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Gambia College Arts Department Holds Maiden Arts Exhibition

By Yunus S Saliu

The Arts Department, School of Education, Gambia College in Brikama Thursday, 9th February 2024 held the maiden edition of its Arts Exhibition under the supervision of Ms. Ramatoulie Sayang, Arts Lecturer of the department.

The well-attended exhibition held at the Brikama Campus brought together not only students but also different dignitaries across Banjul City, Kanifing Municipality, and West Coast Region, which included the Chairman of the Gambia College Governing Council, the Principal and Vice Principal of the College, King of Kora – Dr. Jaliba Kuyateh, Hon. Momodou Sabally, Hon. SulaymanJammeh – National Assembly Member for Bundungkakunda, Mr. Sanna B Jarju of NCAC, Ms. Sainabou Mbaye proprietress of SAACS and representatives of Mayor of Banjul City and Kanifing Municipality with other guests from Spain.

This daylong Arts Exhibition was held under the theme – Changing The Narratives of Arts and it was the first of a series of events to showcase the wealth and diversity of skills and talents of students of the Arts Department of the college. Also, it provides a platform for them to tell their own story through creativity, and elevate skill development among youths and students of the college and other schools.

Hon. Momodou Sabally, Mayor Rohey Malick Lowe, Mayor Ahmed Talib Bensouda, and Hon. Sulayman Jammeh National Assembly Member for Bundungkunda among others were presented with beautiful art images of themselves by the students of the Arts Department.

In her opening remark, Ma’am Ramatoulie Sanyang, Art Lecturer of the Department expressed delight saying it was a great joy for the Arts Department of the college to organize the maiden edition of the Arts Exhibition.

This “gives me a great sense of honor as the chairperson of this exhibition and indeed a great joy to the art department to organize this event and invite various schools to be part of this development,” Madam Sanyang, chairperson of the arts exhibition expressed.

She noted that the artworks displayed at the exhibition were “entirely our students’ efforts,” saying they are not experts but interestingly have great and unique thoughts of creativity in their minds which can lead to imaginative creations.

Moving further, she said the young artists have manifested a diversity of creativity and skills in their works which have been inspired by various reflections of creation, such as wall hangers for decorations, paintings in appreciation of nature, candlework design for beautification, photography for communication and interpretation, wax and textile design, and other craftworks.

Mr. Sanna B Jarju, Head of the Department for Literature, Performing and Fine Arts at the National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) was the Guest speaker at the exhibition he centered his speech on the theme of the exhibition while dilating on contemporary art, Intangible Cultural Heritages (ICH), and its domains. Also, he expatiated on the benefit of arts while giving the roles of NCAC, achievements, and support for the artists and outlined its activities.

Meanwhile, he said changing the narrative of art can be a relative concept that can have different interpretations while its interpretation may mean a departure from the traditional approach and concept to modern methodologies; thus other people may associate the change in narratives with the perception towards the Arts profession.

In the captivating realm of art, he said, two distinctive facets have emerged over the centuries: Traditional Art and Modern Art.

“Traditional Art offers a window into the past consisting of a wide array of artistic styles
and techniques that have been cherished and practiced for centuries. From the exquisite Renaissance paintings of Leonardo da Vinci to the intricate Japanese Woodblock print of Hiroshige, traditional art is a testament to human creativity and dedication,” he explained.

Rooted in history and culture, traditional art preserves the essence of a bygone era, paying homage to
the craftsmanship and skills passed down through generations, he added.

However, on the other hand, he described Modern Art as an artistic expression that emerged in the late 19th century and continued to evolve through the 20th century and beyond. Also, “Modern art is a reflection of the ever-changing world, capturing the societal shifts through the lens of the artist as well as the vantage point of the viewer.”

The principal of the college, head of Gambia College Arts Department, and Dr. Jaliba Kuyateh were among other people who delivered remarkable speeches at the exhibition punctuated with different drama series, poems, and cultural performances.

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Yunus S Saliu

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