The Arts

May 29, 2024

AMIAF’s Sculptors Odyssey, artists record big appreciation

By Osa Mbonu-Amadi, Arts Editor

In three days, artists recorded individual feats in art appreciation with the just concluded third edition of ArtMiabo International Art Festival AMIAF. From the volume of guests to the masterly display of exhibits and big sales, AMIAF 2024 opened a new chapter in large scale art exhibition circuit.

With medium-specific theme, Sculptors Odyssey, held from April 29-May 1, 2024, at EbonyLife Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, the third edition of AMIAF came at a period when there appeared to be a vacuum on the sculpture scene.

As a yearly large scale exhibition, AMIAF, has again assured artists of high level sales as the third edition recorded what the organisers described as impressive turn out.

Curated by Yusuf Durodola, AMIAF 2024 was supported by partners such as Multichoice Nigeria, JCDecaux, Orijin, WakaEvents and VandykeSports. Enyadike enthused over the supports of the partners, noting that some of them “have been with AMIAF since our debut edition three years ago.”The event took off on the first day with a forum that focused on the commercial appreciation art.

Themed “The Art Economy” and moderated by Art and Media Advisor, Tajudeen Sowole, the panelists engaged in areas such as history of art sales in Nigeria, marketing and presentation. One of the panelist and prominent art collector, Prince Shyllon enriched the forum with his rich knowledge of the global art economy, within the Nigerian context.

Emeka Enyadike provided tips for artists and art promoters on the method and approach of attracting corporate sponsors for art exhibitions. Curator, Matthew Oyedele, shared his experience and challenges of managing artists and exhibitions. For Artist Dotun Popoola who narrated his hard-fought journey to successes, there was no rules in art economy that couldn’t be broken.

And when the main exhibition opened few hours after “The Art Economy” talk, founder of AMIAF, Miabo Enyadike, hosted quite a number of VIPs who graced the opening. The Special Guest of Honour, Minister of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy, Hanatu Musa Musawa was represented by a powerful delegation from different Federal Government agencies. CEO, National Theatre, Mrs Tola Akerele; Director-General, National Commission for Museums Monuments, NCMM, Mr Olugbile Holloway; and a director from National Gallery of Art, NGA, Mr Mufu Onifade, duly represented the Minister.

Among the big sales of over 40 works on display were Pius Waritimi’s Fisherman’s Parlour, which Enyadike disclosed “has found a new home” at the close of the event. Also bought was Ojelade Abdlquadr’s Scrap Metal Artwork Kike Oluburo as Enyadike described the success as Abdlquadr’s own “Odyssey as a Sculptor.” Another metal by Abu Momogima titled ‘MAESTRO WRAP UP’, mounted at the reception of the venue also got appreciated in big sale. “Abu was introduced to the collectors and had the privilege of installing it in their home himself and he did a brilliant job of educating them on the inspiration behind this masterpiece,” Enyadike disclosed.

More of interest, from the emerging artists came Odushe Ifeoluwa Daniel whose work also found a buyer. He had entry into the exhibition as one of the AMIAF Slots, a dedicated section for emerging and young artists. From the same AMIAF Slot section, another emerging artist, Blessing Proven, sold a sculpture titled “Bull-ish”.

Among others sold pieces, few days after the exhibition, was Akim Dipeolu’s “Readiness”. Ahead of the exhibition, AMIAF announced Ojegoke Pelumi, Azeez Kausarat, Blessing Proven and Ifeoluwa Odushe for AMIAF Slot 2024.

On the last day of the event, which had four artists given awards, master printmaker, Dr Bruce Onobrakpeya and renowned textile artist, Mrs Nike Davies Okundaye were in attendance to support the artists who were celebrated at the award ceremony segment of AMIAF 2024. “We are truly honored, with the presence of Prof Onobrakpeya at this year’s AMIAF,” Enyadike enthused receiving the 93-year-old master printmaker.

Adding her masterly presence to the exhibition and award ceremony was Nike Davies-Okundaye who joined Dr Onobrakpeya in giving the four awardees AMIAF Sculptors Odyssey awards.

While representative Oliver Enwonwu received the award on behalf of the late modernist, Ben Enwonwu, other awardees; Pius Waritimi, Dr Adeola Balogun, Dr Dotun Popoola and Adebisi Adebayo were present.