At BIC Art Master Finale, Ballpoint Pen Artists Celebrate Creativity

Yinka Olatunbosun 

The audience gathered at the Mike Adenuga Centre, Ikoyi on November 24th caught a whiff of the freshly baked pastries but more importantly, the announcement of the winners of the BIC ART Master Competition 2022. Now in its 5th edition, the competition under the theme ‘Celebrating Africa’ encouraged artists to create artwork that represents their personal identity as well as their unique perceptions of the African continent and its diverse cultures using the BIC ballpoint pen.  
Three Art Master Africa competition winners and six national winners emerged from countries across the region including South Africa, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Morocco, and Tunisia were announced.
Nigerian ballpoint artists dominated the competition this year with artist Nosakhare Igbinosa for a portrait titled ‘Bona’ winning first place. Artist Hezekiah Okon for portrait titled ‘Proudly an African’ ranked second; and artists Moses Ojeleye for portrait titled ‘Amaka’, and Dumbor Debeeh for portrait ‘Echoes of joy’ were announced in third place. Artist Hezekiah Okon for a portrait titled ‘Proudly an African’ was also announced as National Nigerian winner.
The winning pieces were chosen out of a total of 6,574 pieces submitted marking a significant increase versus last year. Selected by a panel of judges composed of experts from BIC, renowned artists from the region, and previous Art Master Africa competition winners, the selected pieces 
The national winners across Africa include         ‘Uganda: Celebrating Africa in Harmony’ with Wildlife by artist Maiku Fred; ‘Kenya: African Culture portrait’ by Griffin Lundi; ‘South Africa: Imwe hamwe na Kamere (One with Nature)’ by Romeon Mwiseneza; ‘Morocco: Mother Africa’ by Essadik Laila and ‘Tunisia: Africa with my pen’ by Mouhamed Boudhri.
The Art Master Africa winner received a cash prize of $2,000, while second and third place winners received prizes of $1,000 and $500 respectively. National winners have received cash prizes of $500 each as well as BIC hampers.
While celebrating the winners at an event in partnership with Alliance Française de Lagos, a BIC Art Master Africa art exhibition was launched at the Alliance Française de Lagos and will run until December 12, 2023. At the event, a panel discussion, moderated by Jola Ayeye (host, writer, and storyteller), on building a sustainable art career featured Claire Idera, a visual Artist and influencer, Fola David,
Reflecting on the occasion, Guillaume Groues, General Manager at BIC Nigeria, said: “In its fifth edition, Art Master Africa continues to shine a light on ballpoint pen artists as they express themselves through creativity. Our flagship competition has seen tremendous growth year-on-year with higher participation numbers especially from Nigeria. We are proud of the platform that we have created for Nigerian youth and of the phenomenal artwork produced. The winner results this year are a testament to the Nigerian youth’s creativity and their dedication to the art industry.”
Expressing his delight, Marc Brebant, Director Alliance Française de Lagos, said: “Alliance Française de Lagos is delighted to host at its premises, the first-of-its-kind BIC Art Master Africa exhibition. Alliance Française and BIC share a mutual mission that aims to promote art, culture, and education amongst youth. The quality of the artwork produced by the ballpoint pen artists is impressive and I would like to thank BIC for choosing Alliance Française de Lagos as a partner for this project. BIC has been a part of everyone’s childhood and it’s refreshing to see that the brand continues to be a part of people’s lives through various passion points.”
First place winner, Nosakhare Igbinosa, revealed how thrilled he was for winning first place in the Art Master Africa 2022 competition. 
“This is my third attempt at applying for the renowned ballpoint pen competition and I am grateful for the achievement and my persistence and perseverance. I am glad that companies like BIC exist, providing a platform for self expression through art and creativity.”
The Art Master Africa competition is an annual competition that invites artists to creatively develop art pieces using the iconic BIC Ball Pen. The competition was launched in South Africa in 2017 and subsequently  expanded into the wider region in 2019 and into the Middle East in 2021.
BIC has long been connected to art and regularly celebrates the creativity and originality of talented individuals. BIC has a number of established partnerships with art institutes around the world and has its products displayed in a number of renowned museums around the world.
A world leader in stationery, lighters and shavers, BIC brings simplicity and joy to everyday life. For more than 75 years, the Company has honored the tradition of providing high-quality, affordable, essential products to consumers everywhere. Through this unwavering dedication, BIC has become one of the most recognized brands and is a trademark registered worldwide.

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