The Art Sector in Nigeria
The Art sector in Nigeria has grown considerably in the last 15 years. More Collectors and people appreciate Art for both its aesthetic and investment
purposes. Some Art galleries have been opened and more artists have graduated from the various schools to practice professionally. in the past most graduates of fine Art often got jobs in other sectors like advertising, newspapers and even in Banks.
With the increased economic activity, awareness and expanding economy more people are becoming Art collectors. The increase in art awareness has been as a result of the tenacity
of the practicing Artists who have continued to produce high quality art, organise exhibitions, participate in foreign exhibitions and encourage younger artists by taking them on as apprentices, organising workshops etc.
Art correspondents in the various national newspapers are also to be commended because of their mature and incisive coverage of art exhibitions, auctions and other events. The lack of infrastructure has stumped the growth of the art sector, the lack of standard galleries, museums, art materials (only one art dealer in Nigeria), libraries, art education in schools, art expos, framers etc.
Artists are not recognised, encouraged nor supported through sponsorship from corporate organisations, although some are to be commended for their consistent sponsorship support over the last couple of years.
The Artist Society and Guilds have also helped to galvanise more awareness and support for the artists through the various activities they organise although a lot of work needs to be done. The artists have to re-position themselves as brands to reap the benefits accruing to their profession.
The need for international best practice and online presence cannot be over emphasised. The need to develop a secondary market for print production and sales will go a long way in improving the access of more people to art images and more income for Nigerian artists.
The galleries are largely set up and run by non-professionals and people who have passion but no real knowledge and experience in the proper storage, display of works and the high level of professionalism required to curate art.
However Kudos must go to the artists, gallery owners, auctioneers, art dealers, framers, art material dealers, art correspondents, art collectors and corporate sponsors who have contributed immensely to the growth of the Art Sector.
The governments at various levels need to recognize the importance of art as a catalyst in the reformation of any society and the need to increase the awareness through education, development of infrastructure and funding support for artists as it is done globally. it is a known fact that long after civilizations have crumbled their art has remained the existing evidence of their greatness. The appreciation of beauty and creativity is an indication of the advancement of a people and has become a huge foreign exchange earner and foundation for tourism in many advanced Countries. Nigeria cannot and should not be an exception.