Tuesday, 25 August 2009
BY TAJUDEEN SOWOLE
CONSISTENTLY, Biodun Omolayo has for five years invested in the future of art, using three classes of people: the youths, women and business executives. One of the events, a yearly holiday workshop known as Young at Art, currently runs at two centres —Specifics Studio, Ikeja and National Museum, Onikan — both in Lagos. Held once a year, between August and September, during long vacation, Omolayo says this edition focuses on “creative thinking techniques, an innovative approach to ideas generation and problem solving.” Last year, the theme was on family values, and it explored painting, crafts as well as performing arts as means to educate the children on crucial family values. To make the theme more practical last year, there were visitations by successful professionals to the workshop. Elaborating on the 2009 theme, Omolayo says that the whole idea is to teach the young ones on how to use less to achieve much, distil opportunities from crisis or challenges. “A process whereby you emphasise your strength and de-emphasise your weakness; it also involves using Other People’s Trashed Ideas (OPTI),” he says. “The purpose is to have the young ones create and re-create. The intention of this playshop is not to make artists of the children, but to bring out their creativity and potentials to bear on their future engagements (in whatever field they choose), and their appreciation of beauty. Ultimately the purpose of the project is to develop the total personality of the child through the visual creative medium.” He adds, “the vision of the project is to develop a happy and creative child, and to produce an innovative and solution-minded adults for the future; a mission to use art in a friendly non-academic manner as a platform to developing a rounded creative future in the youth.” OMOLAYO, who recently hosted the Celebrity Art Exhibition, an elite show in honour of Mrs Hilda Dei Sotinwa, says, “the 2009 workshop is aimed at strengthening the homefront and by extension, the society.” During the May 29, Children’s Day Celebration, the gallery hosted children to a drawing and painting party to mark the day; while the celebrity show is used to celebrate a special day in the life of a chosen celebrity or collector. For Sotinwa, it was her 60th birthday; among the guests, who witnessed the exhibition were Chief Segun Osoba, former governor of Ogun state; Chief Layi Ajayi Bembe; Mr. Raymond Kotey; Femi Majekodunmi; Mrs. Majekodunmi; Chief and Mrs.Rasheed Gbadamosi; Mrs. Olu Akintoye; Chief Sammy Olagbaju. A GRADUATE of Performing Arts with specialisation in technical theatre at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Omolayo worked for the New Prudential Bank (now defunct) before venturing into art gallery business.