By Lydia Kukua Asamoah, GNA
Accra, April 12, GNA - The First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has called on the corporate community to assist Ghanaian artists to grow and maximize their inherent potential and sell the country through art.
“I believe that sometimes a piece of artwork can sell a country in ways that are simply unimaginable”, she noted, adding that “It is no wonder that civilization is closely tied with the arts”.
As a great enthusiast of diverse works of art, Mrs. Akufo-Addo said she believes when budding artists are assisted, it “will promote interest in the arts, boost the morale of artists and contribute to the BUY GHANA campaign.”
The First Lady was speaking at the opening of the Melcom Art Gallery where she graced the occasion as the Special Guest of Honour.
The Melcom Art Exhibition is an initiative being championed by the company, and offering opportunities to budding artists to create works that could sell Ghana locally and on international platform.
The maiden edition, featuring Larry Otoo, a renowned Ghanaian Artist who prefers to be identified as a Contemporary Traditionalist, is being held on the sub-theme, “Our Culture, Our Music”.
He is to showcase his exhibits for four weeks at the free space being donated by Melcom, after which other identified artists would be given the platform to showcase their exhibits for two weeks period interval until the end of the year.
However, the main theme for the Melcom Exhibition is “Art and Commerce”, and it being organised in collaboration with Big Apples ART Gallery.
The First Lady commended the effort of Melcom in “giving artists a platform to display their work at no cost” and called on other corporate body to assist in a similar regard.
She said many artists had given society, a window of the world that was both pleasurable and intriguing, noting that “from masters like Michaelango, Leonardo da Vinci, Picasso, Rembrandt to our own Amon Kotei, Ablade Glover, Betty Acquah, Kate Badoe, Victor Butler, Atta Kwami, Larry Otoo, and El Anatsui”, all have had their artworks given rise to intellectual, cultural and identity debates.
She said because art connects to people at a very personal level, a good piece of artwork could give pleasure to many who truly appreciated art and produce a narrative that tells about times past, about civilizations and about the artist.
Noting the economic value of a good artwork, Mrs Akufo-Addo said “We all recall that Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi or Saviour of the World in English, was bought for 450 million dollars in New York, in November 2017, shattering the record for the most expensive artwork ever sold.”
She therefore noted that art was not remote to the bread and butter issues confronting us, and that, the study, funding and creation of artworks should be accorded a lot more attention.
She praised the artists whose works were on exhibition for maintaining originality and urged them to impart the knowledge to the youth.
Mr Mahesh Melwani, Joint Managing Director of Melcom Group of Companies said the initiative was to offer a free space for artists to showcase their exhibits as a way of reviving the art industry and create more interest in the art.
He said Melcom would continue to play critical role in the socio-economic development of the nation by expanding its markets to most part of the country thereby helping create more employment opportunities to many Ghanaians.
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