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Echoes of Peace, Unity at Artfair Kaduna
                                     By Oji Onoko


The need for peaceful co-existence and unity among Nigerians reverberated at the second edition of the in-house exhibition of National Gallery of Art (NGA) artists tagged, Artfair Kaduna which opened to a large audience in Kaduna at Nigerian Airforce (NAF) Club on Friday, October 31, and runs till Wednesday, November 5, 2014 Stressing this, the Chairman, Governing Board, NGA, Barrister Hipo Onwugbuke represented by Hajia Aishatu Adamu, also a member of the Board, said that as a mirror of life, “Art is here again calling our attention to what we do and what we need to continue to do that will guarantee our unity and peaceful co-habitation. On the other hand, the theme Together Again is a positive challenge that must be embraced without prejudice.”

Also, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Culture & Tourism, Alhaji Abdulrashid M. Kakangi while praising NGA for choosing Kaduna as host city for the Artfair emphasized that “it affords us an opportunity to generate some form of social re-orientation using art as a vehicle to promote peaceful co-existence among the various ethnic settings that have chosen Kaduna as their home.” Explaining the rationale for the Artfair, the Director General, NGA, Abdullahi Muku said it is now being serialized as it marks the attainment of one of the organization’s objectives of promoting contemporary Nigerian art. “Visual Art is steadily contributing its quota to the Transformation Agenda towards readjusting our nation to belong to the comity of top players economically by year 2020.” The current edition he stated has rediscovered many artists, the scope wider and the works on display richer. He enjoined the audience to “align yourselves with these artists by patronizing their works, knowing full well that your efforts will go a long way in ascertaining their economic empowerment. Such patronage will be in fulfillment of the Federal Government’s efforts at rebasing our nation for maximum benefits.” The exhibiting artists were more than grateful for the opportunity to showcase their works by NGA. The Artfair was inaugurated by NGA last year in a deliberate move to encourage professional artists in its employ to produce works for public exhibitions thereby sharpening their skills and developing bodies of works just like their peers in studio practice.

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(Banquet Hall, Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Club, Kaduna. Oct. 31 - Nov. 5, 2014.)
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