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Art, Galleries and Museums

The truths about Nigerian Art: What makes Nigerian artworks special around the globe?

Nigerian art is an “ancient art” that has continued to evolve through time. It has been able to successfully blend its ancient history with contemporary artistic trends, making it quite popular among art enthusiasts. However, despite Nigeria’s growing popularity as an established tourist destination, there are questions about the portrayal of any Nigerian art exhibitions in the world view.

Over the years, we have gotten used to hearing about the amazing works of arts created by Nigerian artists. In FESTAC 77, even official Nigerian delegates could not part with their “Nigerian art” as they were shipped all the way to Lagos from where they were picked from. The fact that Nigerian art is well known globally is a feat in itself as Nigeria is a developing country with lots of challenges.

Although Nigeria has a rich culture, what exactly makes Nigerian art attractive to people all over the world? There are a number of works created by our local artists that remain in the international art market, one of the example of these are the works of Ladi Kwali, the master potter. So, what makes Nigerian artworks attractive to buyers across the globe?

Let’s take a look at the top factors that contribute to the value of Nigerian art.

Abuja, being the capital of Nigeria has a couple of these creative art centres that are worth exploring. The creativity or the story behind each artwork alone will definitely blow your mind. So, where in Abuja, can you have these educational art tours? Let’s me show you some of the top picks.

  1. Asahbara (@asah_bara)

Artistry is a gift that keeps on giving. I think this is the reason Asahbara keeps giving their uncommon breed of creativity to the world through their handcrafted artworks. Located within the Maitama Amusement Park, Asahbara pride themselves on genuine and authentic, handcrafted African artworks.

In an interview with the boss, Zoza Icha, She demystifies the meaning of Asahbara being a combination of two old Hebrew words which signifies the creative power of God and man. And also stated that Asahbara started from the intention to immortalize fabrics.

There are varieties of artworks in the centre like the talking mugs such as No Wahala, Suru Lere, The Gele Girls, Longer Throat cups and soup bowls, and lots more. With all pieces of the artworks embedded with the Nigerian Flag. It is a way of saying there is good in Nigeria; there is smart, quality, and genius in Nigeria.

  1. Nike Art Gallery (@nikeartgallery)

Scattered around several locations in Nigeria (Specifically in Lagos, Abuja, Oshogbo and Ogidi Ijumu), Nike Arts Gallery has won for itself a name known all over the world. With the knowledge of the master potter, Chief Nike Davies-Okundaye. Nike Art Gallery is arguably the largest art centre of its kind in West Africa. It boasts a collection of about 8,000 diverse artworks from various Nigerian artists like Chief Josephine Oboh Macleod.

Nike art gallery is popularly known as a centre for art and culture. Nike found out that the traditional methods of weaving and dying that had been her original inspiration were fading in Nigeria. She used her international success to launch a cultural revival, building art centers where young Nigerians can master traditional arts and crafts. You can now visit the world of the Yoruba, to explore a culture that has flourished in Western Nigeria for well over 1000 years.

Whether you are a specialist in the arts, an enthusiast of African arts or merely interested in a brief immersion in a new culture, Nike offers the opportunity to see Nigeria with fresh eyes.

  1. Thought Pyramid (@thoughtpyramidabuja & thoughtpyramidlagos)

Located in the heart of Abuja (Wuse II), and Lagos (Ikoyi ) as a space to enable new ideas to be incubated and nurtured; where there are no boundaries between art, craft, design, and thought; and where thinkers will meet to dialogue on new directions for African art. Thought Pyramid has been in existence since 2008.

One of the cornerstones of Thought Pyramid’s ethos is to promote understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of art and its values in an accessible, contemporary and unpretentious environment. This centre has been visited by delegates and diplomats from all around the world including a visit from the past president of Germany Joachim Gauck, Duchess of Cornwall, HRH Camilla, and a host of others.

The mission of The Thought Pyramid Art Centre is to collect, conserve, and study modern and contemporary art of Africa, and the African Diaspora, So as to advance creativity, artistic excellence and innovation for the benefit of humanity and our environments.

 

 

 

 

 

For us, checking out what’s happening around us is a top priority on our agenda every time as we set out daily in search of beautiful places of interest where we can know more about Nigeria and what makes Nigerians a special breed. Although, there are several tourist attractions in Nigeria, but still most are in hidden places which we determine to unravel to you per time. From natural landscapes to cities and heritage sites, Nigeria has it all. To learn more about art centres in Abuja or Nigeria at large, follow us closely as we unravel to you the beauties of Nigeria on @experiencingnaija.

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Dajo Pottery: The amazing work of art you can’t afford to miss

Art, they say, is a part of life that plays a whole number of roles and executes a range of functions. The history of art in Nigeria is interesting. The 15th century was the beginning of great explosion of the work of art with the carving of the famous figurine. The figurine became popular and placed the Benin Kingdom into the world of arts. Other ancient civilizations also came forth with their different art forms which included but not limited to painting, carving, sculpture and poetry. The 19th century also saw the prominence of arts from the Nok, Benin, Igbo Ukwu, Owo, Esie and Ife artworks. Today, these artworks energize Nigerian creatives to produce works within obvious traditions and practices.

This has documented the history of Nigeria with art as that unifying factor that sells the country to the rest of the world. No doubt, Nigeria is rich. Not just the land, Nigeria, but also the people. Nigerians are super talented individuals with great creative skills and thinking ability. Being the giant of Africa is not just a gain saying but an accolade that’s worth it. Though the art of ceramics and pottery making itself is older than the nation Nigeria. Remember Nok Arts, Igbo- Ukwu arts, Ife Bronze heads, sculptures were the art works that put Nigeria on the art map of the world.

Benue state, being a land full of immense opportunities and possibilities also possesses immense tourism potentials in which one of the most exciting places to visit is DAJO POTTERY LIMITED. A privately-owned pottery, located at Dajo Close, Makurdi-Gboko Road, Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria. The pottery has made thousands of unique potteries for local and international tourists who fancy owning a fascinating pottery. The pots come in various sizes and designs and made under various conditions to preserve its uniqueness and peculiarity wherever the local work of art is taken to in the world. The work of art there is amazing and indeed they’ve justified the saying “being creative is not a hobby, It’s a way of life”. The level of creativity coupled with the mind-blowing innovations displayed here is outstanding. No wonder this has earned the company a lot of international recognition and awards in and outside the country and has put the company on a pedestal in the ceramics and pottery making business.

The Dajo pottery being an international, multi-award winning ceramics industry in Nigeria, is the first ever to produce in commercial quantities marble ceramic wares in the country and first in Africa to attain the digital ceramic technology. It has put the nation on the map with their unique designs and share will of its owner. The pottery was conceived in 1984 by the master potter and an international ceramic icon, Mr. Levi O’bem Yakubu. a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University and a former Ceramics Lecturer at the Benue State Polytechnic formerly known as Murtala College of science and technology then. He resigned his lecturing job to focus on filling the gap for the industry based on the policy pronouncement of restriction or banning of importation of table ware ceramics in the country in 1984.

The pottery has grown from the initial staff of ten to fifty-two, thereby creating job opportunities for the immediate community as well as encouraging art lovers. Over time, this tourist site has attracted many from all over the world. Since its inception, the pottery has won some of the most prestigious award in ceramics and pottery. This include the three consecutive year’s international ceramics excellence award in China. For 30 years, the Dajo pottery also provides a training pro-bono for university students in the industrial training scheme to encourage the future generation of pottery artist and enthusiast. Mr. Dajo emphasized the essence of giving great practical hands-on training for the university students.

Even with all of these achievements, the pottery faces an enormous challenge of funding. On the visit by experiencing naija team, the structures looks worn and finished products were covered with dust. An interesting fact about Dajo pottery is that clay needed for production is sourced from the vast land on which it is located and the gorge created from digging the clay was eventually turned into a fish pond creating another source of income. For Mr. Dajo, access to loans and government recognition will go a long way in the survival of the pottery. He stated that the demand for Nigerian pottery especially Dajo pottery brand is very wide.

Dajo Pottery combines the best of the pottery tradition of several generations with contemporary techniques with the integration of the most current technology of the industry to create works of spectacular and unique appeal that is comfortable with today’s lifestyle. The pottery also ensures a happy combination of aesthetic utility in its wide range of products for its varied clientele. Products produced at Dajo pottery include but not limited to Flower Vases, Kitchenware, Lamp stands, Digital murals (photo tiles) and African Art Icons.

Dajo pottery is definitely a place to be, especially for the art lovers and all who appreciate creativity. Want to know more about other tourism sites and tourism potentials of Benue State? Feel free to contact us now, as we take you through several experiences in Nigeria. Do follow us on our pages: FacebookInstagramTwitter and Youtube. We promise to give you the best and accurate information about Nigeria and Nigerians.

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