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Jonathan praises Onobrakpeya on latest milestone

10 November 2014, 08:59Augustine Osayande

Abuja - President Goodluck Jonathan has applauded one of the country's most renowned artists, Bruce Onobrakpeya, over the honour conferred on him by the Smithsonian National Museum of African Arts in Washington, United States recently.

In a congratulatory letter to the world-famous 82 years old sculptor, painter and print-maker who was named the Artist Honouree on the occasion of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary celebrations, President Jonathan said Onobrakpeya’s outstanding and remarkable portfolio of works over several decades made him worthy of the recognition by one of the most distinguished art institutions in the world.

“You are indeed a Living Treasure of Nigeria. From your first, decisive intervention as a member of the Zaria Art Society when you and your colleagues fused colonial art practice with traditional art-forms and philosophy, you have been the consummate artist," read a statement from Jonathan.

“Indeed, there is hardly any individual more deserving of recognition at the Smithsonian’s celebration of 50 years of African art and culture. You have been a catalyst as well as a mentor and inspiration to generations of artists."

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Jonathan noted that the Washington programme at which the artist was honoured included an event tagged, ‘Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue’.

"This too is apt, for you continue to be at the forefront of dialogue between artistic traditions in Nigeria and around the world. Closer to home, your works in the State House Art Collection have given me many moments of meaningful reflection, as I am sure they have done for many visitors to the Presidential Villa,” Jonathan wrote.

Onobrakpeya had earlier received the UNESCO Living Human Treasure Award in 2006.

The President declared that the celebrated artist’s works had been “a high point of beauty and dignity” in the lives of Nigerians.

He prayed that Onobrakpeya would continue to ennoble the country’s cultural space for many more years.

- CAJ News


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