Artists Decry Low Patronage As Abuja Trade Fair Draws To A Close

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Some artists taking part in the ongoing 6th Abuja International Trade Fair on Thursday expressed concern over low patronage of their art works.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the artists attributed the low patronage to lack of appreciation of creative works.

Mr Uche Nwaozor, a Calabar-based artist, therefore, advised Nigerians to change their perception of art work, saying that the country was blessed with talented youths and rich cultural heritage.

“Foreigners are more interested in art works because they see them as treasures.

“We need to promote our art works because they say something about our history and culture; these art works are what we have that the westerners don’t have,’’ he said.

Nwaozor said that since good art works could fetch the country foreign exchange the Federal Government should do everything to promote them.

Mr Benson Lawrence, a Ghanaian artist, who shared Nwaozor’s view, said people were not buying his wood carvings because they complained of high cost.

“They also argued that the carvings were fetish.

“I am disappointed because this is my first time to take part in this trade fair; it is sad that people regard carved wood as fetish objects,’’ he said.

Mr Abdullahi Usman, a Nigerien artist, attributed the low patronage to lack of public awareness about the fair.

Usman told NAN that he would go to the Arts and Craft Village after the fair, to sell some of his arts works.

More than 120 organisations are taking part in the trade fair, which started on Sept. 29 and will end on Oct. 14.