The master painter and performing artist, Muraina Oyelami, one of the respected voices of Osogbo Art Movement, has established a visual and performing arts training school to mentor young and talented kids so that they can become self reliant.
Named, Abeni Visual and Performing Art Institute (AVPAI), the school is situated in Oyelami’s hometown, Iragbiji, Osun State, where he currently resides and practices his art.
The courses offered are, visual arts, which comprises textile art design and cloth weaving, fashion designing and graphics and painting and printmaking, while the performing arts department offers courses in drumming and drum making (Bata and Dundun), dance and choreography. There are also special courses in Yoruba cultural values and appreciation, executive course and summer holiday programme.
The institution targets unemployed and out of school youths between the age of 14 and 24 years who have completed elementary school but did not complete secondary school and are teachable, hence the entry requirements are junior and senior secondary school.
Oyelami, who is also the artistic director of the institution said the purpose of establishing the school is basically to give a future to youths who are left behind by the formal educational system, to preserve and promote the country’s art, culture and values, to re-orientate the youths of our values, enhance security and discourage human trafficking, as idleness could lead to a lot of negativity.
The multiple award winner said, “we are trying to make social responsibility rewarding as our activities are programmed to credibly complement the investment of corporate organisations in community development projects through well structured programmes.”
He continued, “it is our hope that the number of youths roaming the streets not knowing where to turn to will be reduced as they are expected to become self employed after passing through the institution, thereby, reducing the poverty level, enhance community security, among others at the end of their training.”
At the school’s opening, awards were giving to people who had contributed to the growth of art in the country.
One of the recipients was Bruce Onobrakpeya a Nigerian printmaker, painter and sculptor, who has a similar initiative in his home village of Agbarha-Otor, Delta State enjoined others to do same, as it does not only uplift the well being of the youths, but also bring development to such communities.