Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, the governor of Lagos State will on Friday, January 27 2017, declare the inaugural edition of the Eko Art Expo open.
The exhibition which is expected to attract art loves and collectors from all parts of the state will hold at Eko Hotels and Suites Victoia Island, Lagos.
Mr. Steve Ayorinde (3rd Left) Mrs Sinmidele Adesanya (M), Prof. Abass (3rd Right), Bolanle Austen-Peters and others at the press conference
On Friday 27 January, the First Eko Art Expo to honour the late Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi, who was a playwright and one of the notable art collectors in the country, will open at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The three-day exhibition, which will run from January 27 till January 29, is the baby of Lagos State government in collaboration with some galleries and art foundations in the State and it is expected to become an annual event with which to celebrate the life and times of Gbadamosi, a quintessential art collector.
Mr. Steve Ayorinde, Lagos State Commissioner For Information and Strategy at a press conference on Saturday, January 22 to announce the activities billed for the Expo said that the State government was organising it to honour Chief Gbadamosi, who served as the Co-chairman of the Lagos @ 50 Planning Committee before his death in November 2016.
He also noted that the Expo would also be used as part of activities for Lagos @50 celebrations which started in May 2016 as a one-year long anniversary that will culminate in a grand ceremony on May 27 this year.
“The expo is a demonstration of Governor Ambode’s great vision for the arts and creative workers in Lagos State and his plan to always avail them of space for expression and institutional support from government and corporate Lagos,” Ayorinde said.
He reminded the gathering that in November last year, Governor Ambode, at a reception organised by the state government in honour of late Gbadamosi in Ikeja, said that in view of the deceased’s love for arts, the state government would intensify effort to promote arts more than ever, starting with arts exhibition early this year.
According to Ayorinde, Governor Ambode’s support had also been spread to Nollywood, music (with the One Lagos Festival (OLF) which held its second edition last December) and other creative endeavours. And to show that his support is not limited to music and movie industries, he wants to use the Eko Art Expo to encourage talents in the visual art.
Also speaking at the press briefing, Prof. Ademola Abass, Governor Ambode’s Special Adviser on Overseas Affairs and Investment said that since the whole essence of Lagos @50 celebrations is to celebrate the sights and sounds of Lagos, there is no one best qualify to personify the whole events than late Chief Gbadamosi.
Meanwhile, the Expo been receiving favourable response from gallery owners, artists and art students all over Lagos.
Mr. Ayorinde said about 400 artworks and photographs would be on display at the exhibition which will be declared opened by the governor together with the Chairman of the Lagos @ 50 Planning Committee, Prof. Wole Soyinka.
He said the exhibition would be curated by Mrs. Sinmidele Adesanya, while the Director of African Artists Foundation, Mr. Azu Nwagbogu, will curate the photographic component of the expo.
The exhibition, Ayorinde said would be curated along three segments: the photographic part, which is a recreation of the works of several Nigerian artists that were exhibited at the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, Belgium (Bozar) where Governor Ambode was a special guest in 2016.
“One hundred photographic artworks from that Bozar exhibition showing different aspects of Lagos under the theme “Dey Your Lane” will be on display at the Eko Art Expo in Lagos,” he said.
The expo will feature two other segments where paintings, sculptures and installations by students selected from various higher institutions in Lagos State; galleries, well known masters as well as less familiar emerging artists will be on display for three days.
“We are happy to learn that the art community in Lagos State has warmed up to the forthcoming expo. It is gladdening to note that hundreds of works have been screened from students and individual artists and the very best selected for the exhibition.
“This shows that visual artists, gallery owners and arts collectors in Lagos State, like their counter-parts in music and motion picture industry, have also keyed into Governor Ambode’s vision to use art, culture, entertainment and hospitality to promote Lagos State as the hub of creative arts and tourism in Africa,” he said.