By Evelyn Osagie
The Society of Nigeria Artists (SNA, Lagos Chapter) celebrated its best at an annual art exhibition tagged: October Rain.
The art show, which is in its 22nd edition, featured a bouquet of celebrations. It feted artists’ ability to weather the storm occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic through its theme, Resilience.
It was held both in real-time in compliance with COVID-19 regulations and virtually at the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos. Physical viewing of works was strictly by appointment. It featured works ranging from paintings to sculptures by 63 artists led by Prof. Bruce Onobrakpeya.
Chief Nike Okundaye was one of those honoured at the event.
SNA, according to its chairman, Idowu Sonaya, is celebrating her great contributions to the development of art and craft in the country.
“We are celebrating Chief Okundaye for her impactful contributions in the arts. She transcended from indigenous craft of bead making and textile designs to other areas of art including paintings. She has earned herself a place in the global art market with numerous works of art and a thriving art gallery built by her.
“SNA Lagos is also celebrating our indigenous talents (our artists), their creativity and their thriving within the post-modern art period. It is our prayer that this COVID era will end soon, and we will have our lifestyles back to normal. Since 1982, SNA Lagos’ annual October Rain has survived many seasons, and it is through our resilience that we have been able to sustain the show up till now,” Sonaya siad.
Five artists were each awarded a chieftaincy title by Oba Aderemi Adeniyi-Adedapo, the Balufon Alayemore Olojudo of Ido Osun Kingdom in Osun State. They included Sonaya; Mufu Onifade; the chairman, planning committee 2020 October Rain, Mr. Nkang Ini Dan; former SNA Lagos chair Dotun Alabi and former Deputy Chair, Mrs Omoligho Udenta.
The monarch, an art enthusiast, praised the efforts of Nigerian artists, particularly Chief Okundaye for putting Nigeria on the world map.
“Chief Okundaye’s resilience and persistence in practice has brought her far, including recognition by some universities in America and Europe where she had taught African arts. As an artist myself, I also celebrate these five artists being conferred with the Otunba Asa title. Practising art in this country is not an easy thing, but they have kept at it and should be celebrated,” he said.
The art show also honoured health workers for sacrificing their lives to make sure that they keep Nigerians alive and healthy during the pandemic. According to the chairman of this year’s edition, Mr. Dan. “We are using this medium to celebrate the health workers. We want them to know that the artists in Lagos appreciate what they have done. They have stood in the front line to protect us from COVID-19 and so many other diseases. They sacrificed their lives to make sure we are alive and healthy, so we appreciate them and we are also using October Rain 2020 to celebrate them.”
Meristem Securities Group Business Development Manager, Mr Saheed Bashir praised SNA for honouring Okundaye who is the company’s main character in its TV ads. “To create impact for all stakeholders, we have leveraged the unique platform of the SNA art exhibition to understand the needs of participants and players within the art and craft segment and we are definitely convinced that we can bridge the financial services gap that exists within the industry,” he added.
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