Art can boost Nigeria’s economy

A fine artist, Ms Nisi Ogulu, says arts and creativity can contribute significantly to the nation’s economy if Nigerian artists are given the enabling environment to operate.

The 26-year-old Ogulu made these remarks at an art exhibition, which had as its theme, “Puzzle”, held on Sunday in Lagos.

“I think everybody has art in his or her mind, but the challenge is that people have not been given the opportunity to explore it.

“Abroad, there is the exposure; there are several experiences to dive headfirst into, but at home, there are not as many.

“So, having a community or country that focus on the importance of art and creativity can build real systems if people are allowed to open up their minds,’’ she said.

The artist said that the message behind the theme of the exhibition was about seeing things and people as they are in a multi-dimensional way.

According to her, there are many facets that makeup one person and, therefore, the need for people to open up thought processes, dig deeper and understand more things.

“I like arts; I am a musician; I like engineering, fashion and I love my family.

“What motivates me is creating an impact on the world that portrays the creative brilliance and the all-around intelligence of Africa that is hidden on a global scale,’’ Ogulu said.

Also speaking, an art collector, Mr Alex Nwuba, remarked that art had become the investment of the future, urging people to take advantage of it.

According to Nwuba, many people do not invest in art because they do not know that art is an asset they can invest in.

“Investing in art, you have to find artists that have good potential and there are young artists that do dynamic works.

“So, if you take a long time view to art, you cannot lose; that is why art is the investment of the present.

“Art can be anything; once you can identify the story and the artist has articulated the story, you have art.

“Once you have art, you have gained two things: the pleasure of enjoying the piece that you have collected and the opportunity to sell it at a higher gain in the future,’’ Nwuba said.