Julius Agbaje, a 26-year-old National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member, has won the 2018 Afriture Painting Competition, TOPNAIJA.NG can confirm.
Agbaje, who is serving with Silverbird Arts Galleria, went home with the star prize — a cheque of $2,500.
The painting competition which held at Omenka Arts Gallery, Ikoyi, had Oliver Enwonwu and Abiodun Olaku, among the panel of judges.
Agbaje, who was overwhelmed with joy, said he will hold series of solo art exhibitions, help his father to build his business and invest more in his career with the money.
“I’m overwhelmed with emotions right now. I have many aspirations in line with developing my career in arts and it is a dream come true,” he said.
“This is a push in the right direction for me. I have always wanted to impact lives through my work and this has given me the opportunity to achieve my dreams.
“I was discouraged at some points but had to encourage myself again. I thank God today, my dream has come through.”
NAN reports that Agbaje’s work, ‘Virtual Reality’, won the competition while Emmanuel Eweje was second and Ifeanyi Ugwoke came third among eight contestants.
Abiodun Olaku, one of the judges, said the criteria used in selecting the winner was the philosophy and design behind the painting.
“Philosophy is synonymous with the message of the artwork, while the design is how an artist expresses the philosophy through the painting,” he said.
Shogo Adaramati, organiser of the competition, said he was happy with the result of the maiden competition which would henceforth hold biennially.
“I am happy with the outcome, I rejoice with the winner and hope this will encourage more artists out there to remain hard working and focused,” he said.
Matthew Gansallo, director, Young Graduate for Museums and Gallery, British Museum, London, said works of arts should be appraised through the in-depth message they convey to the viewers and not the physical beauty.
“For me, these works of arts are beautiful considering the in-depth message they convey,” he said