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Art Exhibition: Lagoon Gallery opens in Unilag with ‘On &On’

Art enthusiasts can now enjoy more diverse collections as the Lagoon Gallery by the Creative Arts Department, University of Lagos(Unilag), debuts with On &On, an art exhibition rich with a collection of about 20 works.

Head of Department and Professor of Art History, Peju Layiwola, was glad to welcome guests including the Provost of the College of Medicine, Prof. Foluso Afolabi Lesi, a lover of the arts, who took time to appreciate every work in the collection at the exhibition on Monday.  

Layiwola appreciates the untiring support of  the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe and the school’s management team,  the Dean, Faculty of Arts, Prof Muyiwa Falaiye,  and of course  Prof. Ayo Yusuf, of the Institute of African and Diaspora Studies,  who have all shown their love for the arts and particularly  for the efforts by the department in grooming some of the best-breed creative artists.

The department has done well  recreating an old store space into this cute gallery, where they purpose to have vintage works by both students and lecturers of the department.
A creation from a once-existed make-shift gallery, Layiwola said : “We had a make-shift gallery,  which
functioned as a proper gallery along the University passages and it brought a lot of people from different parts of Lagos and visitors to the University came to see the works and the talents inherent in the university.
“This is like an extension of that gallery because that one was pulled down after a while when we moved to
this place. So, we created this space from the works that were done by past students and also lecturers, and raised over N4 million to renovate this place and buy facilities for the department.”
Layiwola feels fulfilled that her department is able to create value from like nothing, and actually
generating resources. “For me, this is very important that we can from nothing, with the absence of resources,  actually generate resources, and I think this a way of creating value. It used to be our store where we keep our art works,” she said.

Piece by Otonye Bille titled She


Layiwola is excited that this is the first time all the lecturers would put their creative works together for an exhibition, and that her students are happy about the development as they see possibilities in
everything, going on.
  “Importantly, the art gallery will now serve as laboratory for teaching and the students are going to have
the opportunity of creating their own shows,” Layiwola added. 
“So, we are not just teaching them how to be painters or sculptures, but also teaching them how to put together an art exhibition, and this is a space that will serve just that. 

“It is also going to be a place where visitors to the University will come and see works, because we intend to show exhibitions all year round. And this is the opening of works done by visual arts lecturers in the unit.”

Quadri’s twin work , Life Wire(left) and Arambada


The Lagoon Gallery is a beautiful model that would help students learn in a more engaging space as
Layiwola added: “Students will have the opportunity to see what we teach them in class. I believe that learning goes on outside of the classroom, in the gallery spaces and other spaces as well. It is also for them to know that this is the standard that is expected.”
For broader perspectives, artists from outside the department would be allowed to bring in their works for showcasing, thereby creating a town-gown experience when students have the opportunity of interacting  with the artists.
Both Professors Lesi and Layiwola appreciate the presence of the huge collection of works of art at the
College of Medicine, Unilag. “ They are works done by an early generation of artists like Bruce Onobrakpeya and Ben Enwonwu,” Layiwola said.

See you at the Lagoon Gallery!


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