…Onobrakpeya, Okundaye, others honoured at maiden NGA award
The National Gallery for Arts said it is waiting the inauguration of of 10th National Assembly to submit the harmonised Establishment Act for repeal and Re-enactment, NewsSpecng learnt.
This is as NGA honoured some eminent Nigerians and companies who had contributed to the growth of the Creative Industry at its maiden edition of Mast Festival and Awards.
Speaking at the event, Director General, NGA, Ebeten William Ivara, said the gallery, has since completed the harmonisation of its Establishment Act for Repeal and Re-enactment in collaboration with the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA).
Ivara said NGA is ready to move it to the National Assembly once the 10th Assembly is inaugurated in June.
He argued that the new law, when put into use, will propel the Nigerian visual arts sub-sector to higher heights with NGA contributing handsomely to Nigeria’s GDP. For the artists, it will be a season of wealth creation.”
Awards Coordinator & Deputy Director Overseeing office of Director,Information Services Department, National Gallery of Art, Oji Onoko, said, “Mast festival and awards is specifically designed by the National Gallery of Art (NGA) as a yearly event to reward excellence in creativity in the visual arts sub-sector and arts sector, generally.”
The doyen of arts and multinational award recipient, Prof. Bruce Onobrakpeya, was among those honoured at the Tuesday’s maiden event.
The award ceremony saw various stakeholders honoured including Studio artists, gallery owners, art collectors, art teachers, society of Nigerian artists , art administrators and the Mass media.
It was a double celebration for Onobrakpeya who bagged a lifetime achievement award as he was just honoured by the Georgia State Assembly, United States of America for his exemplary career as artist and role model.
The professor who is renowned for print making globally set up his personal studio in 1976 in Lagos and a recent one in his hometown, Agharha-Otor, Delta State.
Also honoured was Chief (Mrs.) Nike Okundaye, who received the Outstanding Visual Arts Personality of the Year Award.
Okundaye is very adept in textile designs in adire and Batik.
Currently, she has one of the biggest and most sought after art galleries in the country, which today houses 7,000 art works.
The art amazon has held no fewer than 116 solo exhibitions and 38 group art exhibitions in different parts of the world.
Arts Journalist of the Year, Gregory Nwakunor of The Guardian (right); awards presenter/Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina; Inspiring Artists of the Year, Helen Nzete and Izuchukwu Clifford Agba, during the National Gallery of Art (NGA) Mast Festival and Awards ceremony in Abuja.
Distinguished Visual Arts Award went to Muhammad Sulaiman, current President of Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA). The multi-dimensional artist is a unifier, bridge builder and mentor to young artists. His driving force is the improvement of the lots of visual artists in Nigeria.
Deputy Editor of The Guardian, Gregory Nwakunor, equally got the Arts Journalist of the Year award for his contribution to promotion and propagation of arts and culture in Nigeria.
Other awardees are: Thought Pyramid as Gallery of the Year; Mrs. Patience Nkwocha, Curator of the Year; Comrade Ojo Agbor Idabi as NGA Exemplary Staff; while Helen Ogochukwu Nzete and Izuchukwu Clifford Agba are Inspiring Young Artists of the Year.