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Sustaining art development in Nigeria through Ben Enwonwu Distinguished Lecture Series

This year’s distinguished lecture series in honour  and memory of art icon,  Ben Enwonwu, was  delivered by renowned printmaker, painter and sculptor  Bruce Onobrakpeya ,with the theme : ‘Informal Art Education through Workshops: Gains and Challenges as lessons  from the Harmattan  Workshop Series’. 
The event held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Victoria Island Lagos, with a gathering of the art community and other art supporters.
Through a digital video presentation, Onobrakpeya showed how his works have traversed several  art patterns. He showed work processes and magnificent results from different people who are working in his studio.  

Aside having to train interns in his studio in  Lagos, Onobrakpeya ‘s Harmattan Workshop  which usually holds at Agbarha-Otor, has been a great resource for  the development and sustainability of art in Nigeria.
During the Hamattan Workshop artists learn fresh perspectives to the work they have always done, while many other participants are trained in any art or craft form that interests them.
On completion of the video show, Onobrakpeya expressed satisfaction on how the Ben Enwonwu Foundation  is helping to share art knowledge and create a rallying point for the development of contemporary  art .
The Ben Enwonwu Foundation was established in 2003 with the aim to sustain and build on Enwonwu’s life and works though which he forged a philosophical basis for modern Nigerian art by fusing Western techniques and indigenous
traditions.  Enwonwu’s  recognition internationally and success increased the visibility and appreciation of modern African art.
Earlier speakers on  the lecture series include: Prof Jerry Buhari, former Dean, Faculty of Environmental Design, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria;  Mr. Donald Duke, former Governor of Cross River State; Prof  Yemi Osinbajo, former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State;  Prof Freida High Tesfagioris,  Department of Afro-American Studies, University of Wisconsin, United States Of America; Dr. Christopher Kolade,  former Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom; Prof Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate in Literature;  Prof John Aiken, Director, Slade School of Art, University College, London;  and Chief  Rasheed  Gbadamosi, former  Federal Minister of Budget and Economic Planning. 
Titles of lectures given according to the speakers listed above  are: Beyond Two-Dimensional Art; The Role of
Art and Tourism In National Development; Enwonwu: The Responsibility of Privilege; Positioning Art and Culture for Sustainable Influence in Nigeria;  Art as a Tool for Cross-Cultural Development;  Art, Tradition and Modernity;  A Position for Art: Locating Sculpture and Its many Contexts;  The Place of Creative Art in the History of Man.





  1. Eya Ayambem says

    Thanks Debby, I never knew this much about Ben Enwonwu.

  2. onepageafrica says

    My greatest pleasure to spread our art history and the great icons behind it.

  3. Anonymous says

    Debby – my daughter is writing a project for school on Ben, but we can't find the names of his wives or children – can you help – karen

  4. onepageafrica says

    Good to know a that more works are being done on the Art legend. Oliver Enwonwu is one of his sons who is very active in the arts and you can get more info about Ben Enwonwu from Omenka Art Gallery Website. Just Google Omenka gallery. Thank you.

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