Onobrakpeya, Kanye Tagbo-Okeke Lend Their Voices To Autism Via Art Exhibition

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Prof. Bruce Onobrakpeya and Kanye Tagbo-Okeke.

Nigeria’s art colossus and father of art in the country Prof. Bruce Onobrakpeya will be participating in the maiden exhibition to raise awareness for children living with autism. This statement was made known to the public by Mr. Femi Coker, the manager of Orisun Art Gallery Abuja.

In his statement, he said that the therapeutic potential of art will be used in encouraging and galvanising support for these children who need special care. The exhibition is tagged “The Master and The Prodigy”.

This position is aligned with the United Nations which set aside the month of April as a month to bring to the public knowledge the challenges and plight of those living with autism and how intervention can be made.

The exhibition will be in collaboration with Mr. Tagbo-Okeke, the father of Kanye, who will organise a first-of-its-kind art exhibition to commemorate the event, bringing together in an art exhibition Prof. Bruce Onobrakpeya, a quintessential master artist and educator and the prodigious autistic teen artist, Kanye Tagbo-Okeke, from April 29, 2022, at the gallery.

“Art, universally, is known to be therapeutic, the possession of this special gift, its development and utilisation, has been used over the ages, to inspire, challenge, galvanise people to action, draw attention to global causes, address social ills and to document the evolution of time,” said Femi Coker.

The cultural advocate said one of the core purposes of Orisun Art Gallery, is to use art and the gallery as a platform to excite the consciousness of communities and engage their attention on the very important role of art, in addressing some fundamental issues bordering on health and well-being, that should be dear to our heart.

Autism spectrum disorder is one such and it is a serious developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact.  It impacts the nervous system, leading to obsessive interests and compulsive behaviours. Treatment for this disorder can help, but unfortunately, this condition cannot be cured. Therefore, children with autism have a special need for care and attention. Some of them face discrimination and abuse because their conditions are not properly diagnosed and public awareness insufficient.

As art is very instructive for teaching and learning, visual art particularly resonates with and captures the attention of all categories of people.

Also, Coker added that the event will honour the immense contributions of the special guest, Prof. Onobrakpeya, to the art industry over six decades, spotlight the incredible talent of Kanye Tagbo-Okeke and create more awareness for autism.

“We are particularly delighted to be working with Bruce. His name is respected in the art circles. We have built Kanye as a brand that gives hope to the children that have special needs and we are looking forward to this exhibition where Kanye’s works will be exhibited for the world to see and make people understand the predicaments of children with autism and how best to deal with the challenge,” Okeke concluded.

Oluchi Okorafor
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