By Japhet Davidson
For the first time, Life in My City Art Festival (LIMCAF), the 14-year-old youth art extravaganza which has carved a dominant niche and charted a unique path of growth in contemporary art for the Nigerian youth will not hold this year in the usual form due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This was disclosed in a statement by the Executive Director of LIMCAF, Mr Kevin Ejiofor.
This was announced by LIMCAF’s Art Director, Dr Ayo Adewunmi, after a virtual meeting of the Trustees where it was decided that in place of the usual Gala and Award Night, LIMCAF will hold an International Webinar on the theme: Life In My City Art Festival and the Growth of Contemporary Art in Nigeria/Africa. The date of the webinar will be announced later.
LIMCAF is Nigeria’s largest art festival and it began in 2007 as a platform to empower aspiring young artists nationwide enabling them, through an annually themed series of competitive exhibitions and graded awards, to commercialise their works while interrogating the lived environment.
This year, even with the Pandemic, more than 300 entries have already been received from young artists and these entries will be carried forward to LIMCAF 2021 when it is expected that things would return to normal.
Regrettably, however, the Board of Directors of LIMCAF have come to the conclusion that all things considered, the Festival cannot hold this year in the usual manner indifference to the COVID 19 Pandemic and the national and international cautionary measures put in place by governments on the advice of scientists.
Speaking about the upcoming webinar, Dr Adewunmi said that the aim of the webinar is to examine in real terms and in a holistic manner, the contributions of LIMCAF to the art ecosystem in Nigeria, re-examine its founding assumptions and chart a path for its future growth and the possibility and means open to LIMCAF for even greater contribution to the development of art in Nigeria and beyond.
Details of the Webinar will be announced later but Adewunmi stressed that some of Nigeria’s foremost artists and scholars including Professor El Anatsui, a Patron of LIMCAF will be part of the Webinar which is expected to offer a rich harvest of ideas and information on not just LIMCAF and the Nigerian art scene but on the future of art in the virtual world now unfolding.
The prime movers of the art industry in Nigeria, including many from the highest calibre of scholars, curators, studio practitioners, collectors, gallery owners and directors of art institutions at home and abroad have also embraced LIMCAF enthusiastically and joined the effort by serving as Jurors, Advisers, and Coordinators at Regional Centres.
Others instituted prizes and sometimes quite substantial prizes, as well as also serving as Chairpersons and Special Guests or as links to possible sponsors and donors.