are working. It is also for the students coming. If they see that good hands are there as lecturers, they will come. The exhibition will help to create a sense of seriousness so that others will know what is available. For instance, the institution now awards both BA (Fine Arts) and B. Ed. That is, in two ways, education and pure arts.”

Speaking on his plans for the department, Dr. Kafaru said:” We are making all round effort to stabilize the system and show what arts could do in projecting the image of the university. We need to put our feet down now to have the right kind of lecturers and students. With the first set of graduates being groomed between now and five years’ time, we are going to bring out something that will constitute the foundation for those coming in on full time.”

Dignitaries expected at the event include the Executive Governor of Lagos State, HE Babajide Olusola Sanwo-olu (Special Guest of Honour), Omooba Yemisi Shylion (Chairman of the occasion), SA on Education, Mr Tokunbo Wahab (Special Guest) and the Ag. Vice-Chancellor, LASUED, Prof. B. B. Lafiaji-Okuneye (Chief Host). HRM, Oba (Dr.) Sulaimon Adesina Raji-Asade, Okikiola Afolagbade, the Oniba Ekun of Iba Kingdom, HRM, Oba (Dr.) Aina Josiah Ilemobade, the Oloto of Oto Awori Kingdom and HRM, Oba Momodu Ashafa, the Onijanikin of Ijaninikin Kingdom will attend as the Royal Father of the Day and Co-Hosts respectively.

Speaking further about the works to be exhibited, Kehinde Jagun described his entry titled, “Owo kan o gbenu” or “Hands on Deck” as a sculptural piece, depicting the philosophy that “All human activities interdependent.”  Similarly, ‘Kafaru’ Clarion Call” and “Rehearsal” portray the message of collective responsibility as cardinal in attaining communal aspirations.

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