The Artists Social Forum has urged artists to find new creative dimensions to ensure that art does not become irrelevant.
The group noted this on Sunday at an exhibition of paintings, drawings and new media works organised by Dr Abiodun Karafu at The Resource Place, Akora Estate, Lagos.
The event was aimed at repositioning art and artists in Nigeria for the 22nd century.
The guest speaker, Mr Pam Makanju, who is also a Chief lecturer at the Lagos State Polytechnic, said that artists needed to begin thinking outside the box in order to sell and survive.
“People behave like nothing can come out of art, but art is needed in almost all aspects of life. For instance, we have collaborated with the School of Aviation to create a drone that will serve surveillance purposes it is currently being funded by the Nigerian army to create robots for them,” he added.
He emphasised that art was under-appreciated in the country because the public felt there was nothing more to being an artist than painting and drawing, which he disagreed with.
Speaking on how art can become better appreciated in the country, Makanju said, “Art keeps expanding. It is a process and a product. We need to inculcate in our students how to bring science and technology into their artistic works, as that is part of what would take art into the 22nd century.”
He stressed that artists needed to tap into the infrastructural setting of the nation, as there were countless of opportunities to explore in that sector.
“Our artists should be able to create the infrastructure the country needs including the ceramic we have in light poles. The government currently spends about N4bn to import ceramics, but imagine what will happen if we artists could just tap into one per cent of that amount,” he added.
During a discussion that also held at the event, the Chairman, Society of Nigerian Artists, Lagos State chapter, Mr. Idowu Sonaya, called on artists to catch up with the speed at which art was moving. He said, “We need to wake up and follow the art trend in the world. Artists are needed in the technological and social aspects of life, because you can’t create an innovation without thinking creatively.
Also, the Dean School of Art, Design & Printing, Dr Kunle Adeyemi, said that artists must synergise, partner other departments and exchange ideas to enter the 22nd century.
An up-and-coming artist, Anjola Adeniji, also contributed by letting the audience know what his generation was lacking in contrast to the older generation.
“Our generation of artists does not like to share ideas among their peers and this must be corrected. Elder artists should try to reach out to the younger ones to share ideas in order for art to move from the 21st century to the 22nd century,” he added.