The Ghana Association of Visual Artists (GAVA) in partnership with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has marked 'World Art Day' 2019 with a symbolic clean-up exercise.
The celebration of the World Art Day commenced in 2012 and was championed by International Association of Art (IAA) which put forward a proposal for consideration at its 17th General Assembly in Guadalajara, to promote awareness of creative activity worldwide.
The celebration which falls on 15th April was a decision taken in honour of Leonardo da Vinci who symbolised world peace, freedom of expression, tolerance, brotherhood and multiculturalism as well as the importance of art to other fields.
This year's celebration marks the 7th edition of the International Association (IAA) and the 4th for Ghana. Ghana Association of Visual Artists became a member of IAA in 2015.
This year’s celebration in the country commenced with a clean-up exercise at the Arts Centre in Accra. The event which was organized by GAVA symbolically portrayed Professionals including Politicians and Pastors advocating on the need for all hands to be on deck to keep the city clean.
The Arts Centre and some parts of Accra were swept clean before a procession led by the President of GAVA, Nana Otuo Owoahene Acheampong, headed to the AMA office.
The AMA hosted for the main celebration which was climaxed on the slogan: Accra for Art, Art for Accra.
The event brought together stakeholders, traditional leaders and renowned Artists who were engaged in live painting at the AMA and another live mural painting on the walls of Kimbu Senior High School as a collaboration to engage Arts students of the school while beautifying the Accra Metropolis at the same time.
Among those present included: Naa Ashiokor Obaneihi I, Progress Queen mother of Osu, Mrs Alice Alima Kala, Acting Director- Centre for National Culture, Madam Gloria Adokunu, Headmistress of Kimbu Senior High School, Mr Patrick William Dodoo, President of P.I.T.O. and Mr Lawrence Kwaku Agyeman, the General Secretary of GAVA.
Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, Mayor of Accra who addressed the gathering said the AMA has the vision to use Art to beautify the city as such initiated the process of expressing thoughts/feeling of the present and future of Accra through Art last year.
He expressed the resolve by the Assembly to declare Accra a city of Art by engaging prominent Artists and making space available in the city for them to express the thought of the city through Art explaining that Accra stands to benefit if all stakeholders join hands to embrace the business of Art in the city.
“After today’s event which is the painting of the walls of Kimbu Senior High School, various interchanges in Accra will be painted and we believe this will even deter the public from pasting posters at public places.
Mr. Sowah commended GAVA and other stakeholders including Painting In the Open (PITO) for being at the forefront of the campaign ‘Art for Accra, Accra for Art’ and hoped the call will go a long way to beautify Accra and also motivate student Artists to mentor Senior Artists to drive the course of promoting Art in the country.
On his part, President of GAVA, Nana Otuo Owoahene Acheampong on behalf of the Association thanked the AMA for providing the platform for Artists to express their talents through the ‘Art for Accra, Accra for Art campaign’. “This indeed shows that Arts is alive”
He said the symbolic cleaning exercise meant that before Artists can utilize every space for Art there must be cleanliness first and all hands should be on deck whether Professionals or Non-professionals.
Nana Owoahene Acheampong recalled that In 2016 and 2017, the event was marked with members of the Greater Accra branch of the Association painting a mural at the entrance of the Centre for National Culture, Accra. “Last year 2018, GAVA was hosted to a live painting session by the Mayor of Accra, Hon. Mohammed Adjei Sowah and his colleagues at his official residence at Ridge in Accra and a donation of a 'Quilt' (Asaasaa) Painting (A collection paintings by members of GAVA, sewn together into one piece and framed) to AMA.
He seized the occasion to appeal to Government to as a matter of urgency invest in the construction of a National contemporary Art Gallery where works of great artists will be housed to serve as tourism for revenue generation.