African Crafts in Nigeria contest gets winners
Monsuru Alashe, Enitan Raji and Ibrahim Afegbua have emerged as winners of African Crafts in Nigeria, a yearly event organised by U.S-based Cultural Arts of Waco in Texas.
At the Yusuf Grillo Hall, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, Alashe’s work was described as head above his colleagues because of added criteria such as originality and resourcefulness in the employment of innovative media. He used weaver’s threads to produce paintings that really appealed to the jury.
The second place winner, Raji’s mixed media works were especially captivating. The third position by Afegbua, a sculptor specializing in wrought wire, has his work as the visual for the exhibition poster.
Other artists on the shortlist whose works are being exhibited are Akinrinola Hamed Abiodun, Djaku Kassi Nathalie (Lagos-based, Cameroon-born ceramist), Sotonye Jombo, Kessa Babatunde and Eni Bassey.
The exhibition is considered as very intense, comprising of very vibrant works. The show is open till August 15, 2017.
The Cultural Arts of Waco in Texas, U.S. decided late in 2016 to hold a yearly competition of African crafts in Nigeria to benefit local artists. The artist who wins the overall first position gets an all-expenses paid trip to participate in the main cultural festival in Waco, while all who make the shortlist are to receive certificates of participation.
Alashe, who leaves for Waco in October, will be a guest artist at the Waco Cultural Festival, where he will show his works, hold workshops and interact with audiences from all over Texas.
Annual theme and the emphasis for the competition is “Telling African Stories”. Waco Cultural Arts, in a statement, explained that they desire African artists to tell Africa’s own stories since news in the international streams about Africa is mostly negative and uninspiring.
“It is time to hear African narratives from Africa.”
Major artists in attendance included Adeola Balogun, Hamidu Ibrahim, Kehinde Sanwo and Sam Ovraiti (who also served as judges) with Ato Arinze, Aderinsoye Aladegbohungbe, Festus Akindolie and Tony Emodi. A prominent artist and art historian and Dean, School of Art, Design and Printing, College of Education, Yabatech, Dr. Kunle Adeyemi declared the show open.