As art lovers and culture enthusiasts across the country prepare to participate in the 2019 edition of the National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST) scheduled to hold in Benin City, the Edo State capital, the state government has intensified sensitisation of local exhibitors.
Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Osaze Osemwegie-Ero, who paid a courtesy call on Dr. Mrs. Priscilla Aletor, of the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Benin, assured that about 50 of her works will be showcased during the festival.
According to Osemwengie-Ero, the visit to Aletor’s Art Gallery afforded him the opportunity to assess the quality of her works and their suitability for the annual cultural fiesta.
“I am impressed with what she has done, putting her knowledge into painting. It is always good to encourage our people who have such talent. It wasn’t easy for Dr. Aletor to make these beautiful works portraying our culture,” the commissioner said.
He added that efforts were being made by organisers of the festival to allow students of Fine and Applied Arts in the university to showcase their paintings at NAFEST, after which they will be linked to art buyers and collectors.
The commissioner maintained that preparation for 2019 NAFEST was in top gear, and said that the Commissioners of Arts and Culture in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, will converge on Benin City from July 8-12 for the executives of culture seminar.
He explained that the seminar will feature a session where the Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Segun Runsewe, will hold a meeting with the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Technical Committee and the Commissioner, to ascertain how prepared they are for the festival.
“The unveiling of the Festival Logo will be done during the seminar. There will be a press briefing and after the seminar, we will commence the proper marketing of the festival, using a mix of communication channels such as bill boards, branding of buses, radio and television commercials amongst others.
Osemwengie-Ero noted that the festival was still open for sponsorship from corporate bodies and individuals so they could showcase their products and services to the over 2 million people who would attend the event.
Responding, Dr. Aletor said her works depict the Edo Culture, noting that Edo is the home of Arts in the world, with millions of art lovers.