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Mr. Piriye Kiyaramo

Tourism expert advocates use of Art to cement national unity

Yenagoa, March 11, 2023

Mr. Piriye Kiyaramo, a renowned art enthusiast and tourism expert, has advocated the use of Arts and culture to cement national unity and peaceful coexistence.

Kiyaramo, who is also the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Bayelsa Governor on Tourism, noted that art works have the potential of cultivating a sense of unity and fraternity among Nigerians.

According to him, people see their cultural heritage being expressed in the local arts and feel happy with such innovations and initiatives.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the governor’s aide made this known at the opening of a new private Art gallery in Yenagoa on Saturday.

“When it comes to local artists and art galleries, it is important to remind ourselves that art does not exist in a vacuum, rather, it is a two-way thing.

“An exchange between the artist and his audience has rippling positive impacts on both the individual and the host community,” Kiyaramo said.

Kiyaramo explained that art galleries generate jobs while stimulating local economies through consumer spending and tourism.

The SSA noted that crafts, advertising, graphic arts and cultural tourism are part of the art and culture industry, adding that through taxation the creative sectors directly contribute to the economy of cities.

He said there are countless reasons that motivate the creation of art which adds to aesthetics of surroundings, creating records of a specific time, place, person or object.

Art, he said, creates expressions and communicates ideas, adding that art inspires and stimulates the human mind.

“Art allows individuals to express their bottled up feelings, emotions and thoughts in ways that are not always possible in words or actions.

“Art helps us better to understand how we feel about certain things in the society,” Kiyaramo said.

The governor’s aide pointed out that, while it may not cost much to visit an art gallery in the neighbourhood, the benefits of such visits could pay off greatly in terms of knowledge acquired.

He also said that art helps people to process their emotions, making the viewer appreciate his immediate surroundings.

“Art allows one to see life from different perspectives, as the sight of a piece of art in the neighbourhood art gallery could evoke pleasant memories of the past, bringing the feeling of being alive.

“Art has always been an important part of human society since the beginning of time. Art has been used as a tool for cultural exchanges, education, and expression in different ways.

“In our modern society, art is a universal channel for people to express themselves and share their feelings with the rest of the world.

“Therefore, art has become a very important avenue through which we connect with others, especially in times of crisis,” he said.

He explained that art is a platform for people to express themselves and live out their dreams, adding that art helps people to deal with tough times and creates something beautiful out of such situations.

Also speaking, the Bayelsa Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Chief David Alagoa, described the creative works of Macaulay Eteli as high quality works that meet international standards.

Alagoa noted that arts are important part of a strong economy for a number of reasons, in addition to building and amplifying the success of innovative industries as well as making a city more attractive.

Proprietor of the Gallery and organiser of the exhibition, tagged, “Change”, Mr. Macaulay Eteli, said he had the dream of developing a world class art exposition centre in Yenagoa in 2014.

He said he envisioned that an art gallery is a place where his creative works and those of other artists would be displayed when he read about the tourism potential of the state.

“This thought materialised as Bayelsa State Heritage, Museums and Monuments approved the Macaulay Eteli Art Gallery as a privately-owned Gallery in Yenagoa.

“What makes one a Bayelsan is not far fetched, it is our culture, our heritage, our traditions, and our inter-play with the environment where we are situated.

“Bayelsa state is abundantly blessed with natural resources to create art,” Eteli added.

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