Me and the Arts
I am a lover of arts and very passionate about Nigerian arts. Though I was born into a family of artists, I could not really chase my dreams of becoming a professional artist because of the perceived notion that it is unprofitable as a career. This mindset also forced most of my family members into other career paths but because of the passion they have for the craft, they still support it with whatever resources they have when they can.
Evolution of Pinnacles Art Gallery
The vision for a gallery started as far back as 1999. Then I just gained admission to study Chemistry at the Lagos State University. A friend whose boyfriend is an artist helped changed my perspective about art when I saw him take to the craft full-time. Graciously, I discovered that his work paid his bills. His passion for art is really contagious. Then someday, someone asked me to design a badge for her school and with the help of my artist friend, I was able to get the job done. Quite surprisingly, I got well paid for it. Not too long after that, I ran into a military artist at an exhibition and through him I got into marketing art. The fact that I can make money selling art revived my dying passion and I decided to venture into it. At first, things were slow, so I worked temporarily at MasterCard, then worked briefly with Tara Orekelewa as her business development manager. It was after I resigned my appointment with Tara that I left to set up AIDA Exhibitions.
Getting sponsorship from the government is the major bane of Nigerian artists . This realisation spurred me to tackle issues head on. It also partly informed my decision to establish a gallery. I have watched talented artists frustrated out of their passion because of the lack of an enabling environment to encourage them. My mom for instance is a passionate artist who does everything from pottery to paintings, sculpting, textile and even hand printing. After a while, she decided to stop practicing and just teach the art because according to her, it doesn't pay the bills. Another challenge is finding a venue for exhibitions.
AIDA Exhibitions is the product of a vision stemmed at promoting young but talented artists who do not have platforms to showcase their works. Now we have at least an exhibition per month to boast about. I see a bright future ahead for art in Nigeria. People seem to appreciate art here. Though the sales rating is not yet impressive, I have faith that it will grow.