This year the quiet sleepy town of Agbarha- Otor located in the Niger Delta of Nigeria will again play host to The Annual Agbarha - Otor Harmattan Art workshop in the month of March 2002.
This event was initiated by Dr. Bruce Onobrakpeya a renowned Nigerian artist whose works can be found in important collections all over the world.
It is created as a forum for visual artists to inspire one another, as well as expand their artistic sensibilities.
Started four years ago with just 18 artists in attendance in 1998, the workshop has increased it's attendance with the number of participating artists rising to 61 artists as recorded in 2000.
The Annual Agbarha- Otor Harmattan workshop series is a Bruce Onobrakpeya Foundation initiative which seeks to develop the potential of Nigerian Artists by engendering the growth of art and culture, through the provision of opportunities for artists to improve themselves through skills acquisition and financial empowerment.
To this end it hopes to promote and develop public interest in the visual arts by creating awareness for the intrinsic value of African Art and its benefits to a larger society.
The workshop focuses attention on all aspects of visual arts which include painting sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, bronze casting and jewelry.
Although the workshop is broken down into different sections, they are both instructive and interactive with facilitators or instructors handling the various departments.
During the actual workshops, participants will be expected to register in one area of choice only , however they will be free to move around to observe the other areas.
According to Jude Ifesieh, a 1999 participant of the workshop, who now works out of the capital city of Abuja in Nigeria, believes "This workshop/ festival is unique in the sense that it is one of the very few opportunities in Africa for artists to come together, and work in an enabling environment where the experienced and inexperienced can share ideas, criticize each others works, learn from one another and experiment and explore new areas and techniques while benefiting from the beauty of the environment"
On the reason for the name Harmattan, Bruce Onobrakpeya discloses that "the name Harmattan is given to the workshop, because they are scheduled to take place during the dry season (harmattan) months of December January, February and March. The months also coincide with the bumper harvests of palm fruits and the bailing of ponds for the fish festival in the Niger Delta, participating artists and visitors may also be able to participate and witness these celebrations".
During the workshop programme, the participants find time to visit places of artistic interest in the Delta region of Nigeria. Places that can be visited include Oto Edo, where traditional pottery and potters can be seen at work.
Other places include the Ibru Ecumenical Center which is located within walking distance of the workshop camp and and palace of the Ovie (traditional ruler) of Agbarha-Otor
At the end of the exhibition it is expected that works created on various themes including the environment and a transcient culture of the people, will not only travel all over Nigeria, but will also travel and tour Internationally. Finally it is also expected by the organizers that the workshop will not only stimulate creativity, but also help the participants expand their view points, and develop new and important expertise that will strengthen the presence and relevance of art in collective experience of our people.
This workshop is set up as a non profit event, and donations are welcome from all. For more information, please contact the address below.
The Harmattan Workshop Series
Bruce Onobrakpeya Foundation
41 Oloje Street Papa-Ajao
Send comments and questions to H-Net
Webstaff. H-Net reproduces announcements that have been submitted to us as a
free service to the academic community. If you are interested in an announcement
listed here, please contact the organizers or patrons directly. Though we strive
to provide accurate information, H-Net cannot accept responsibility for the text of
announcements appearing in this service. (Administration)