Governments at all levels must set aside special grants for artists to boost the industry and for individual development.

An artist, Oscar Ukonu, told newsmen in Lagos that such grants would help young artists to take off after school before they start selling their products and earning a living.

The Creative Director, Oscar Ukonu Studios of Art, said that the established ones also needed to boost their works.

“The present government needs to help us through grants to assist us in going for residency; every artist needs it but must have money to do it.

“Grants are important because it will help to support artists for a period of time before they are stabilised,’’ he said.

The artist said that grants are usually provided for artists by governments abroad to enable them go for residency programme, further studies and trainings that can enhance their performances.

“It is to help them with whatever they can do to enhance their jobs or get them started with their chosen career,’’ he said.

Ukonu applauded the past administration for doing its best by assisting some of the artists and called on the Federal Government to do all it could to take arts and culture to another level.
He said that the industry would definitely head for greater heights, locally and internationally, with some push from relevant stakeholders.

“Arts as a career sets people thinking wisely, brings about creativity and promotes technology which simply indicates that it is a powerful tool for growth.

“Creativity will help this country grow, that is why I am campaigning for grants for artists so that things can relatively be easy for them.

“Arts is with us and it is around. It can also manifest in different ways, just like a painter creates his work of art, other things can be created too,” he said.

NAN reports that Ukonu studied environmental design and architecture at the Imo State University (IMSU).


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