A Study of Growth Trends in Contemporary Art in Yenagoa: A Historical Account from 1996-2016

Wenibaraebi Patterson Ugo, Freeborn Odiboh


Most of the present day artists in Yenagoa, whose artworks have enriched the contemporary art scene in Bayelsa State within the past two decades (1996 to 2016), have not gained much recognition as their counterparts elsewhere in Nigeria, such as those in Lagos, Abuja, amongst others. The reason for this setback has been linked to lack of those basic elements or factors that aid the growth of art in the State. This has its crippling effect on art and its practice in Yenagoa. Consequently, this paper seeks to document the gradually developing trends of contemporary art in Yenagoa. It investigates the factors aiding, or militating against the growth of contemporary art in Yenagoa. The study was entirely carried out on the field, and the method of data collection was by personal interviews. Data from secondary sources were used as well. It adopted the art historical method of enquiry in the humanities, and the approach was basically contextual. The study determined that the growth of contemporary art practice in Yenagoa is hindered by certain factors which range from the dearth of art space, and little or no funding for the artist due to low clientele base; and non-sponsorship for the artist by the government. These factors have resulted in lack of regular exhibitions and nonexistence of other programmes which are fundamental to the development of art.

Keywords: art criticism, artistic ecology, art space, clientele

DOI: 10.7176/ADS/72-02

Publication date: April 30th 2019

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ISSN 2224-6061 (Paper) ISSN 2225-059X (Online)

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