By Rashidat Akashat with agency report

A sculptor, John Egwatu, advised the Federal Government on Monday to make Fine Arts part of the core subjects taken in primary and secondary schools.

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Egwatu who spoke with NAN in Lagos, said that this would engage the young minds in the subject.

“We need academic achievements, civic engagements, emotional and social development and equitable opportunity for creative minds which has to begin early in life.”

Egwatu said that if “art is inculcated from primary school to the university level,” the habit of intelligent criticism “will blossom; otherwise people will continue to lose interest in art in this country.

“Government can organise competitions and give loans to artists to be able to start off easily.

“Lagos State is doing it through Professor Wole Soyinka, by catching them young with the `Vision of a Child’’ project,’’ he said.

Government Should Support Art

The sculptor, urged other states to emulate Lagos as a strategy to dissuade the youth from engaging in vices.
“Governments must look for ways to do this. A lot of artists have been frustrated out of the art profession for something they do not have passion for,” he said.

Egwatu said that he is living his passion as a sculptor and he finds fulfilment in the art.

“I discovered that I can work with stone; that is why I decided to use stone. In areas where I cannot express myself, then I use metal to complement it and complete the expression,” he said.

He said that his job is quite demanding and that it takes “a lot of time – up to a month – to do one sculpted work unlike painting which one can do in a day.”

His passion drives him from start to finish with any of his project which is why he urges the youths to go with their passion, because “for one to excel in life, you have to do what you are passionate about.”