Developing artistic skills for the labour market through art training and exhibition
Earlier in the year, a report on Nigeria’s creative economy from an online job portal and career platform, Jobberman, supported the assertion that Nigeria’s creative economy is the country’s second-largest employer and has the potential to produce more jobs for the country’s youth population. The country’s creative economy has made a name for itself and advanced the influence in music, media, film, literacy, and art and culture across the globe. Given the need to promote youth employment in key sectors of the economy through technical and vocational education and training, the programme Skills Development for Youth Employment – SKYE and the Programme Migration for Development (PME) both funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by GIZ partnered with Nike Art Gallery to implement a “Made in Nigeria Art” project in Lagos State.
The Made in Nigeria Art project had a three-day art training which took place on the 4th to 6th of May 2021 with 30 participants. The beneficiaries were a blend of skilled artists, art graduates and undergraduates from major universities in Lagos. To ensure inclusion across all groups, the masterclass was opened to the public, through social media announcements. An Instagram page was created and used as the platform for entries and over 150 entries were received. Out of this number, 24 painters and 6 photographers were selected for the masterclass session.
The training areas included digital art marketing, sketches, reference judgement and conceptualisation. The art training ended with a competition that showcased the best artistic talents. A certificate of participation was issued to all beneficiaries of the training.
As part of the project, an art exhibition was organised by SKYE on the 16th of September 2021 to display the selected piece from the competition held after the training in May. This allowed participants to sell their work and provided them with much-needed access to the art labour market.
Speaking at the event, an artist and participant of the master class training, Oluwaseun Victor Okunlola, expressed gratitude to the organisers. He said “the made in Nigeria master class was very useful indeed, to the extent that I haven’t stopped thinking and rethinking. I am already working on short term and long-term objectives that I have set for myself; I feel so much more positive, and optimistic and certainly have managed to get rid of that dreaded feeling of isolation which can really pull me down. Indeed, it was a great privilege. Thank you GIZ for the great opportunity in which I was able to get connected with art buyers and art promoters it was a mega promotion for me”.
The art exhibition was attended by implementing partners of GIZ’s Sustainable Economic Development Cluster (SEDEC) in Lagos state. The exhibition was a success as some of the astounding art pieces were sold on day of the exhibition and within days after the event. In addition, some artists secured new art contracts on the day of the exhibition. The exhibition granted the artists entry to the Opulent art market in Lagos, which opened a lot of opportunities and possibilities of collaborations for them.