By Rebecca Ejifoma
A daring group art exhibition, showing 60 aesthetic works of about 50 girls and young women, will open on Saturday August 20 at 2 p.m. at the Terrakulture art gallery in Victoria Island Lagos.
The show, which will run until Monday August 22, will display a repertoire of 60 works ranging from oil paintings on canvas, drawings, mixed media, ink/acrylic painting and charcoal on canvas and photography.
The expo, which is on the theme, ‘Africa4her’ is tailored to create a platform for girls and young women to be empowered through arts. Through this programme, girls are exposed to mentoring opportunities, building leadership and social skills.
The displayed art pieces is expected to birth a combo of dialogue, education, entertainment and commercial purpose. Their works will exude gender inequality, community building, identity crisis, visionary women, violence against women, sexual abuse/molestation, struggle of African women, leadership, beauty, self-acceptance and love, empowerment, entrepreneurship, education and fantasy.
The artists are between ages six and 35 years, according to the host and Project Director of Africa4Her, Olakunle Adewale, at a press briefing. He affirmed that girls have the right to leadership if provided with opportunity to develop capacity for that position.
“Women and girls have the right to learn and lead. We do have a responsibility to break down every barrier that limits girls and women potential. This art provides platform for community engagement, professional and commitment to raising girls and women of excellence,” he stressed.
Interestingly, Adekunle is an alumnus of the 2015 Mandela Washington Fellowship within President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative, and Creative Art Director of Tender Arts Nigeria, a Nigerian NGO that seeks to promote girl-child education and women empowerment advocacy through arts programming.
On the choice of arts, he enthused that arts have a great potential to empower women and girls. “In developed countries, Art is recognized as a creative force that amplifies women’s voices and tear down gender barriers and discrimination.
He further explained that this is contributing his quota, Adekunle said that there is good evidence that participation in creative activities like drawing, paintings, photography, animation, graphic design, Spoken Word Poetry and other art engagement can help break-down gender stereotypes, improve girls’ and women’s self-esteem and contribute to the development of leadership skills.
Africa4Her resonates with me because of my mother’s timeless investment in me. My mum was a roadside food vendor who didn’t study beyond primary school education. She would hawk kilometers in the sun and rain to ensure that at I have quality education and great future.
So, his quest is to sketch girls and young women that will build each other up and then build their communities. The stronger ones help the weak by inculcating team spirit to instill the power of ‘collectiveness’ the ‘Ubuntu Spirit.’
Guests expected to grace the opening session include: Ace Nollywood actress and Movie Director, Joke Silva; President, Women Arise for Change Initiative, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin; President, Society of Nigerian Artists, Oliver Enwonwu and the Director, Women in Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ), Mosun Layode among several others.