Dele Jegede, Professor and Chair, Department of Art, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, USA and Professor Salah Hassan of Cornell University, Ithaca, USA, are amongst top artists and scholars that have concluded arrangements to arrive Abuja on Sunday, for the first Africa Regional Summit and Exhibition on Visual Arts tagged ARESUVA 2008. The one-week event, which is fully supported by Oceanic Bank, will run from Sunday, September 7 to Saturday, September 14, 2008 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, Nigeria.
Others that have confirmed their readiness to attend are: Claudine Pommer, Act in Action Society, Toronto, Canada; Prof. Sylvester Ogbechie, University of California, Santa Barbra, USA; Lisa Binder, Assistant Curator, Museum for African Arts, New York; Prof. Ikem Okoye, Department of History, Old College, University of Delaware, Newark, USA and Anitra Nettleton, Professor of Art, University of Witwaterstrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Also billed to be part of the summit are: Professor Awam Amkpa, New York University, USA; Simon Njami, Afrique Noire, Paris; Prof. Deborah Willis, New York University, USA and Prof. Manthia Diawara, Director, Institute of African – American Affairs, New York University.
They would be joined by some of the finest minds in Nigerian Visual Arts such as: Prof. Ola Oloidi, University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Prof. Agbo Folarin, Institute of African Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; Prof. S. Y. Ogunduyile, Federal University of Technology, Akure; Prof. Osa Egonwa, Delta State University, Abraka; Prof. Umar Abdullahi, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi; Prof. Rom Kalilu, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, Oyo State; Prof. Peju Layiwola, University of Lagos; Dr. Kunle Filani, Provost, Federal College of Education, Osiele, Abeokuta; Prof. Adamu Mbahi, University of Maiduguri; Prof. B. K. Oloruntoba, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and Dr. Frank Ogiomoh, University of Port-Harcourt. They would serve as Speakers, Panel Chairs for the different sessions of the summit.
16 African Countries are participating in the exhibition with 24 entries. Six Nigerian artists in the Diaspora are taking part as well as one Canadian and an American. 40 Nigerian artists are also participating in the exhibition.
According to the programme of activities rolled out by the Nigeria Gallery Arts, all participants will arrive Abuja on Sunday, September 7. The opening ceremony takes place on Monday, September 8 with Joe Musa, Director-General of the National Gallery of Arts, giving the introductory address. This will be followed by Performance Art by the Blackman in European Kitchen, Emmanuel Eni, a Berlin, Germany based Nigerian artist. The Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation Chief Adetokunbo Kayode will deliver welcome address, while the lead paper is to be presented by Chief (Mrs.) Cecilia Ibru, MD/CEO, Oceanic Bank. The Minister will thereafter declare the exhibition open with vote of thanks by Soni Irabor, Chairman, Central Working Committee, ARESUVA 2008. A gala nite rounds off the activities on Monday.
The plenary session opens on Tuesday September 9 with Prof. Ola Oloidi’s paper; Visual Arts in the Economic Advancement of a Nation-African Space.
Lisa Binder speaks on Museum on African Art, New York: In Perspective and Prof. Anitra Nettleon’s paper is titled; Rural Artists/Art Market Interaction in South Africa while Prof. Folarin focuses on, The Cultural and Economic Viability of Monumental Sculpture in Public Spaces. (What Nigeria Needs to do and Emulated).
Plenary session two on Wednesday September 10, kicks off with Prof. Ogunduyile’s paper followed by that of Dele Jegege titled, Strictures and Structures in the Nigerian Art Space. Other paper presenters for the day are Claudine Pommer and Prof. Sylvester Ogbechie.
Thursday September 11 a star attraction for ARESUVA 2008 will be the roundtable on the topic: Networking Opportunities in Visual Arts: Nigeria and USA Linkages. The discussants are Prof. Awam Amkpa; Simon Njami (Paris); Prof. Deborah Willis; Prof. Manthia Diawara and Prof. Salah Hassan.
Friday, September 12 is dedicated to sight seeing while departure date is Saturday, September 13. Exhibitions will run each day between 9a.m. to 6p.m.