Mr Steven Eruada, sculptor and painter, said poor patronage of art works in the Crafts Village, Abuja, was beginning to have a negative effect on the standard of living of artists.
Eruada, the Public Relations Officer, Abuja Arts and Crafts village, made remark during interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
He said the poor patronage art works was not good for the industry now and in the future as this would discourage youths from taking to the profession.
“It will also discourage parents from counselling children to pursue the programme.’’
According to him, most of the artists are very passionate about the arts and have put all their minds into it to earn a living.
“Lack of patronage of the works inadvertently means little or no money in the pockets of these young artists.
“This will of course stand as a major discouragement to them as people at the forefront of promoting the country’s cultural heritage through their works’’, he said.
He said that parents should also try to inculcate cultural awareness in their children not only through the oral tradition but also through tangible arts like arts and craft.
Eruada held that this must be done to make them have a sense of love and appreciation for arts so that as they grow, it may also bring out the knack for arts.
He called on Nigerians to patronise artists and hang some of the works in their homes to show their love of the country’s heritage.
Mr Kennedy Eguakun, Head of Operations, Baba Kenny Owens Creation, also said there was need for the Federal Government to develop the industry.
He added that there was the need to create an enabling environment for tradesmen and artisans to thrive in the country.
“We are talking about boosting the economic growth of our country but if we fail to provide opportunity for tradesmen and artisans to thrive by buying their works, then the economy will not perform.
“Nigerian artisans can help to build the country to be a great nation only if we recognise the worth and value of their works.
“Any nation that wants to make progress must pay full attention to what artisans are doing and so must give them access to be involved in the economic development process.’’
He urged the federal government to partner with artisans in the drive to boost the economic growth of the nation. (NAN)