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17.06.2004 General News

Support College of Art and art industry - Andam

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Accra, June 17, GNA - Professor Kwesi Andam, Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) on Thursday called for support to maintain and improve facilities in the College of Art of KNUST.

This, he said, would enable the college to produce the calibre of products that would convey the depth and richness of the country's cultural activities.

He said every year, the college turns out graduates in various fields, ranging from textiles, painting, book industry, sculpture and ceramics through the dedication of lecturers and the students' desire for art education.

Prof. Andam, who made the call in a speech read for him at the opening of a 10-day national art exhibition in Accra said the College's most pressing problems were the lack of infrastructure and relevant material.

Known as "Transition", the exhibition features the art works of 12 contemporary artists from various parts of the country and is a preview to the original event to take place in Denmark from September to October 2004.

The Danish Trade Union Council for International Development, the College of Art of KNUST, the Trade Union Congress, Ghana National Association of Teachers and the Artist Alliance gallery are the organisers.

Prof. Andam said it is discouraging to know that very few Ghanaians invest in the field of art, adding that the present state of the College, which was the home of some of the artists of the exhibition, was very appalling.

He said, "there were many types of art but today, art most often referred to the visual arts, specifically painting, sculpture and photography.

Prof Andam said art was very often relegated to a small corner of society and in doing so, many of the ties between art, life and learning had been severed, adding, ' I believe that art is an integral part of human experience, to make art is to be alive, it is about living one's original ideas, rather than repeating those of others." He therefore, called on Ghanaians to pay much attention to art exhibits for no other medium were better suited to convey the richness of the nation's culture.

He said perhaps most people remain unappreciative of art because they believe that art was solely for aesthetic purposes, adding that the philosophy and aesthetic aspects of art was actually compliments of one other.

Mr Poul Nyborg, a Counsellor at the Royal Danish Embassy, who represented the Ambassador, Mr Flemming Bjork Pedersen said it was a living proof that Ghana and Africa have something important to show and communicate to the world, adding that in Europe and for that matter Denmark, the common picture of Africa was one of poverty, starvation, civil wars, HIV/AIDS and corruption, among other things. He said the artistic expression was developing and growing out of the traditional culture of Ghana and not a copy of Europe and American contemporary Art.

He said Ghanaian artists have exhibited in Denmark before and experts of art in Denmark have admired their works, but this exhibition was special.

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