Students and pupils from over 30 schools within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Nigeria were brought together to lock horns in various creative arts events in the second edition of Rainbow Art programme organized by the National Gallery of Art (NGA) of the oil-rich nation.
The programme tagged Tagged, Rainbow Art: Unlocking Creativity featured exhibitions of paintings and accessories made by the children, a literary session and a technical session which saw great interest and participation in folktales, drama, visual art, hat, dress and bead making.
With the theme of this year’s edition as ‘A new Nigeria: The Hope of the Nigerian Child and Youth,’ the young ones, in their various areas of creative endevour, expressed the Nigeria they envisaged, undaunted in their dreams for a country devoid of violence, nepotism and all forms of social vices, forecasting a brighter future even in a gloomy present.
The most touching dreams came from the pupils of Abuja School for the Blind. Even in their state, they could see a nation that every Nigerian is proud of. Their thoughts were captured in a song titled, A New Nigeria.
Acting Director-General of NGA, Dr. Simon O. Ikpakronyi, in his welcome address, emphasized the relevance of the programme to the children and the nation.
According to him, the aim was to enable participants to develop the idea of critical thinking and reasoning.
It was also to make them improve their art of imaginative composition necessary to unlock the level of creativity in them.
“It would make participants to love colours and develop painting skills and identifying motifs on faces, which might be used in future art production among others,” the Acting D.G stated.
According to Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Culture, Deaconess Grace Gekpe, “It is no surprise therefore that NGA is using this symbol to unlock the latent creativity of our children.
“The hope is hinged on tangible actions such as empowerment of the citizenry and lifting the people out of poverty.”
Adding: “By focusing on the creative acumen of our children and youth, NGA is galvanizing them for a brighter future. Indeed, talents abound among our children and youth but the institutions to harness these talents are limited.
“It is high time we focused more on our children and youth, and create opportunities and empowerment programmes such as this for them”, she stated.
For the initiator of the programme and Director, Educational Services, NGA, Dr. Evelyn Otaigbe, the programme, which holds yearly, actualizes one of NGA’s mandates of identifying young talented artists, encouraging them to practice the art and choose same as a career.
She stated that the programme stemmed from the critical notion that the minds of children are easily transformable and amenable to seeing through their lenses and prism.
“Rainbow Art draws deep-rooted messages while presenting endless and limitless opportunities for children through the dazzling, vibrant and electrifying colours of the rainbow.
“Our goal is to adopt strategies that harness the cognitive development of children that are robust and results-driven”, she held.
The Chairman of NGA’s governing board, Alhaji Umaru A. Sulaiman, declared the exhibitions of talents open.